Chang Seung-joon, vice chairman of Maekyung Media Group. [Photo by Han Joo-hyung]
Busan, located in the southeast part of South Korea, should focus on becoming the global center for environmental, social, and governance (ESG), which has emerged as a major issue among businesses, according to Chang Seung-joon, vice chairman of Maekyung Media Group.
“Starting next year, exporters targeting the European Union market with sales of more than 200 billion won ($149.1 million) will be required to submit reports on human rights and environmental due diligence of their companies and suppliers,” Chang said, at the World Knowledge Forum Busan that was held Thursday.
“In order to overcome various crises such as trade suspension, we need to focus our capabilities to make Busan an ESG global center.”
Chang noted how Starbucks Coffee Co. was the first company in Korea to use paper straws and reusable cups and that Unilever PLC announced to reduce plastic use by 100,000 tons and utilize alternative materials to cut 50 percent of its entire plastic use by 2025.
“Companies from home and aboard will come to Busan if the city sets up an ESG center for such global companies and share their cases,” Chang said.
He also suggested creating an eco-friendly technology testbed to tackle the climate crisis.
“Busan is promoting a project to become a maritime city as a way to address flooding of coastal houses and it is the first in Korea to study building winds, so it can be a stage for testing various technologies to overcome various climate crises,” Chang said. “We should make Busan an eco-friendly technology testbed.”
Busan Mayor Park Heong-joon vowed full support for companies and policies to help produce ESG results.
“Busan is promoting various projects for shared growth, such as establishing an ESG management collaboration system using an ESG win-win model for small and medium-sized enterprises,” Park said in his congratulatory remarks.
“In particular, we are operating a Neighborhood ESG Center as part of our ESG policy to involve citizens, examining ways to change the city center and prepare business strategies according to climate change trends.”
By Bae Han-cheol, Park Dong-min, Choi Seung-gyun, and Choi Jieun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]