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Managing Business for a Sustainable Earth

SK Networks vows to innovate its business model to ensure business sustainability, understanding how the industrial landscape changes in the aftermath of the climate crisis and consequential risks and opportunities impact businesses.

Number of clean technology patents

SK Magic owns clean technology patents earned in the development processes of air purifiers, gas ranges and other products in terms of less resource consumption and higher energy efficiency, obtaining seven new patents in 2022.

Clean Technology Highlights

Energy Efficiency (Smart Grid)

SK Rent-a-car is working on a V2G* demonstration project where their EV batteries are utilized as ESS (Energy Storage System) components in collaboration with KEPCO (Korea Electric Power Corporation) to ensure stable power supply in Jeju Island. Both companies plan to develop power grid components, control system and specify applicable administrative arrangement by December 2022 as required for a full-fledged V2G project where the EV fleet of SK Rent-a-car’s Jeju EV Park (tentative name) will be used, rolling out a pilot project in 2023. When a full-scale project is launched in 2024, the EV fleet of SK Rent-a-car’s Jeju EV Park (tentative name) will be used to store surplus energy from renewable energy plants and nighttime supply from conventional power grid to minimize energy loss, reduce dependence on fossil fuel, and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions reduction ultimately.

* V2G: (Vehicle to Grid) smart charging/discharging

Energy Efficiency (Electric Vehicles)

SK Networks’ BAC (Business Acceleration Center) attempts to identify EV charging business opportunities to have a pivotal presence in the EV-centric eco-friendly mobility market in synergy with SK Rent-a-car, Speedmate, etc. and thereby prospect for new growth drivers. In January, 2022, SK Networks invested about 10 billion won in everon, one of the top three slow EV charging service providers in Korea, to become its second biggest shareholder, and decided to invest about 70 billion won in SSCharger (tentative name), a new subsidiary incorporated by splitting off the EV charging business unit of STraffic which is Korea’s biggest private-sector fast EV charging service provider except for public-sector organizations in August, 2022. SK Networks is committed to becoming the top service provider in the rapidly growing EV charging market to secure vantage points, preemptively respond to the climate crisis and changes in the automotive industry, and thereby expanding its mobility business and contribute to reducing carbon emissions.

Alternative Energy (Solar)

In 2016, the Jeju branch of SK Rent-a-car started off its solar power generation business, installing 185kWp solar panels to facilitate transition to renewable energy. The total energy output from solar panels reached 162MWh by 2021. In October, 2021, the Busan logistics center of SK Rent-a-car installed additional 62kWp solar panels to meet its own energy demand. The Vilicar branch in Jeju installed 60kWp solar power panels in January, 2022 to further increase its renewable energy footprint.

Alternative Energy (Fuel Cells)

SK Rent-a-car has developed the EV Smart Link to gather EV fleet operation data to objectively monitor and measure how EVs actually contribute to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To have the contribution of its EV fleet to greenhouse gas emissions reduction recognized, SK Rent-a-car applied for the Greenhouse Gas Emission Offset Program run by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) in October, 2020 in partnership with SK telecom and mounted EV Smart Links on over 60 EVs run by its Vilicar branch in Jeju Island. The EV Smart Links captured reliable data on greenhouse gas emissions and charging/discharging rates from raw EV fleet operation data and provided inputs for predicting reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by about 150 tons on annual average versus internal combustion engine vehicles of comparable specifications, a methodology which was finally endorsed by the Emission Certification Committee of the MOLIT in January, 2022. In 2022, SK Rent-a-car also signed a memorandum of understanding on the external program of greenhouse gas emissions offset scheme with SK telecom and ReserveCarbon. The MoU will allow parties to the agreement to jointly launch the external program to estimate and certify greenhouse gas emissions reduction performance of all EVs including the EV fleet to be purchased by SK Rent-a-car way forward for approval by 2023. SK Rent-a-car will deploy EVs eligible for the program and provide emission monitoring device and solution, offering the practical benefits of greenhouse gas emissions reduction which include carbon credits returned to customers using SK Rent-a-car EVs. As a leader of the eco-friendly mobility market, SK Rent-a-car will forge ahead with its efforts to empower EV business to create social value.

Green Building (Green certified property)

DARAKHYU, a capsule and transfer hotel operated by Walkerhill Hotel at Passenger Terminal 2 of Incheon International Airport was certified in 2018 to be compliant with the LEED*, a global eco-friendly building certification scheme. Walkerhill Hotel also earned the formal Environmental Mark for its eco-friendly services in 2021 after a rigorous assessment by the Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute of the Ministry of Environment and the ZWTL (Zero Waste to Landfill) certification of UL to solidify its presence as an eco-friendly hotel.

*LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

Pollution Prevention & Control (Reuse & Recycling)

MINTIT is the ICT recycle brand launched to improve the transparency of the used phone market and increase available value of resources. The MINTIT ATM, unmanned used phone purchasing platform equipped with AI-enabled valuation system and automated personal data deletion feature fosters a new kind of used phone trading culture in which everyone can trade used phones with ease and without in-person contact. MINTIT is expanding its coverage from used phones to more eco-friendly resource recycling businesses via ITAD (IT Asset Disposition) service. MINTIT plans to roll out the MINTIT ATM in the global market to expand its business model to collect used goods in foreign countries and make them readily available for sale.

SK Networks’ parts business unit takes the initiative in deploying eco-friendly automotive parts circulation infrastructure by forging partnerships with non-life insurers on the sourcing of ECO parts for imported cars, as there are not many reliable ECO parts vendors in Korea now. SK Networks will endeavor to build a reliable platform for ECO parts supply and create socioenvironmental value of resource circulation with insurers, parts distributors and other market players, leveraging its credential long trusted by customers.
The Speedmate business unit has signed a memorandum of understanding with SK energy and Daeho Industry to improve waste tire collection/supply infrastructure in Korea and discuss fostering the waste tire recycling circulation economy. The MoU will allow the Speedmate business unit to supply waste tires from over 650 full-package car care brand Speedmate stores across the country to the pyrolysis step of the tire recycling process and collaborate and partner with existing waste tire collection businesses. The three parties to the MoU will verify the economic feasibility of the waste tire pyrolysis process where natural rubber, primary ingredient of waste tire, is recycled to produce carbon black* and pyrolysis oil to increase applications of recycled tire resource and contribute to greenhouse gas emission reduction.
*Carbon black: powdered carbon primarily used as filling material for rubber products, tires. It is usually produced by incomplete combustion of petroleum/natural gas.

SK Networks service operates recycling centers to treat and recycle E-wastes from small/medium-sized electric/electronic appliances and ICT devices to build a resource circulation chain and deliver economic and social values.

Pollution Prevention & Control (Air Quality)

SK Magic operates home appliance rental services for air purifier, water purifier, and other devices. As air pollution is being aggravated by sprawling industrialization and transport infrastructure and sandy dust from deserts, demand for air purifiers is rising every year. In addition, SK Magic produces 99.5% of its interior/exterior components of products from eco-friendly plastic (PCR-ABS) recycled from conventional plastic of electric/electronic appliance wastes and make new products recycling devices returned upon the expiration of rental agreements without decommissioning them.

Pollution Prevention & Control

The Global Investment Center works on investment initiatives to identify growth drivers relevant to sustainable future technologies and expand applicable partnerships. The center invested about 20 million dollars in MycoWorks, a producer of eco-friendly mushroom mycelia-cultured leather, in 2022, agreeing with MycoWorks to further expand production facility, build up a sales network, and cooperate on new material development other than leather. As alternative leather can reduce environmental pollution from animal breeding for leather production and save carbon emissions and water consumption by over 90%, SK Networks vows to develop promising green alternative materials on its eco-friendly journey. The investment in MycoWorks, a successful global eco-friendly high-tech firm, will set a momentum in motion for future high-tech sustainable growth drivers and partnership opportunities.

Sustainable Water (Wastewater treatment)

SK Networks saves water by regularly measuring and monitoring water usage in its major business sites. In particular, Walkerhill Hotel has developed and rolled out a strategy to implement and expand gray water system to improve water recycling performance. Walkerhill Hotel kicked off a gray water system enhancement project for its business location in November, 2022, expecting to raise water recycling rate of from 90t/day today to up to 200t/day following the completion of the project. On top of that, Walkerhill Hotel plans to implement additional gray water infrastructure to further increase water recycling volume to 260t/day in 2025 and beyond, true to its aspiration to become an eco-friendly hotel proactively committed to saving water resources.

ESG new business / Investment Roadmap

SK Rent-a-car EV100 EV Conversion* 9.6% 24.9% 100%
Estimated cumulative investment KRW 1.1 trillion KRW 2.6 trillion KRW 3.4 trillion
SK Magic eco-friendly plastic(PCR) PCR Production rate** 10% 13% 21% 70%

* Base : K-EV 100

** Base : PACT(Plastic ACTion) is a WWF(WORLD WIDE FUND FOR NATURE)’s business initiative that aims to reduce plastic waste)