|A photo of a steel plant operated by POSCO in Pohang. Courtesy of POSCO|
By Lee Kyung-min
Two steel plants operated by POSCO obtained certification for their contributions to the sustainable future of the steel industry, a feat underpinned by their efforts and management in advancing environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) goals, the steel giant said Monday.
The plants in Pohang and Gwangyang were given the certification on Nov. 31 (local time), after a nine-month review by the Future Strategy Forum in Memphis, Tennessee.
They are the first among Asia's steel plants to obtain the certification from ResponsibleSteel, a non-profit organization best known for its multi-stakeholder ESG standards and certification program operations. The entity was established in 2016 to better address the environmental consequences brought on by the fossil fuel-reliant industry. The entity has about 130 members firms active in industries including steel, raw materials, carmaking and energy, as well as civic environmental rights advocacies. POSCO has been a member since January.
The two plants met 370 criteria reviewed by an independent third-party evaluation agency. The standards concerned climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, ESG management, safety and health, labor rights, human rights, stakeholder participation and communication, noise, disposable chemical waste management, corporate leadership, water management and biodiversity.
According to POSCO, ResponsibleSteel said that the nine-month review was a great opportunity to understand POSCO's efforts to accelerate ESG management.
POSCO added that ResponsibleSteel was highly impressed with POSCO's openness to the concerns of stakeholders, as enabled by an online forum whereby recommendations are shared anonymously.
POSCO Vice Chairman Kim Hag-dong said the certification speaks volumes about the excellence of POSCO's ESG management.
"We will create a sustainable future for tomorrow with full engagement of all stakeholders," he said.
Meanwhile, POSCO topped the list of the world's most competitive steelmakers compiled by World Steel Dynamics, a global steel analyst, for the 12th consecutive year.
POSCO World Steel Industry was selected as the World Steel Association Sustainability Champion in April, a first for a local steelmaker. It won the association's 2022 Steelie Awards in October.