Back in 2006, Coway, true to its name as The Best Life Solution Company, pledged to follow an ESG framework that would minimize the impact of its business operations. The company has shown exemplified ESG management leadership through the framework’s initiatives.
■ Coway's Environmental Management Strategy & Implementation System
In order to implement environmental management goals, a dedicated Environmental Management Committee was created, with the head of Coway’s Environmental Technology Research Institute appointed as the chief environmental management officer. The Environmental Management Committee promotes environmental strategy, features a council for enterprise-wide environmental management, and holds regular discussions on sustainability issues. Through this institute, Coway has support for resource circulation, eco-friendly design, and upholding sustainable values throughout products and services.
■ Eco-Friendly Product Development
Coway’s eco-friendly product design is centered on chemical substance safety, energy efficiency, carbon emission reduction, resource-use reduction, recyclability throughout manufacturing, cleaner production, sustainable rental services, recovery, and recycling procedures, as well as improving people’s lifestyles. The aim is to have entirely eco-friendly product development and lifecycle.
Coway recently launched the Icon Water Purifier with an eco-friendly cooling system that does not use refrigerant. Its electronic cooling method uses semiconductor thermoelectric elements to improve energy efficiency. By eliminating the compressor, the product has minimal vibration and noise, more compact size with an optimal design structure, and reduced energy loss.
In addition, the heat pipe enhances heat dissipation performance and improves cooling efficiency. An instantaneous hot water system heats water only when necessary to reduce power consumption by about 80% compared to stored hot water systems. Due to its eco-friendly design, the product achieved first-grade energy consumption efficiency.
Icon Water Purifier won the Energy Technology Award at the 24th Energy Winner of the Year Award hosted by the Consumer Citizens’ Association and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The Energy Winner Award selects and awards products and technologies with excellent energy efficiency and saving effects.
■ Circular Economy & Refurbishment System
Coway also seeks to move towards a circular economy with a cycle of recovering, reusing, and recycling used resources. The goal is to achieve a 100% waste recycling rate, a 100% industrial waste resource recovery rate, and 20,000 refurbished product sales by 2030.
The company recycles 99% of the waste generated from products, services, and business sites through recycling and refurbishment systems. Coway introduced its refurbishment system to South Korea’s home appliances rental industry in 2007 for the first time, which has multiple benefits. It reduces waste disposal costs for the company, creates lower-priced products for customers, and puts less impact on the economy.
Since last December, Coway has been operating a filter collection service, which recycles used water purifier filters, in South Korea. It’s intended for customers who self-manage their own Coway water purifiers. They simply put the used filter in a pre-paid collection bag, place it in a designated place, and Coway collects it. The collected filters go through recycling processes, including separation and pulverization, and are reborn as new resources used in toolboxes and automobile bumpers. Coway plans to expand its service to include self-managed bidet filters in the future.
■ Water Usage Savings via Waterless Test System
In 2011, Coway implemented a system that tests water purifiers without using water: the Waterless Test System. It’s the first waterless testing system in Korea that injects nitrogen instead of water in water purifier testing.
This revolutionary system saves more than 5,500 tons of water used for water purifier testing annually. With the implementation of the Waterless Test System, the amount of water saved by Coway in a year increased from 3,079 tons in 2013, since its launch, to 5,133 tons in 2020.
■ Renewable Energy Usage in Business Sites
In 2021, the company successfully reduced 104.4 tons of GHG emissions by generating renewable solar energy. Coway is using solar power in three factories – Yugu Factory (49.5KWh), Incheon Factory (39KWh), Pocheon Factory (45KWh) - and one distribution center (48.8 KWh).
The company generated and used 227MW of renewable energy in 2020, which parallels to mitigation of approximately 106 tons of GHG emissions. It aims to invest more in generating solar power and offset GHG emissions through renewable energy.
This solid devotion to ESG has been recognized by prestigious industry names, both domestically and internationally. Coway was named for the sixth consecutive year on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, ninth on the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia/Pacific Index, and fourth on the Dow Jones Sustainability Korea Index. Among all the companies included in the DJSI World Household Durables industry, only Coway is from Korea. Coway received excellent evaluations for Customer Relationship Management, Product Quality & Recall Management, Environmental Policy & Management Systems, Environmental Reporting, and Social Reporting.
The Korea Corporate Governance Service (KCGS) has awarded the company an “A” ESG Rating for two successive years, while the MSCI ESG ratings gave an “AA” score. In addition to all these merits, Coway is also named in the FTSE4Good Index Series.
For more on Coway's ESG initiatives, please visit http://sustainability.coway.co.kr/?l=ENG
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