Kia broadens its green credentials

Kia broadens its green credentials

Kia Motors says it is raising the stakes as one of the world’s leading green car producers.

Two years after breaking into the 100 Best Global Green Brands, Kia has now moved well inside the top 50. Latest rankings show Kia has moved up to 37th position on the list, which is put together by Interbrand, to measure sustainable environmental activities.

As Kia prepares to launch the Soul EV, its first global electric car and one of the greenest vehicles on the planet, the company has also announced that its global vehicle manufacturing is greener and more sustainable than ever, in spite of rising sales and production levels.

In addition to producing cars that are greener, such as the Soul EV, Kia’s factories are also becoming more environmentally friendly and now rank among the world’s best.

The company says that last year it succeeded in reducing waste, emissions and water consumption at all its production facilities, thanks to an ongoing focus on improving sustainability, which has led to a smaller environmental footprint for the brand as a whole – a key to moving up the Interbrand list.

The biggest improvements have come from the three Kia manufacturing plants in Korea, where increased recycling, employee initiatives, greater investment, reducing unit waste and heat capture technology has yielded more reductions to add to savings made in previous years.

While those three plants increased production during 2013, they also saw a 4.7% reduction in CO2 emissions per unit produced (29.4kg per car) and a total drop of 30,507 tonnes.

Total energy consumption was also reduced by 3.7% (down 618 terajoules to 15,930 terajoules), a reduction of 596 megajoules per vehicle produced, achieved by minimising unnecessary use of equipment and machinery across all manufacturing plants.

Reducing water consumption has also been made a priority by Kia Motors, as Korea is classified as a potentially water-scarce country. Last year its Korean factories managed to reduce water use by 305,000m3 to 6.17 million m3 – a 6% year-on-year reduction in per unit consumption and a 30% drop since 2003. This has been achieved by improving cooling tower overflow and increase the rate of water recovery from condensed steam produced during manufacturing. Employees in all facilities are also encouraged to adopt water-saving habits at work and in the home.

An 8kg, 4.6 %year-on-year reduction in waste for each Kia model manufactured in Korea was also achieved, representing a 26.9% per unit reduction in waste output compared to a decade ago.

More than 93% of all waste is recycled, resulting from a streamlined waste management system aimed at identifying opportunities for recycling materials. Kia’s Sohari manufacturing facility, which can produce 340,000 cars per year, has generated 0% landfill waste since 2008.

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