Kia Corporation and The Ocean Cleanup have formally commenced a seven-year cooperation to explore innovative ways to co-create solutions that will support a more sustainable future.
Ho Sung Song, President and CEO of Kia Corporation and Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, attended a signing ceremony at Kia’s Headquarters in Seoul on April 27 to officially confirm the global partnership between Kia and The Ocean Cleanup.
The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands, developing and scaling technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic by stemming the inflow via rivers, as well as by cleaning up what has already accumulated in the ocean. For the latter, The Ocean Cleanup is developing large-scale systems to efficiently concentrate the plastic for periodic removal. To curb the inflow of plastic via rivers, The Ocean Cleanup has developed Interceptor™ Solutions to halt and extract river plastic before it reaches the ocean.
Seen as an essential initiative in Kia’s journey for a sustainable future, Kia will support The Ocean Cleanup financially to initiate ocean and river cleanup projects, and create a resource circulation system that will help avoid harvested plastics ending up back in the environment by integrating part of the catch from The Ocean Cleanup’s innovative devices into Kia’s production and value chain process.
For seven years, Kia will support The Ocean Cleanup as an official global partner via financial contributions and in-kind supplies to support ocean operations and the construction of the various river cleaning devices– The Ocean Cleanup’s Interceptor Solutions. In addition, Kia will supply four electric vehicles including one EV6 and three Niro EVs to the organization’s headquarters in the Netherlands. In return, The Ocean Cleanup will also supply usable fractions of the collected plastic and share the organization's research results and relevant data on reducing plastic pollution with Kia.
Ho Sung Song, President and CEO of Kia Corporation, commented, “The key to Kia’s vision for a sustainable future is not just to change the product and service areas, but to make positive changes for the planet. “Kia will continue to make inspirational movements through open partnerships with various partners with organizations like The Ocean Cleanup that have innovative technologies and ideas," he added.
Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, added: “Plastic is not inherently a bad material, but we must use it responsibly. We demonstrate how we can turn pollution into a solution by launching applications that help clean the oceans and simultaneously – together with our partner Kia – provide proof that recycled plastic can be used sustainably. I hope we can inspire others to do the same. This cooperation is the next step in our efforts to ensure that our catch does not end up back in the environment while using its value to support our cleanup efforts further.”
This partnership is one of the key strategies in Kia’s corporate vision to build a sustainable future for mobility. Kia plans to increase its percentage of plastic re-use to 20 percent by 2030, and expects to further contribute to environmental protection by establishing and activating a ‘Virtuous Recycling Loop’ to minimize climate impact when disposing of vehicles.
Kia embodied its commitment to take steps towards a more sustainable future by revealing the all-new Niro at the 2021 Seoul Mobility Show on November 25, 2021. The all-new Kia Niro used sustainable materials developed from recycled wallpaper, eucalyptus leaves, and water-based paint to minimize the impact on the environment and reduce waste. Kia plans to continuously expand its eco-friendly materials throughout the vehicle, including a plan to phase out the use of animal leather in all vehicles in the future.