True ESG Management, Hyosung's ESG Brand RE:GEN


Summer is getting hotter and hotter every year. Environmental pollution has caused drastic consequences, such as rising sea levels, leading to a climate crisis. The climate crisis has brought various changes: heatwaves, heavy rainfall, and typhoons. Not only governments and business organizations but also the public have begun to directly experience environmental issues. Moreover, as public awareness increased, environmentally friendly started getting attention. This trend toward an environmentally friendly society has sparked a boom in ESG(Environmental, Social, and Governance) management among businesses. ESG management refers to a company's management approach that incorporates long-term environmental values, social responsibility, and improvements in governance. It serves as a key element for transparency in corporate management and ensures the sustainability of businesses. Consumers perceive This ESG management strategy very positively, and it has naturally become part of companies' marketing efforts.

ESG activities, however, can end up as a mere sham if they are solely focused on marketing strategies to project a positive image for the company and consumers. Claiming to do ESG activities without actions called 'ESG washing,' can deceive consumers and cause great damage to investors. Hyosung strives to implement ESG management by actively engaging in practical and substantial initiatives. Hyosung does not engage in deceptive practices or claim to have done things it hasn't accomplished.


Hyosung's ESG Management, Different Yet Significant

Chairman Cho Hyun-Joon of Hyosung Group has been recognized as a prominent leader by receiving both the "Korea Management Grand Prize" and the "Korea CEO Grand Prize," the most prestigious awards in the Korean business field, consecutively in 2022 and 2023. Kim Jae-gu, the President of the Korean Academy of Management, described Chairman Cho Hyun-Joon as a model for the role of the top executive in South Korean companies, showcasing the managerial philosophy and activities that individual companies should pursue in the global business environment of the 21st century.

We are living in an era of innovation and great transition. The various innovations brought by the "digital" transformation and the shift to "contactless" interactions triggered by COVID-19 fundamentally change how we live. And the value of "sustainability," considering environmental friendliness, has become a social norm and requirement, leading to a transformation in companies' missions and business practices. In this rapidly changing landscape, there is a driving force behind Chairman Cho Hyun-Joon, the youngest recipient of the Korea CEO Grand Prize, being recognized as a leading figure in South Korean business management. This is the unique and exceptional ESG management of Hyosung.


Before the “ESG”  

In 2008, Hyosung TNC succeeded by becoming the first company in Korea to produce polyester yarn made from recycled PET bottles. This environmentally friendly technology enables a reduction in carbon emissions equivalent to the amount absorbed by 136 trees over 50 years for every ton of yarn produced. This was when Hyosung's ESG brand, 'RE:GEN,' was established. Furthermore, Hyosung TNC obtained the world's first certification for the 'GRS' (Global Recycled Standard), a global standard for recycled fibers. Hyosung TNC initiated research and development on eco-friendly yarn using discarded fishing nets and PET bottles as early as the early 2000s, well ahead of the current focus on ESG management for domestic and international companies.

The term 'ESG' was first used and officially recognized in international society, including the United Nations in 2006. Hyosung had been focusing on environmental sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and symbiotic management before the concept of 'ESG' and 'ESG management' became firmly established in the international community. Hyosung has been proactive in reading the trends of the times and making substantial and practical investments.


Hyosung’s Unique Technological DNA in Its ESG

Larry Fink, the Chairman of BlackRock, the world's leading asset management company, quoted a response from 63% of millennial workers in 2019, stating, "The primary purpose of a corporation is to improve society's qualitative aspects rather than just generating profits." For the public, who are both workers and consumers, it is important for companies to prioritize environmental considerations over the technologies or products they develop. In response to this, Hyosung Group's Chairman Cho Hyun-Joon stated, "We will not approach ESG merely as declarations, philosophy, or ethics." In the current situation where innovative actions are urgently needed for the progress of humanity and a better tomorrow, he boldly decided to change everything, including the company's goals, vision, and culture.
Hyosung's ESG management, as Chairman Cho Hyun-Joon advocates, differs from other companies in that it is applied across all business areas. The goal is to make corporate social responsibility an integral part of the company's operations rather than a separate activity, serving as a driving force for innovation and a distinctive competitive advantage within the group. This approach is made possible by Hyosung's commitment to technological development, evident from the establishment of its technology research institute as the first among private Korean companies in the early 1970s.
Hyosung's technological DNA, developed as a latecomer, led to the independent development of tire cords and spandex, ultimately securing the top market share worldwide. This DNA has continued to evolve through consecutive eco-friendly technological advancements in areas such as fibers, wind power, carbon fibers, and hydrogen businesses during the 2000s. Hyosung's technological DNA, spanning over half a century, has become a tangible ESG asset, already accumulated within each company of Hyosung Group.



RE:GEN , Reply to Every Generations

Chairman Cho Hyun-Joon stated about ESG management, "Hyosung's ESG management is a completely different approach, with entirely different goals and methods, creating a completely different future from what companies have pursued in the past. We will participate in that future with a unique imagination, ideas, and entirely different technologies."

In 2023, Hyosung established ESG brand and clearly defined the company's ESG goals for the entire company. The newly established an ESG brand, 'RE:GEN,' embodies the meaning of "Response to Every Generation." It signifies the continuous innovation and efforts in corporate activities to respond to the sustainability of all generations, including the current and future generations. The management activities encompass integrating substantial technologies with innovations and efforts for environmental and social improvements, creating a virtuous cycle between society and the company throughout the process, including the results and achievements.

Starting as an eco-friendly fiber brand and evolving into a premium global brand, the ESG brand 'Reply to Every Generation's Future, RE:GEN' will become the identity of Hyosung. RE:GEN represents technology, products, and the innovation that Hyosung strives for.


From Partner Companies to Global Corporations, an ESG Accelerator

Chairman Cho Hyun-Joon stated, "RE:GEN is not just a brand for Hyosung. It will be a practical alliance and companionship for all generations, where more companies collaborate and coexist to create a better future together." He actively promotes support programs for enhancing ESG management not only within Hyosung but also among partner companies. Hyosung's ESG management is influencing not only domestic companies but also global corporations.

"regen Project," which started in 2008 to produce discarded waste fishing nets and waste plastics as recycled fibers, has established itself as an exemplary standard business in the domestic eco-friendly textile market. Keep an eye on the regen Project, an example of other companies, can influence the world beyond the textile market. We also hope that Hyosung's ESG brand RE:GEN will become an ESG Accelerator as it grows with its partners.



Starting from 2025, South Korea has mandated ESG information disclosure for listed companies with over 2 trillion KRW on the KOSPI. From 2030, it will be mandatory for all listed companies. This will serve as an effective mechanism to enforce corporate obligations and social roles regarding the environment, as well as increase transparency in corporate governance. Therefore, companies that have previously used ESG management as a mere marketing tool are now required to actively practice substantial ESG management. Under the leadership of Chairman Cho Hyun-Joon, Hyosung Group is committed to ESG activities that elicit positive responses from consumers and not only generate profits for the company but also lead the way in institutional trends. It will continue to evolve as a company that other businesses aspire to follow by implementing tangible ESG initiatives.