Kia Motors Corporation is investing heavily in research and development to further reduce its environmental impact, notably by improving manufacturing processes and increasing innovation in vehicle technologies.
According to the corporation’s new sustainability report, Kia invested US$2.25 billion – 6% of its total sales revenue – in research and development and in its production facilities in 2011. The investment meant that Kia is 44% more eco-efficient than in 2004, when it began measuring its environmental impact.Building on this momentum, in 2012 Kia will invest a further US$2.52 billion*, a substantial year-on-year increase of 12%, to ensure its production processes become even more eco-efficient and to accelerate the development of highly-efficient vehicles with low emissions.
Kia’s environmentally friendly manufacturing initiatives – including the Green Design System to increase the use of recycled materials, and the Chemical Management System, which minimises the use of hazardous chemicals and substances – were responsible for reducing CO2 emissions per vehicle produced in 2011 by 16 kg, compared to 2010. Atmospheric pollutants were also reduced by 9% per vehicle manufactured during 2011.The volume of steel recycled by Kia globally in 2011 rose by 33% compared to 2010, thanks to more effective waste management solutions.
Kia has employed its EcoDynamics engineering philosophy to create a range of vehicles that are not just visually and dynamically exciting but are also more environmentally conscious. For example, the new Kia Picanto emits 5.4% less CO2 than the previous model, and the 2013 Kia Optima will deliver 7.7% greater fuel economy and emit 7.2% less CO2 than the current model.
During 2011, Kia once again invested heavily in charity work around the world and invested US$20.2 million* through 158 different programmes, benefiting 27,459 individuals. Kia has been also supporting the ‘Planting for a Better Life’ Mali project, which has already planted 3.5 million trees since 2007. Kia promises to plant up to six million additional jatropha shrubs over the next three years, helping to secure a brighter future for communities in the area by boosting agricultural output and generating income for farmers and their families.
On a similar note, Kia Vision 2016 was established in 2012 to meet the mid- to long-term business goals of the corporation, by building a distinct Kia identity and realising value innovation.