Hyundai Leading the Way to Make China Greener

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(Seoul, Korea) Hyundai Motor Company, one of Asia’s leading automotive manufacturers, will convert China’s deserts into grassland as its first global environment project.

Hyundai Motor Co. will create 50 square kilometers of grassland at Chakanor, an area within the Kunshantag desert in Inner Mongolia, China, by 2012. Through this project, part of the company’s ‘Hyundai Green Zone’ project, Hyundai Motor hopes to prevent desertification and revive the local ecosystem to contribute to saving the environment.

The ‘Hyundai Green Zone’ project is part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities for the environment.

Hyundai Motor Co. and the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement (KFEM) will lead the project, while the Chinese central government, Inner Mongolia’s regional government and a local Non-governmental Organization will also participate. The signing ceremony was held on April 23 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Beijing with over 150 guests attending, including government officials from both South Korea and China, Hyundai Motor officials and the Chinese NGO members.

“The increase in desertification in China is not only destroying the local ecosystem, but is causing serious environmental problems with its yellow sand, which affects the entire Northeast Asian region, including Korea,” said Hsueh Yung Hsing, vice chairman of Hyundai-Kia China Business.

“Environmental issues today are no longer confined within borders. They need to be approached as a planetary issue. Hyundai Motor decided to participate in this project to fulfil its responsibilities as a global company.”

Yellow Sand is a seasonal meteorological phenomenon which affects much of East Asia sporadically during the springtime months.

The dust originates in the deserts of Mongolia and northern China and Kazakhstan where high-speed surface winds and intense dust storms kick up dense clouds of fine, dry soil particles. In the last decade or so, it has become a serious problem due to the increase of industrial pollutants contained in the dust and intensified desertification in China causing longer and more frequent occurrences.

The area to be revived is about 660 kilometers north of Beijing, which is the main area that creates yellow sand affecting the northern part of China and Korea. The area is 1,000 meters above sea level and has an average rainfall of only 200-400 mm a year. It’s an area that used to consist of plentiful grasslands, but is now experiencing rapid desertification.

Hyundai Motor Co. together with the KFEM will plant local flora that grows well in the alkali soil to naturally revive the area’s ecosystem.

Hyundai Motor Co. will continue to select joint global and regionally-friendly CSR activities through its projects such as the ‘Hyundai Green Zone’ and ‘Happy Move Global Young Volunteers’.