Korean biz leaders join to launch ‘Entrepreneurship Round Table’ for sustainability

Rivai H Tukimen

[Photo by Lee Chung-woo]

The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), a major business lobby group, has launched Entrepreneurship Round Table (ERT), a consultative body endorsed by initial 76 founding members, to help spread awareness on entrepreneurship in every part of Korean society.

During a ceremony to declare the initiative on Tuesday, KCCI Chairman Chey Tae-won, who is also the head of SK Group, said that ERT is aimed at tackling anti-business sentiment and further building social trust on businesses among Korean people. The 76 members will constitute an ERT board. A board leader will soon be selected, according to the KCCI.

The ceremony was attended by 42 representatives from large, mid- and small-sized companies, startups, and foreign enterprises, including Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun, Korea Enterprises Federation (KEF) Chairman Sohn Kyung-shik, and Kurly Founder and CEO Sophie Kim.

ERT is a Korean version of Business Roundtable (BRT) supported by 243 American firms including Apple and Amazon, European Union’s Corporate Social Responsibility and Japan’s Charter for Good Corporate Behavior.

ERT announced five action pledges to boost entrepreneurship with a focus on economic value, ethical value, corporate culture, eco-friendly management and win-win cooperation with the local community. The ERT members will put into practice the pledges by addressing common and individual challenges.

Encouraging employees to sign off on time and let them enjoy their off-hours and joining a plastic-free day were presented as examples of common challenges, while Hyundai Motor’s ‘H-on Dream’ project to provide financial and networking support to young entrepreneurs was introduced as an example of individual challenges.

Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung separately pledged that the auto giant will strive to achieve carbon neutrality in the entire value chain of automobile manufacturing, use and disposal on top of the launch of electrified vehicles, expansion of hydrogen mobility, and participation in the RE100 (a campaign to power 100 percent of the company’s electricity with renewable energy). It will also strengthen the ecosystem of the automobile industry, which is in transition to the future mobility industry, and contribute to the creation of youth and social jobs, he said.

Kurly CEO Kim vowed to bring positive changes to not only consumers but also employees, investors, producers and small-to-mid size merchants through a sustainable retail ecosystem.

“We measure earning money, but we don’t for social contribution. We need to inform the public with accurate indicators of how much we make a difference,” Chey said, vowing to evaluate the progress of the ERT and individual companies` initiatives.

By Lee Yu-sup, Lee Sae-ha and Minu Kim

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]


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