Kia GuangjuKorea – Despite a rise in global sales of 1.4% in 2013 to nearly 3m units, the OEM has achieved a smaller environmental footprint at its Guangju, Hwasung and Sohari plants, which made 1.31m cars and 1.26m engines while reducing their CO2 emissions, water consumption and waste.

The OEM’s three major manufacturing facilities in Korea increased production by 12,947 units but decreased CO2 emissions by 4.7% per car (29.4kg), cutting the annual total by 30,507 tons to 788,000 tons. By minimising the unnecessary use of equipment, Kia also reduced total energy consumption by 3.7% to 15,930 terajoules, or 596 megajoules per vehicle.

Water consumption was cut by 6% to 6.17m cubic metres through facility upgrades including initiatives to improve cooling tower overflow and increase water recovery from condensed steam produced during manufacturing, plus changes in employee behaviour. The decrease amounts to a 30% drop since 2003.

Waste output declined by 3.6%, or a 4.6% year-on-year decrease for each model, and represents a 26.9% per unit reduction compared with a decade ago. Of the 221,937 tons generated in 2013, 93.3% was recycled. The 10,381 tons of steel recycled represented a 5% increase equivalent to 494 tons. The results were achieved by implementing streamlined waste management systems to identify more opportunities for recycling. Landfill waste now accounts for 1% of the total; Sohari has produced zero landfill waste since 2008.

Kia aims to achieve ISO 50001 certification for all its production facilities worldwide; Guangju was certified in 2012, while Hwasung and Sohari are due to follow.