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News Article

Hyundai to Support Ocean Conservation

By Alejandro Enríquez | Wed, 04/28/2021 - 13:53

Hyundai Motor is partnering with Healthy Seas, an ocean conservation organization, to tackle ocean pollution and nurture sustainable marine ecosystems while supporting circular economy. The South Korea company continues to bet strongly toward the cleaner mobility of the future.

“As a purpose-driven company, Hyundai understands that recycling and sustainability aren’t trends but rather a need for our society. Through our progressive, inclusive and responsible spirit, we are committed to the development of a sustainable society. This is why our strategy tackles environmental problems head on and works with communities to safeguard a sustainable future," said Michael Cole, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Europe, on a statement.

Hyundai quotes a joint report by the UN Food and Agricultura Organization (FAO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) that estimate that over 580 million kilograms of fishing gear is discarded in the ocean annually, accounting for one-tenth of all marine litter. "Hyundai has chosen to partner with Healthy Seas because the Dutch organization strives to combat this issue," said the company on the statement.

Healthy Seas is a Dutch organization focused on the "waste to wear" initiative, which aims to create healthier seas by recycling marine litter into textile products. The organization claims that all fishing nets it collects are transformed into ECONYL yarn, which is then used in new products such as socks, swimwear, sportswear or carpets. Since 2013, Healthy Seas has removed over 585 tons of fishing nets.

Hyundai will allow Healthy Seas to expand its programs by providing funding "so complex clean-up activities can come to fruition," says Hyundai. The partnership started on April 2021 and is expected to last for one year, with a possibility to extend it.

How does Vehicle Production Affects the Oceans?

At first sight vehicle production has little to do with ocean pollution. However, that is not always the case. About 147,631 L of water are necessary to produce a vehicle, according the World Water Institute.

Moreover, most of the transportation of auto parts from China to North America or Europe is by sea cargo. A car is made out of thousands of different components that must be transported across the globe. Marine transportation accounts for more than 10 billion tons of containers and generates “negative impacts on the marine environment, including air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, releases of ballast water containing aquatic invasive species, historical use of antifoulants, oil and chemical spills, dry bulk cargo releases, garbage, underwater noise pollution; ship-strikes on marine megafauna, risk of ship grounding or sinkings, and widespread sediment contamination of ports during transshipment or ship breaking activities," according to Walker (et al, 2019).

Where does Mexico stand on this regard?

Although Mexico has an extensive FTA network with more than 46 countries, the country has fallen behind on ocean protection and has only ratified ANNEX I, II, and V of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). This treaty was implemented on Nov. 2, 1973, to lead preventive efforts to avoid pollution of the marine ecosystem by ships. Mexico has yet to ratify Annex III Prevention of Pollution by Harmful Substances Carried by Sea in Packaged Form and Annex IV Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships, which could hinder' the country's logistics competitiveness.

Photo by:   Hyundai Motor Corp
Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst