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Hazardous Substance Control 

In order to minimize the usage of hazardous chemicals that may cause harm to humans and the natural environment, Hyundai Motor Company applies a strict and thoroughgoing system of management to the control of such substances throughout their entire lifecycle, i.e., from their extraction to their scrapping. The company has also extended this hazardous substance control system to its partner businesses, urging them to participate in less hazardous, more eco-friendly practices.

1. Global environmental expert network

Since 2012, Hyundai has operated a global environmental expert network called “Green”, to share global and domestic trends in response to environmental regulations, and to create solutions through collaboration. The fourth meeting of Green, held in 2014, hosted 70 experts from the planning and purchasing departments at headquarters in Korea, IT departments, research centers, and manufacturing plants in Ulsan, Asan and JeonJu. They shared information about environmental conservation and discussed possible areas of improvement. Presentations were given on the current status of hazardous materials regulations around the world, trends in domestic environmental legislation, such as the Act concerning Registration, Evaluation, etc. of Chemical Substances, and their impact on the company. The consulting group not only shares its professional knowledge, but is also aiming to create a consensus on how to respond to major regulations.

2. Management of hazardous chemical materials

As accidents and environmental disasters related to chemical materials are on the rise of late, so is the public awareness of risks associated with the use of hazardous chemical materials. Hyundai meticulously maintains an expansive database of the weight of every component it produces and of the information of every chemical materials it uses; and uses the database in dealing with various environment regulations. In 2004, the company joined international material data System (IMDS), to assess if its processes meet regulations on parts from the beginning of vehicle development, and to preemptively handle hazardous materials. In 2007, Hyundai developed the e-Chemical Management System (E-CMS), and has used the data from IMDS to create a database of chemical materials information on all parts used in all of its vehicles manufactured since 2005.

Management of hazardous chemical materials

  • Monitoring trends in regulations
  • Sharing information on the automotive industry
  • Sharing information on chemical materials
  • Collecting information on materials
  • Evaluating compliance with regulations
  • building a database of information on materials
  • assessing the status on use of hazardous materials
  • providing registration information
  • Use of eco-friendly replacement products

3. Policy to stop use of four major heavy metals

In 2006, Hyundai created its ‘global standard for four major heavy metals’, to prohibit the use of four major heavy metals in parts and materials in all vehicles. The company prohibited the use of four major heavy metals in parts and materials in new vehicles sold in the EU after July 1, 2003, and the prohibition was applied in Korea for new cars sold after 2008. In 2009, the policy was expanded to all overseas markets, and the company remains entirely compliant with this rule. Hyundai continues to develop alternate and safer materials for its vehicles where necessary.

4. Response process to REACH

Since 2007, the EU has had in place a new chemicals law called REACH ― the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals. Hyundai must also comply with obligations related to the registration, reporting, permissions and restrictions on chemical materials designated by the Europe Chemical Materials Office ― a violation could result in the company being prohibited from selling cars in the EU. Hyundai has therefore created a database of information on all chemical materials used in the manufacturing of its vehicles and parts inside and outside Korea, in order to minimize regulatory risks.