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SK Innovation lets staff pick eco-friendly investments

June 13,2019
SK Innovation will offer financial support and advice to four local start-ups that work on environmental issues, the company said Wednesday.

The move is part of SK’s “green balance” initiative announced last month. Conglomerates investing in start-ups is nothing new, but SK Innovation’s method will be slightly different from other attempts in that regular employees will play a central role.

Each SK Innovation employee will be assigned 1 million won ($845) that can be used to support one of the four start-ups - a method the company explained is aimed at encouraging staff to invest in social causes. For every 1 million won invested by staff, SK will put up the same amount, meaning each staff member is actually responsible for 2 million won worth of funding.

The four start-ups are all social ventures with a focus on protecting the environment.

Ingine manufactures wave power generators that can be installed along the coast. Marine Innovation is a company that recycles seaweed roots and stems to create disposable goods such as cups that decompose in 90 days.

O2M makes disposable oxygen masks that can be used by firefighters and construction workers while Enomad makes portable hydroelectric generators.

Apart from financial support, SK Innovation employees will also be allowed to offer start-ups advice on their field of expertise.

The company added that it is also considering doing business in partnership with the four start-ups in the future.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]