KOLON engages with society! – “We Together 2021”
-Pledging to build a stronger bond with society and offer creative solutions for the problems faced by the communities we serve
-Holding the New Year’s kick-off meeting online
-Emphasizing the need to institutionalize ESG-centered management and bring positive change to the sectors we are involved in
KOLON Group held its New Year’s kick-off meeting online on the 4th, the first working day in 2021, and proclaimed “We Together 2021” aimed at achieving co-growth with society. The online kick-off meeting was broadcast via the in-house broadcasting channel, intranet, and mobile app to enable employees to watch the meeting free from the constraints of their location.
The One & Only Committee, the council of CEOs of the Group’s major subsidiaries, announced through its New Year’s message that “We Together 2021” has been selected as the bond-building campaign of 2021.
“We Together 2021” conveys the message that the entire KOLON family must strive to build a stronger bond and share what it has with customers and society. It highlights the Group’s determination to take the lead in fulfilling corporate social responsibility and uphold social values.
It said, “The current situation sheds light on the importance of connection and solidarity. The value of a life shared with others within the community continues to grow as we are compelled to maintain physical distance from one another, and the Group shall remain attentive to the needs of the communities it serves as a responsible member of society.”
The Committee stressed, “The KOLON family must strive to take the equation for success unique to the Group (adding our hearts, multiplying our wisdom, and dividing difficulties) to the next level and share it with customers and society to make progress together.”
To encourage all to focus on the realization of “We Together 2021”, the Committee said, “The KOLON family must remember to utilize our competence and technologies for offering creative solutions for problems faced by society and take the lead in putting them into practice.”
The Committee offered the Group’s support activities for those struck by COVID-19 last year as an example. The Group produced MB filters for face masks around-the-clock to resolve the mask shortage and supplied them to SMEs for free. It also took advantage of its differentiated technologies and competence to contribute to the wellness of the public as evidenced by its donation of module-type negative-pressure units for severely ill COVID-19 patients.
The Committee also proposed actions to take. First, it highlighted the need to enhance the value of the Group’s products, services, and brand through social solidarity to achieve co-growth with customers and communities based on the system that allows different subsidiaries and business units to cooperate with members of society for problem-solving.
In addition, the Committee emphasized the importance of enhancing environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG). It stated, “ESG-centered management with a focus on the enhancement of each element is not optional but mandatory. We must institutionalize and strictly follow standards for ESG in a preemptive manner to build a better KOLON Group that puts social responsibility above profit.”
The Committee added, “Corporations that fail to learn from the past and reflect on their footsteps are bound to be weeded out. All experiences accumulated, both successes and failures, must be archived without exception. Leaders must be able to distinguish between what is to be inherited and what is to be changed based on a thorough understanding of the sectors involved and be evaluated based on this ability.”
After the kick-off meeting, employees put on the badge for this year’s campaign and renewed their resolution, continuing the Group’s “badge management” tradition for the ninth consecutive year. This year’s badge was designed to embody two hands held together to reflect the message of “We Together 2021”. All employees of KOLON Group will be wearing this badge throughout 2021.
KOLON Glotech advances into the antibacterial material market with Q-PLUS.
-Antibacterial power of Q-PLUS made with copper is scientifically proven.
-Q-PLUS is being applied to face masks and air purifiers, and the company is spurring the expansion of its application, including the interior of vehicles.
KOLON Glotech (CEO Kim Yeong-bom) is ready to advance into the antibacterial material market with Q+ (Q-PLUS) equipped with outstanding antibacterial power. Q-PLUS is the brand name for a functional antibacterial material developed by the company, which is evaluated to excel in blocking various bacteria and viruses, including the influenza and bird flu viruses, as well as fungus.
Q-PLUS is made by applying copper sulfide (CuS), an inorganic antibacterial agent* harmless to humans, to fibers such as nylon and polyester and is known to block and destroy 99.99% of bacteria, fungus, and viruses. Since 2015, KOLON Glotech has focused on R&D to add an antiviral function to the existing antibacterial materials. It succeeded in developing a new engineering technique after five years of unyielding efforts and released the antiviral Q-PLUS. Q-PLUS is currently being applied to face masks, and some of the air purifiers being marketed in Korea are equipped with HEPA filters made with Q-PLUS. The company plans to expand the product categories that have Q-PLUS applied to include vehicle interior materials produced by KOLON Glotech (seat covers, synthetic leather, etc.).
In November, KOLON Glotech conducted an antiviral effect test for Q-PLUS in collaboration with the team led by Professor Seong Baik-lin (head of Vaccine Innovative Technology Alliance Korea) of Yonsei University College of Medicine, Korea’s leading virus-related research institution, which successfully proved Q-PLUS’s resistance to diverse viruses. In this test, the influenza and bird flu viruses were applied to products containing Q-PLUS made with copper, and 99.9% of the viruses were found to have been destroyed within five minutes. KOLON Glotech has also commissioned Microchem Laboratory, an FDA-accredited testing institution in the US, to test Q-PLUS’s antiviral effect for COVID-19, and the results are expected to come out in early 2021.
Q-PLUS boasts semi-permanent durability with 99.9% of its antibacterial effect maintained after 50 washes and various advantages including no harmful impact on the human body and no skin irritation, thus making it suitable to be applied to a wide spectrum of products. Its 0-grade antifungal power that eliminates the possibility of fungus growth and the deodorization function have been proven by accredited testing institutions such as the Korea Testing & Research Institute and FITI Testing & Research Institute.
CEO Kim Yeong-bom of KOLON Glotech said, “The demand for antibacterial products continues to grow with the prolonged impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the emergence of a contact-free lifestyle. We plan to expand the application of Q-PLUS to healthcare, hygiene, automotive materials, etc.”
Inorganic antibacterial agent
Antibacterial agents add an antibacterial property to diverse materials such as plastics and textiles and can be divided into organic and inorganic types. The inorganic type is made with inorganic matter such as gold, silver, copper, and zinc that are highly antibacterial and stable in structure. Thus, it is safer, does not generate resistant bacteria, and has semi-permanent antibiotic persistence. On the contrary, the organic type, while it is made with organic compounds such as chlorine, phenol, and alcohol and thus has outstanding antibacterial power, is likely to generate resistant bacteria and toxicity and is less safe on humans.
KOLON Industries establishes its membrane mass-production system for fuel cell electric vehicles.
-The membrane mass-production line for fuel cell electric vehicles at Gumi Production Plant is now complete and ready to roll out products from next year onwards.
-It will be applied to MEA developed fully by KOLON and reinforce the competitiveness of this key fuel cell material.
-It is expected to have a positive impact on the ESS and water electrolysis businesses.
KOLON Industries (CEO Jang Hui-goo) established a mass-production system for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM), which is a key material for fuel cells mounted on fuel cell electric vehicles. This is expected to serve as a cornerstone for the company to preempt the related market and keep pace with the hydrogen economy.
KOLON Industries plans to complete the construction of the PEM mass-production line at Gumi Production Plant within this month, carry out a trial run, and begin manufacturing in full scale next year, all within a year since its investment in the mass-production of fluorocarbon PEM prior to the mass-production of hydrocarbon PEM was decided last September to advance the point of commercialization.
PEM is one of the four components of the fuel cell and a separation membrane with selective permeability. Hydrogen gas from the outside divides into hydrogen ions and electrons in the electrode layer, and these electrons create an electric current along the conducting wires.
Through the construction of this system, KOLON Industries also gained the production foundation for membrane electrode assembly (MEA). KOLON Industries already retains the patented interface control technology to optimize the performance and reinforce the durability of MEA created by combining PEM with electrode. KOLON Industries is the only domestic company that manufactures PEM and MEA at the same time, which is expected to stabilize factors such as the supply and demand of raw materials, performance, price, etc. In particular, the newly installed PEM mass-production system is capable of manufacturing the separation membrane applied to the redox flow battery for energy storage system (ESS), a sector displaying rapid growth, and water electrolysis for eco-friendly hydrogen production. The company is also conducting R&D on hydrocarbon PEM under the aim of early commercialization and is gradually expanding its hydrogen and eco-friendly businesses.
Based on the industry’s projection, the MEA sector will be worth over KRW 3 trillion and the PEM sector over KRW 1 trillion in the global fuel cell market by 2025 when fuel cell electric vehicle production will go into high gear. Further exponential growth is anticipated afterwards. Executive Director Lee Moo-seok, who is in charge of the fuel cell business at KOLON Industries, stated, “We expect that the new PEM mass-production system will create synergy with the existing membrane humidifier business and help us elevate to new heights. Our superior technological prowess will drive us to solidify our foothold as the global leader.”
KOLON Industries is also spurring the development of MEA. The company aims to initiate its application to domestic buildings step-by-step next year and expand the facilities to start its mass-production and full-scale sale by 2022. It secured exclusive technology in 2016 through the licensing agreement with Gore and the purchase of Samsung SDI’s research equipment and key patents. Based on this, it plans to take part in the fuel cell system development projects of its customers to advance into China’s driving MEA market and Europe’s automotive MEA market, both of which are projected to expand dramatically by 2022-2025.
*Note1: Fuel cell and MEA
The heart of the fuel cell power system is the stack that generates electricity, in which MEA plays the central role. MEA is where the chemical reaction that leads to the generation of electricity occurs. MEA consists of PEM, which influences the movements of hydrogen ions and water, and an anode on one side and a cathode on the other. Hydrogen gas from the outside is separated into hydrogen ions and electrons when reacting with the catalyst of the anode. The electrons generate an electric current through an external circuit, while the hydrogen ions pass through PEM and combine with oxygen (combined with electrons) in the cathode to create water. The principle of a fuel cell is often explained in a simple manner by saying that hydrogen supplied from the outside combines with oxygen in the air and generates electricity and water. MEA plays a central role in this process. In general, the fuel cell stack accounts for 40-50% of the total production cost of a fuel cell electric vehicle, and MEA accounts for approximately 40% of the production cost of the fuel cell stack.
The 600th issue of KOLON Group’s newsletter is published.
-The 600th issue of KOLON was published in October 2020.
-Since 1967, KOLON has served as a platform for communication among its employees over the past 53 years.
-Its legacy with over 5,000 copies continues.
-Honorary Chairman Lee Woong-yeul sent a congratulatory message, saying, “The newsletter represents the footsteps of the KOLON family. It is a diary that contains all the precious memories we have shared. I hope it remains an important communication channel that contributes to KOLON’s progress.”
KOLON Group published the 600th issue of KOLON in October 2020, 53 years after the publication of the 1st issue of the Group’s newsletter (then entitled KOLON News) in August 1967.
KOLON is a testament to the Group’s continued commitment to archiving moments of excitement and excellence. It has served as a channel for sharing information and news related to KOLON Group, shedding light on the path towards success, and instilling pride in employees.
The specially designed 600th issue featured congratulatory messages from the CEOs of KOLON Group’s family of companies and interviews of working-level staff members in fuel cell, wind power, automotive electronics, and new materials, which provide an outlook on the Group’s future. It introduced the Success Puzzle Session, KOLON Festival, Open It, and Cross-Functional Communication, which are corporate culture traditions centered on the passion unique to the Group, and looked back on the Group’s footsteps in reaching out to the communities it serves to achieve coprosperity over the past five decades.
Photos of employees, who are both the stars and readers of the newsletter, trying to depict the number “600” with their bodies and the results of the survey of employees on the significance, value, and future direction of the newsletter were also featured to engage employees in the celebration of the publication of the 600th issue.
Honorary Chairman Lee Woong-yeul, who introduced himself as a KOLON enthusiast, said, “The newsletter represents the footsteps of the KOLON family. It is a diary that contains all the precious memories we have shared. I hope it goes beyond an archive of past memories and remains an important communication channel that contributes to KOLON’s progress.”
KOLON Group’s newsletter has continued to evolve until it reached its 600th issue and has been offered via diverse platforms such as online and mobile. Although more and more companies are joining the trend of forgoing printed newsletters due to the emergence of digital platforms, the Group continues the tradition of conventional newsletter publication by printing over 5,000 copies each month to ensure easy access by all generations of readers. This practice is welcomed by those on the business front lines with limited access to the online version and those who prefer to read the traditional paper version. The paper version is sent by post every month to the homes of employees who subscribe to the newsletter to reach out to their family members as well. The major content of each issue is provided via SNS channels and the Group’s website to serve those who find the digital subscription environment more convenient.
The newsletter is created based on a system that ensures the involvement of a wide range of employees through the Owl Reporters, which is an in-house reporter group consisting of employees from different subsidiaries and workplaces, to better mobilize the latest news within and outside of the Group.
Auto Parts & IT
KOLON provide the best value to our customers by automotive parts and IT convergence, a service based on new materials technology.
The environmental infrastructure and green energy projects will create a healthy and more clean future environment.
KOLON's 20 various brands and Portfolio enhance the value and competitiveness in the global market.
By means of core material development, KOLON will create a better life than now.
Bio &Health Care
KOLON jumps up to become a global leader in the pharmaceutical industry by a technical partnership with the developed countries and a new medicine.
A engineering and construction business based on expertise and know-how is expanding its position as global marketers with new markets.