With the release of our all-electric IONIQ series comes to a new calling for us at Hyundai. This new calling is to bring humanity together to work together to combat climate change and make a more sustainable future possible – today. Not just for us, but for Generation One – the first generation that we hope will live in an emissions-free world. It is this calling that has inspired us to lead several social and ecological projects around the world so we can do our part to build a better and cleaner world. One of those projects is the IONIQ Forest in South Korea.
Making the air clean again
Back in 2016, we needed to find a way to deal with the fine dust coming from China and parts of South Korea. The air quality was awful, and people were getting sick, especially children.
The fine dust issue was fast becoming a very serious problem as the industrialization in South Korea was wiping out the city’s forests, which acted as a filter against the fine dust. In fact, forests that once accounted for 70% of the Korean peninsula in the past, shrunk to just 52% in 2015 and forests, 24 times the area of Yeouido, disappeared between 2010 and 2015.
According to the National Institute of Forest Science, a forest in Seoul, South Korea, could absorb as much as 42% of fine dust that was being produced inside the city area. It was time to plant a new forest – our IONIQ Forest.
Since 2016, we have planted 23,250 trees in an Incheon landfill site together with Tree Planet. In doing so, we have managed to reduce fine dust around the metropolitan area for five years! The trees in our IONIQ forest in Incheon are now fully grown and together they absorb 225 tons of carbon dioxide and 1,100 kg of fine dust per year, as a forest should.
Bringing the forest into the classroom
For many years, children in South Korea couldn’t play, learn about the world, and watch the changing of the seasons outside. The fine dust pollution kept them inside as the fine dust and other toxins were more dangerous for them than for adults.
To help make classrooms healthier, we brought our IONIQ Forest to them. By putting 10 air-purifying plants in each classroom, we were able to increase the humidity of the room by 10% and absorb 30% of fine dust and 20% of ultra-fine dust so that children could breathe clean air. Over the last two years, we have brought classroom forests into 924 classrooms in 33 elementary schools in the metropolitan area around Seoul.
Preserving biodiversity with IONIQ Forest Sinsido
In 2021, we started to create another IONIQ Forest – this time a conservational forest for native plants in the National Sinsido Recreational Forest.
We visited Sinsido island with Tree Planet in April 2021. Sinsido island is located 50km southwest of Gunsan-si and is the largest and most picturesque island among the 24 islands in the Gogunsan archipelago. This year, Sinsido Island became the designated place for the National Sinsido Natural Recreation Forest, but before it could become a conservation area, the island’s infrastructure needed to be repaired.
We initiated the ‘IONIQ Forest Sinsido’ project to repair the bountiful forest trails and preserve the island’s incredible biodiversity. Together with Tree Planet, we planted 2,300 young trees around the island. More than that, we planted 300 camellias to line the pathway to the Sun observatory. These trees are native to Sinsido and need to be protected. The camellia seedlings look like patches of grass right now, but in a few years’ time, these plants will become lush and dense and cover Sinsido.
Thanks to the IONIQ Forest Sinsido project, Sinsido is now a place where you can enjoy and protect the environment at the same time. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery by taking a walk along the forest trail, going hiking, going plogging, or helping to plant more trees to make the forest even more beautiful and the air even cleaner. In the future, we aim to bring even more people to Sinsido to participate in zero waste and carbon-free eco-friendly activities.
Exploring the IONIQ Forest Sinsido in the IONIQ 5
If you want to explore the IONIQ Forest in the best and most sustainable way, you can take an IONIQ 5 shuttle car which will take you around the entire island. Inside the IONIQ 5, you can sink into the seats which are covered in fabric made from recycled PET bottles, and admire the other luxurious and eco-friendly materials we have used inside.
Driving along the circular road inside the IONIQ Forest, you can enjoy the power of our stylish and sustainable IONIQ 5 at its best. Our IONIQ line-up has been built to be as sustainable as possible. By fitting our IONIQ cars with sustainable and eco-friendly materials, we’re showing how sustainable practices can not only improve our lives but inspire us to improve the environment around us.
Protecting oceans and replanting grasslands
Aside from planting forests, we are also involved in several other environmental and ecological projects outside of South Korea. In June 2021, we celebrated World Ocean’s Day helping our partner Healthy Seas’ by cleaning up the seas in Ithaca, Greece, and providing Divers Alert Network (DAN) with a zero-emission Kona Electric for their European Sustainability Tour.
One example is the Hyundai Green Zone Project – a global ecological restoration project that we have been carrying out since 2008 to combat desertification in Inner Mongolia. From 2008 to 2013, we covered fifty million square meters in the Chakanor and Apakachi regions of Inner Mongolia. Our efforts transformed the area from an alkaline salt desert, into lush fields of grass. From 2014 to 2020 we restored the Baoshaodainao Nur, Zhenglan Qi, and Haginor regions of Inner Mongolia into grasslands. Then, in 2021, we passed on the sowing method for the perennial plants to the local government, when they started the third phase of replanting in Caiyojungchi and Uranchapu City, also in Inner Mongolia.
We’re committed to building a better world. Are you ready to join us? Check out Hyundai Worldwide(@hyundai_worldwide) on Instagram to find out more about the IONIQ 5 and our commitments to the planet.