SK Innovation Co

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
Seoul, South Korea
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: SK innovation appears to have limited engagement with climate change policy in South Korea. The company has issued top-line support for climate action and the Paris Agreement. However, the company has shown mixed engagement on the energy transition, in particular around the long term role of oil and fossil gas in the energy mix.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: SK innovation has positive top-line messaging on climate change, including climate science and the UNFCCC climate process. The company’s position on the wider need for climate change regulation remains unclear. In its Net Zero Roadmap report, published in July 2021, SK innovation stated that it strongly supports the Paris Agreement, and the goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: SK innovation appears to have limited engagement with climate change regulations in South Korea. SK innovation does not appear to disclose its positions toward, or engagement with, various strands of climate policy on its corporate website. In its CDP 2020 Climate Change response, the company disclosed that it engages with policymakers on the Korea Emissions Trading Scheme (K-ETS) on the ‘inadequacies in the emission credit scheme’, but did not provide further details. SK innovation did not make direct comments on the revised higher ambition for South Korea’s 2030 NDC emissions reduction target, first announced in August 2021.

Positioning on Energy Transition: SK innovation shows mixed support of the energy transition. In its Net Zero Roadmap report in July 2021, the company appeared to suggest that an urgent phaseout of fossil fuels from the energy mix was not needed, despite acknowledging the ‘limitations’ of fossil fuels. In an interview published in October 2021 on the corporate newsroom Myeong Seong, the CEO of SK innovation’s Exploration & Production arm appeared to state that oil and gas is ‘absolutely necessary’ while alternative energy and infrastructure is developed, without clear conditions on the pace of transition that would align the statement with IPCC advice. SK innovation has shown support for the decarbonization of the transport sector. In January 2021, the company announced that it had signed an MOU with the Seoul City government in order to improve EV charging infrastructure, and indicated that it would advocate for improved green energy policy to the national government through this partnership.

Industry Association Governance: SK innovation has disclosed a list of its industry association memberships in its ESG Report 2020, but with no further details of the company's role within each organization's governing bodies nor influence over their climate change policy positions. SK Innovation has not disclosed an audit of alignment with its industry associations on climate change.

In its 2020 CDP Climate Change disclosure, SK innovation disclosed its membership to the Korea Petrochemical Industry Association, the Korea Petroleum Association, the Korea Battery Industry Association, and the Korea Lubricating Oil Industries Association . However, it did not disclose and assess its relationship with the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) . SK Inc.’s (SK Innovation’s parent company) Chairman Chey Tae-won is the Chairman of the KCCI, which has actively opposed stronger ambition for both South Korea’s 2030 NDC emissions reduction target and for the Korea Emissions Trading Scheme (K-ETS).

A note on SK Group’s corporate governance structure: SK innovation is 33% owned by SK Inc., the holding company of SK Group companies. Companies that form part of the SK Group operate under the shared SK Management Sytem (SKMS), which is steered by the SK Inc. SUPEX Council. SK Group’s corporate website describes the SUPEX council as the ‘official highest consultative body of the management of SK Group’, and 18 of the SK Group affiliate companies sit on the council. SK innovation CEO Kim Jun is the President of the SUPEX Council Green Business Committee. SK Inc ., SK innovation’s parent company which houses the SUPEX Council, has made positive top-line statements on the energy transition and engaged positively on renewable energy in South Korea, but has also made statements opposing the need for climate regulation. SK Inc. did not support South Korea’s upward revision of its 2030 NDC emissions reduction target, citing concerns about realistic targets and a burden on industry. InfluenceMap’s profile of SK Inc. and its climate policy engagement will be finalized in December 2021.

Strength of Relationship

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.