By Cho, Hyun-jin
Sustainability Management Team
November 24 in Seoul, Kia Motors lifted the covers off Cadenza in Korea (also known as K7 in domestic).
On the following day, Cadenza acquired carbon footprint labeling certificate from the Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute (KEITI). The label shows total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions created directly and indirectly through people’s activities or from every stage of a product’s life (including production, use and disposal) converted into carbon dioxide (CO₂), the representative GHG.
Automobiles account for 15-20% of total GHG emissions. Countries around the world are introducing stricter regulations and Kia received the carbon label to respond to these movements and express our commitment to making more eco-friendly vehicles.
In 2006, Kia expanded the application of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to its entire Kia lineup. LCA provides a quantitative evaluation of the environmental impact of a product’s total life cycle (including raw materials, production, use and disposal). As an extension of LCA, Kia sought the carbon footprint label for the Cadenza, a first for the automaker. Cadenza was found to emit 29.5t in carbon dioxide, with 11.8% emitted during the raw material production stage, 1.8% during the car production stage, 86.4% during the utilization stage (based on driving distance of 120,000km) and 0.04% during the final disposal stage.
To reduce CO₂emissions during the driving (utilization) stage, Kia improved the engine’s efficiency, outfitted the car with a six-gear transmission and environmentally-friendly tires, reduced the car’s weight, and applied an aerodynamic design to decrease CO₂ emissions from the car. Additionally, Kia is helping drivers adopt more earth-positive driving habits by introducing an Eco-Drive system and holding a contest for most fuel-efficient driving.
As someone who worked on the preparations, I can tell you that there were some bumps to acquiring this esteemed carbon footprint label. The unveiling of the Cadenza was moved up ahead of schedule, bringing it very close to the date on which we achieved the label. Also, after submitting the documents for certification, due diligence had to be conducted but scheduling was very difficult as the launch date and the final review for the certificate were only a day apart. Fortunately, the R&D center, plant and Planning Office managed to meet the tight deadline through close cooperation. I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone involved. If it weren’t for them, I’d be posting this entry in 2010.
We plan to add carbon footprint labels to all future models. Hopefully our efforts will provide the platform for more environmentally-friendly vehicles to help protect our one and only Earth from pollution.