Pursuing social value rooted in management for happiness based on
human-centered management philosophy
SK innovation pursues “sustainable social values” to resolve social problems in innovative ways through social enterprises and create stable jobs for socially vulnerable groups, including the elderly and people with disabilities for their self-reliance.
SK innovation is promoting the activation of ecosystems for social enterprises as one of the methods for creating social value. Social enterprises have a strength of adopting business methods in resolving social problems, making them one of the most optimal alternatives to handling social problems while governments, NGOs, and for-profit companies lack the capability. SK innovation provides a variety of supportive activities such as finding and supporting social enterprises and fostering star social enterprises to resolve various social problems more innovatively.
Since the dawn of social enterprises, SK innovation has been leading in the quantitative and qualitative growth of social enterprises in sincere and sustainable manners. In 2013, SK innovation discovered sustainable business models through the project of “Discover and Support Social Enterprises” for the first time among large corporations and provided support for those enterprises to secure business competitiveness through the sharing of the infrastructure of tangible and intangible assets.
Based on this, SK innovation has helped those enterprises grow into successful social enterprises or social cooperatives. In addition, we are striving to provide jobs and social services to vulnerable groups, mainly through the Ulsan site, by steadily supporting the nurturing of social and economic organizations in Ulsan.
Considering that because of the nature of social enterprises, it is highly adverse for them to secure business competitiveness and sustainability, SK innovation has recognized the need to nurture social enterprises that can be sustainable and self-reliant.
In 2017, we shifted to fostering star social enterprises, as well as selected and cultivated Chunnuri and Morethan as star social enterprises by taking into consideration the potential for growth and social value of their business models among the social enterprises we were nurturing.
The SK innovation actively shared its own assets and infrastructure such as consulting for business, enhancement of product competitiveness, publicity and marketing with the social enterprises, to improve their business performance and grow into star social enterprises. Then, SK innovation selected Usisan in Ulsan as the third star social enterprise and has been nurturing it as a success model.
Jeonju Bibimppang is the flagship bread product of Chunnuri. Its sales started to increase rapidly after the product gained a word-of-mouth recognition with the story of “It sells a lot while making no money.” Since its assistance in the initial investment for Chunnuri in 2013, SK innovation has built an open platform for it by sharing the infrastructure of SK group and affiliates, and has been fully supporting and helping it become a successful model of a star social enterprise.
As the business of Jeonju Bihimppang has grown, the number of employees has increased from the initial 4 employees to current 40 regular ones. Chunnuri also established an affiliated research institute and has employed a young and talented workforce with master or doctor degrees. In addition, Chunnuri has contributed to the vitalization of the local economy through the expansion of not only local foods, such as purchasing local agricultural products, but also associated employment and sales, such as consigning production through other small social enterprises in the region, and also through the revitalization of the commercial area of the old town area of Jeonju. Chunnuri has opened three more stores in Jeonju and Iksan, in addition to the main store, and plans to open a store in Jeonju KTX station in 2019. Based on the success of Jeonju Bibimppang, Chunnuri has been expanding by building an economic vitalization platform in the Jeonbuk region through the Jeonbuk Social Economy Alliance. Recognized for these achievements, Chunnuri received the 2017 Korea Social Enterprise Award and was invited to the meeting with the president as an excellent representative company in Jeollabuk-do.
Morethan is a social enterprise that produces fashion items such as bags and wallets by upcycling by-products such as leather seats and airbags that are not recycled from cars. Based on the knowledge of fostering star social enterprises, SK innovation promoted the sharing of infrastructure suitable for the fashion industry. In particular, SK innovation actively promoted the brands of Morethan through popular programs and celebrities through cooperation with entertainment companies.
In addition, the products of Morethan were launched as the first “Good Product” of the SK Store. As the merchandisers recognized the products of Morethan in their design and quality, the social enterprise has been expanding sales outlets by opening in the JDC duty free shop. Thanks to this growth, Morethan was introduced as a success story at the “2018 Global Sustainable Development Forum.” Furthermore, Morethan was selected as an exemplary enterprise for job creation in Korea and was invited as a member of the group for the state visit to France in 2018, having an opportunity to present a success story as a Korean start-up company at the Korea-France Business Summit.
Usisan, the third star social enterprise, is an environmental social enterprise that contributes to activating the local economy by developing as cultural contents products the whales of Jansaengpo of Ulsan, which do not appear again because of environmental pollution. Certified as a tourism venture company by the Korea Tourism Organization, Usisan has created jobs for vulnerable groups through various businesses that use whales in industrial cities as contents, and has expanded the cultural base of the underprivileged by holding exhibitions for local artists in gallery cafes. In addition, with some of the proceeds generated through various experience programs such as the Jangsaengpo Whale Museum souvenir shop and a post office in the Whale Culture Village, Usisan supports the research and various protective activities for endangered whales. Usisan will continue to create more social value as a representative social enterprise that protects the marine environment of Korea and transforms the industrial city of Ulsan into an eco-friendly tourist city.Go to Website
‘grape lab’ is a social enterprise that uses non-wood recycled papers instead of plastics to create products such as diaries, shopping bags, book stands, calendars, notes, etc., with aesthetic designs. They are focusing on three core values: Zero Waste, Sustainable Culture, and Job Opportunities for Minorities. ‘grape lab’ creates social values through their eco-friendly products and creating job opportunities for disabled artists. It is a sustainable design lab doing various experiments to solve environmental and social issues from a design perspective. They are spreading grape lab’s values and sustainable design products globally as well. They have participated globally renowned trade shows, including the Frankfurt Book Fair, NY National Stationery Show, London Design Festival, etc.. to introduce their products to the global market audiences.Go to Website