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Innovation Inspired by Nature,
Kia’s Sustainable Journey

With the belief that “movement inspires ideas”, Kia has been putting people on the move. Movement connects people physically and emotionally, and while bringing people closer, new ideas emerge. That said, movement does come at a cost. As a mobility company, the more Kia supports people’s movement, the more stress is put on our planet.

Kia’s vision to become a ‘Sustainable Mobility Solutions Provider’ has us looking for solutions that will move the world forward in a way that is sustainable. The core value of Kia’s sustainability vision lies not in the actions of one, but in the actions of many – the synergy created by people, organizations, and communities as they become motivated to take part and do something. Kia is seeking inspiration from our partnerships and joint endeavors that will lead to a bigger impact.

One example is content produced by National Geographic CreativeWork, that discovers some of the most innovative solutions, all Inspired by Nature. The story features the work of National Geographic Explorer Arthur Huang in pursuit of innovative technologies inspired by nature, a positive step toward a better future for everyone. Find out more about the innovative solutions inspired by the ocean and nature.

And here are some other sustainable moves Kia is making:

Harmony with Nature, Kia’s Sustainable Design Strategy

Design isn’t just about looking good. With sustainability as one of our core values, Kia’s design philosophy also embraces sustainable processes and solutions, ranging from colors and materials to finishes.

Starting with the new EV9, Kia plans to completely phase out the use of animal leather materials in all future products. Instead, BIO PU (Bio-Polyurethane) derived from natural components such as corn and eucalyptus will replace leather and PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride). With this change, we will reduce CO₂ emissions and toxic chemicals, while maintaining our attractive and durable designs.

Another focus for us is “BIO Fabrication” based on natural components. Take, for example, our partnership with South Korean start-up Mycel, which produces fungi-inspired biomaterials. Fungi are well known as “nature’s recyclers” for decomposing organic matter. The branching threads of fungal mycelia, called “hyphae”, can break down long chains of hydrocarbons, including elements such as plastics and unrefined oil. Mycel has focused on the role of fungi as a link between industrial systems and natural ecosystems. As a partner in this sustainable journey, Kia believes in Mycel’s fungi technology, which could liberate billions of livestock and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Move to Impact the Ocean, Kia’s Innovative Solutions

No doubt, plastic has brought about great progress for mankind, but its convenience is coming back to bite us. Plastic doesn't decay for decades and instead breaks down into mircroplastics that have become a serious problem for the Earth. Likewise, plastic drifting in the ocean poses a serious threat to the safety of sea animals.

To keep our oceans safe and clean, Kia is working with The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit organization that develops technology to reduce ocean plastic. They use a dual strategy of cutting off the cause by intercepting plastics in rivers, in addition to cleaning up plastic from the ocean. Kia supports these technology-based activities and has plans to receive ocean plastic recovered from the effort and recycle it, and even help remove plastic waste from the oceans.

For starters, The Kia Concept EV9 embodies future sustainable mobility by applying green materials on the inside – recycled fishnets for the flooring of the car and recycled plastic bottles and wool fibers for the seat fabric. The Kia EV6, Kia’s first dedicated electric vehicle, also features cloth and matting produced using recycled plastics – equivalent to 111 plastic water bottles.

Learning from Nature and exploring unique ideas with communities, Kia expands the meaning of movement into a sustainable future. To make a positive impact on the earth, by 2030, 20% of all Kia vehicles’ plastic parts will be made from recycled plastics. Now we invite you to join us in this sustainable movement. Join the journey, be the inspiration for others and make our common vision a reality!