The Green Future of Cars:

Electrifying and Sustainable

In our exclusive interview, we catch up with Mr. Tomáš Vitoch, environmentalist at Hyundai Motor

Manufacturing Czech s.r.o., to find out how the automotive giant is committed to protecting

the environment. From environmentally friendly manufacturing processes to innovative green

measures, discover how Hyundai is working towards a more sustainable future for our planet.

How does Hyundai implement

the environmental legislation into its


Hyundai is a large company that has to

comply with both Czech and European

legislation. As far as ecology is concerned,

these requirements are mainly related

to waste management, water and air

protection, all together under the socalled integrated pollution prevention and

control. Biodiversity protection and other

CSR activities with an ecological overlap

are also included.

In addition, we are part of the environmental

management system, EMS for short.

This consists of the ISO 14001 standard,

which companies can comply with on

a voluntary basis, and which sets additional

criteria beyond the law to minimise the

environmental impact of companies'

activities. We are the only automotive

company in the Czech Republic to also

have the EMAS (Eco Management and

Audit Scheme) certification.

As part of our grand overall strategy, one

of our main sustainability visions is to be

completely CO2 neutral by 2040. We

are also, of course, addressing material

consumption, pollutant content and

waste reduction. We are gradually moving

towards circularity principles and want to

be as sustainable as possible.

You mention waste, what specific steps

are you taking to reduce its production

or improve its usability?

It used to be a trend to sort waste, today

we are trying to prevent its production

directly or to recycle as much of it as

possible. We recycle virtually all packaging

materials, those that cannot be recycled

can be used after further processing, for

example as alternative fuel.

From the point of view of sustainability

and circularity, it is not only important for

us to sort waste, but we are also interested

in the way it is further managed. That's why

we also want our suppliers to look for new

ways to dispose of their waste. We also try

to be proactive ourselves and therefore

look for methods or implement projects

to recycle waste back into production or

reduce waste. For many years now, we

have been returning waste solvents from

the paint shop back into production after

they have been processed. We are now

working hard on the possibility of reducing

the amount of sludge from the wastewater

treatment process. If we can bring this

project to a successful conclusion, we will

reduce the amount of waste by several

hundred tonnes per year.

we can bring this project

“to aIfsuccessful

conclusion, we

will reduce the amount of waste

by several hundred tonnes per


How does your strategy address the

shift towards green energy and the

reduction of the use of non-renewable


Across Hyundai, we want to save at least

20% of all energy resources and reduce

water consumption by 30% by 2029.

We purchase electricity only from

renewable sources since 2022. We also

have a project in the preparation phase

for our own photovoltaic power plant.

We want to gradually transform other

non-renewable sources as well, in our

case natural gas, so that we can meet

our carbon neutrality target as soon as

possible. Our upcoming waste heat and

water cycling projects will help us greatly

in the future.

Air protection is also a major issue in

the Moravian-Silesian Region. Does your

strategy also take this into account?

Although air pollution in our region is

mainly caused by particulate matter from

heavy industry or heavy traffic, in our

region we mainly produce so-called volatile

organic substances from the production

process of body painting. However, we

have afterburners in our paint shop, thanks

to which we meet all legislative limits with

ease. The largest of these is the so-called

Regenerative Thermal Oxidation, which

we call RTO for short. This system achieves

an efficiency of 97%.

Do you also encourage your employees

to contribute to environmental

protection, e.g. through awarenessraising events?

We have a number of such activities, we

cooperate with ČSOP Salamandr on the

restoration of Beskydy meadows. We also

support the Ostrava Zoo, for example. We

involve our employees in these projects as

part of volunteer days. We are also involved

in biodiversity protection at Hyundai - we

build bird feeders, insect houses, bat boxes

and much more. Our wooden materials

that would otherwise become waste were

used to make the insect houses, so we are

no strangers to upcycling.

Twice a year we also participate in the World

Clean Up Day Czech Republic event, where

our employees can collect waste around

their hometowns, for example.

As part of our big Hyundai Family

Day event, which we organise for our

employees, we focus on ecology in

cooperation with our suppliers. For the

second year in a row, every June, we

organize an Eco-Week awareness-raising

event for our employees, which this year

focused on municipal waste, not only

on its sorting but also its prevention. We

ourselves try to sort municipal waste into

six categories (mixed, plastic, paper, glass,

metal and bio-waste). We have sorting

bins in all our halls, but we try to motivate

our employees not to generate waste in

the first place, if possible of course.

Mr. Vitoch, thank you for the interview.

Text: Barbora Kubalová,

Věra Mrkosová, redakce

Foto: Kateřina Skupieňová ǀ 45