SK hynix, headquartered in the Republic of Korea, is a semiconductor manufacturing company established in 1983. It has a global presence spanning production sites in China; research and development (R&D) centres in Belarus, China, Italy, Taiwan and the United States; and ten sales offices across the world.
SK hynix has installed digital centres in the Republic of Korea to help seniors learn digital skills. The company discloses the number of its employees with disabilities and supports initiatives focused on accessibility for users with disabilities. It also discloses its community investments as well as income taxes paid and employment numbers for its main subsidiaries.
SK hynix’s Heinstein programme teaches coding to approximately 1,000 children every year from underserved communities in the Republic of Korea. In order to support online education, the company also donated tablets to children from low-income families in the Republic of Korea to help them stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
SK hynix supports the tech innovation ecosystem through a competition for social start-ups. The company demonstrates support for inclusive and diverse innovation by disclosing the locations of its research and development (R&D) facilities and, for the first time, reporting the number of women employees engaged in technical roles at the company.
SK hynix has an opportunity to enhance its contribution to digital inclusion by supporting digital skills development among young professionals looking to enter the tech industry. Additionally, the company can report the impact of its existing skills development programmes.
SK hynix can disclose additional details about its cybersecurity initiatives. Specifically, the company can provide additional information about how responsibility for cybersecurity is managed at the senior level and how security incidents are monitored and responded to. Furthermore, as a digital company, SK hynix should make a high-level commitment to child online protection.
There is an opportunity for SK hynix to demonstrate support for open standards and collaborate on initiatives in this area. The company can also consider strengthening its support for the tech innovation ecosystem. SK hynix has an opportunity to follow industry best practice and disclose the ethical principles it follows for its R&D activities.
Core social indicators
The core social indicators assess societal expectations of business conduct that companies should meet if they aspire to be part of a system transformation that leaves no one behind.
SK hynix commits to respecting human rights and the ILO core labour rights. However, the company does not require its business relationships to commit to respecting all of the ILO core labour rights, including the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. SK hynix identifies, assesses and takes action to address salient human rights risks in its own operations and in its business relationships. Furthermore, the company provides grievance mechanisms accessible to both workers and external stakeholders to raise human rights concerns and complaints. SK hynix describes the stakeholders it engages with in general, but does not specify whether it specifically engages with stakeholders whose human rights could be affected by its activities.
SK hynix publicly commits to respecting the health and safety of workers, but it does not disclose quantitative health and safety information, such as the rate of high-consequence work-related injuries. The company is also not explicit in stating that it does not require workers to work more than regular and overtime hours. SK hynix provides no relevant evidence in relation to paying its workers a living wage, such as describing how living wages are determined. However, it does disclose information on the proportion of its workforce covered by collective bargaining agreements. In relation to workforce diversity, the company provides a breakdown of employees in different employee categories by gender. However, it does not disclose against any other indicators of diversity per employee category. Additionally, the company does not have a public commitment to support gender equality and women’s empowerment.
SK hynix has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption and it takes steps to identify and address bribery and corruption risks and impacts. The company has a global tax strategy, but it does not disclose income tax payments in individual tax jurisdictions. In relation to lobbying and political engagement, SK hynix states that it does not make political contributions in line with the Political Funds Act.