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 US; and ten sales offices across the world.
SK hynix has installed digital centres in the Republic of Korea to help seniors learn digital skills. Further, the company discloses the number of people with disabilities it employs and supports initiatives focused on increasing digital accessibility for users with disabilities. It also discloses its community investment as well as the income taxes it pays and its 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. Additionally, 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 tech roles at the company.
SK hynix has an opportunity to enhance its contribution to digital skills development among young professionals looking to enter the tech industry. Additionally, it should consider continuing its contribution to increase school connectivity, which it undertook during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company can also report the impact of its existing skills development programmes.
SK hynix can disclose additional details about its cybersecurity initiatives. Specifically, the company can provide 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 safety.
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 start-up ecosystem. SK hynix also has an opportunity to follow industry best practice by disclosing the ethical principles it follows in its R&D activities.
Core Social Assessment
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 rights 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 engages with stakeholders whose human rights could be affected by its activities.
SK hynix publicly commits to respecting worker health and safety, 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 it determines living wages. 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 can provide employee numbers in different categories for other indicators of diversity as well, such as age group and race and ethnicity. 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; however, it lacks transparency on the steps it takes to identify and address bribery and corruption risks and impacts. The company has a global tax strategy, but it does not disclose its income tax payments in individual tax jurisdictions