GS Holdings is a publicly listed downstream oil and gas holding company headquartered in South Korea. In 2020, it had USD 14.22 billion in revenue. It did not report its number of employees. GS Holdings has been assessed for its energy and power subsidiaries, comprising GS Energy, GS Caltex, GS EPS and GS E&R. The company lacks transparency on its emissions reduction and low-carbon transition.
GS Holdings does not report any public-facing commitments to reduce emissions. The absence of emissions reduction targets represents a risk for the company as it does not allow stakeholders to assess its commitment to the low-carbon transition. The company needs to set long-term and regularly spaced intermediate targets to hold management to account on the decarbonisation actions needed for the company to ready itself for the low-carbon economy.
Under the carbon budget constraints established by the Paris Agreement, the oil and gas sector is heavily reliant on low-carbon and carbon removal technologies to be able to continue with its current business models, including gas processing and combustion use. However, GS Holdings does not disclose financial information on its investments in research and development (R&D) on low-carbon and carbon removal technologies, which calls into question its commitment to the low-carbon transition and the Paris Agreement.
GS Holdings has several renewables projects across South Korea. These include a 2 megawatt (MW) wind power plant on Jeju Island, a power generation Energy Storage System (ESS) project, a wind power system with a capacity of near 59.4 megavolts (MV) in Yeongyang-gun, and Asia’s largest biomass power plant with a capacity of 100 MW in Dangjin.
It should be noted however that a significant proportion of the electricity generated by its subsidiary GS Energy comes from liquefied natural gas (LNG) fired combined cycle power plants, which have a total installed capacity of 1,503 MW. To transition away from fossil fuel activities, GS Holdings and its subsidiaries should focus on renewable power generation rather than electricity generated from natural gas.
GS Holdings provides energy efficiency services to its customers. Its subsidiary GS Energy provides energy efficiency solutions for buildings and industrial facilities through the application of unused energy utilisation technologies. GS Energy also imports efficiency absorption chiller and heat pumps for air conditioning to improve the energy functioning of power plants, industrial plants and buildings. GS Holdings can improve its performance in energy efficiency services by implementing and disclosing a strategy for promoting these services.
GS Holdings receives a trend score of -. If the company were reassessed in the near future, its score would likely decrease. With no emissions reduction targets, GS Holdings is unlikely to decrease its emissions intensity at a rate fast enough to align with its 1.5°C pathway. The company can improve its alignment with its 1.5°C pathway with the expansion of projects in biomass, renewable power generation and energy storage systems, substantiated by disclosure of the deployment schedule and profitability of these activities. With South Korea’s pledge in October 2020 to become carbon neutral by 2050, GS Holdings needs to rapidly phase out from coal energy generation to align with its 1.5°C pathway.
GS Holdings has few climate commitments beyond expanding its renewable energy production. The company has not set itself a clear low-carbon transition plan and does not have regularly spaced emissions reduction targets to focus action on decarbonisation.
GS Holdings has not announced a low-carbon transition plan and does not provide information regarding emissions reduction targets. It is unknown how the company plans to transition towards a low-carbon economy.
GS Holdings is still reliant on coal. Its Bukpyeong coal-fired power plant, for instance, has a capacity of 1,190 MW. The company reports that it will reduce carbon emissions and the use of coal with advanced technology for monitoring the plant. However, to align with its 1.5°C pathway, the company needs to phase out from coal.
The absence of near and long-term emissions reduction targets, detailed plans for developing low-carbon business activities as well as a lack of transparency, suggests GS Holdings is neither ready for nor committed to the low-carbon transition.