08.06.2021 Press release

Hyundai Motor Europe launches two major sustainability initiatives on World Oceans Day

  • Hyundai Motor shows its commitment to its Progress for Humanity vision by supporting Healthy Seas and Divers Alert Network (DAN) Europe
  • Hyundai’s first clean-up activity with marine conservation organisation Healthy Seas takes place in Ithaca, Greece
  • Diver safety non-profit DAN Europe undertakes a European Sustainability Tour in a KONA Electric provided by Hyundai

Press material

Hyundai Motor Europe is celebrating World Oceans Day by supporting two activities to make the world’s oceans a more sustainable place: First, by supporting its partner Healthy Seas’ ocean clean-up efforts in Ithaca, Greece. Second, by providing the diver safety non-profit Divers Alert Network (DAN) with a zero-emission vehicle for their European Sustainability Tour. With its engagement in these activities on this internationally recognised day, Hyundai is delivering on its commitment to Progress for Humanity.

Hyundai is delighted to be celebrating this World Oceans Day with our partner Healthy Seas and Divers Alert Network Europe. As purpose-driven organisations, we understand the vital role that the seas and oceans play in the health and happiness of our communities. That’s why Hyundai is pleased to be working with Healthy Seas and DAN Europe to ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.

Michael Cole President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Europe

Marine pollution around Ithaca

An abandoned fish farm has been causing issues for the area surrounding Ithaca, Greece since 2012. Fish farming cages, nets, and other equipment have been left behind, polluting the natural environment. In September 2020, a major storm named Ianos carried tonnes of industrial materials away – from plastic pipes, concrete blocks, and rusty pieces of metal to fishing nets, nylon ropes, and plastic buoys. The various types of waste were later found floating on the surface of the sea, lying on the ocean floor, and scattered across beaches.

The resulting pollution from the hurricane-force storm has had immense after-effects on the surrounding marine ecosystem and the local community. Upon learning about the devastation, Healthy Seas, together with other partners, has mobilised its forces, and environmentalists, local authorities, and sponsors are convening on Ithaca to assess the situation and clean up the waters.

Healthy Seas’ largest clean-up yet

To restore Ithaca’s beauty and support the local community, Hyundai is helping Healthy Seas with their biggest clean-up initiative ever. The partnership with Hyundai enabled Healthy Seas to organise this ambitious clean up. Due to the great extent of the pollution, manual labour alone is not enough. Cranes and various other heavy machinery are being used to deal with large masses of pollution. On top of that, more divers and boats are needed. Hyundai is also providing mild hybrid vehicles to transport the crew.

The partnership called upon reinforcements to aid in the endeavour. The Dutch Foundation Ghost Diving sent a team of volunteer divers from the Netherlands, Germany, Lebanon, Austria and Croatia to Ithaca to carry out the underwater clean-up efforts. They are being assisted by local divers from Greece as well as Odyssey Outdoor Activities and Αquatic Dive Center. Healthy Seas, together with sustainable fishing start-up Enaleia are organising beach clean-ups and Kefalonia Fisheries, from the neighbouring island, is supporting the entire operation with logistics.

© George Lilas (Odyssey Outdoor Activities - Ithaca)

This activity has the goal to support the local community develop in a sustainable way and we are happy to have joined forces with the Municipality of Ithaca, the Prefecture of Ionian Islands, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs as well as local schools in this great effort. 

Aquafil will collect the several tonnes of abandoned fishing nets recovered from the clean-up effort. The so-called ghost nets and other nylon waste will be regenerated into ECONYL® yarn, a material used to create new sustainable products. In the framework of Enaleia’s Mediterranean Cleanup Project, the rest of the collected marine plastics will also be integrated into the circular economy.

The community in Ithaca has been asking us for our support since last year. This ecological disaster has had such a big impact on the surrounding environment as well as local industries, like tourism. Thanks to our partnership with Hyundai, we now have the financial means to support them. This is a major success not only for us at Healthy Seas, but also for the people of Ithaca. The clean-ups will last for about a week involving a 40-person team, most of them volunteers, including 20 divers.

Veronika Mikos Director of Healthy Seas

Healthy Seas is also documenting the volunteers’ journey to Ithaca on their website.

DAN Europe’s European Sustainability Tour

DAN Europe has organised a European Sustainability Tour to promote sustainable lifestyles and corporate responsibility to protect the oceans and waterways around Europe. Their activities advocate for clean and healthy oceans and seas because world economies, global human health, and life on earth depend on it.

Hyundai is supporting DAN Europe on their road trip through Europe by providing them with a zero-emission KONA Electric. The model is equipped with a 64-kWh battery for an estimated 484-kilometre range, according to WLTP. Two DAN Europe ambassadors, Alana Alvarez and Manuel Bustelo, will drive the electric SUV the entire 11,500-kilometre itinerary. On top of this, Hyundai will also connect the DAN Europe duo to relevant stakeholders, including environmental activist and Hyundai brand ambassador Bertrand Piccard.

The European Sustainability Tour starts on World Oceans Day in the central Italian town of Roseto degli Abruzzi. On 23 June, the DAN Europe pair will meet with Hyundai brand ambassador Bertrand Piccard in Switzerland at the environmental non-profit Solar Impulse Foundation. Later in July, they will reach the Healthy Seas office in Amsterdam where they will join the clean-up activities supported by Hyundai Motor Europe. You can also follow their journey on Sustainable Tour webpage and social channels as well on and the Hyundai Europe Instagram account.

About Healthy Seas

The mission of the ‘Healthy Seas, a Journey from Waste to Wear’ initiative is to remove waste from the seas, in particular fishing nets, for the purpose of creating healthier seas and recycling marine litter into textile products. The recovered fishing nets will be transformed and regenerated by Aquafil into ECONYL® yarn, a high-quality raw material used to create new products, such as socks, swimwear, sportswear or carpets. Since its founding in 2013, Healthy Seas has collected over 585 tons of fishing nets with the help of volunteer divers and fishermen.


About DAN Europe

Founded in 1983, DAN Europe is an international non-profit medical and research organisation dedicated to the health and safety of divers. It serves as the diving community’s one-stop source for peace of mind services. DAN Europe’s efforts seek to prevent injuries and promote the overall well-being of divers around the world, also providing the most accurate, up-to-date and unbiased information available on issues of common concern. They conduct underwater diving research and provide educational programs, to create a more alert diving community.


Disclaimer: CO2 and emissions data for KONA Electric

  • Electricity consumption combined for the Hyundai KONA Electric 39.2 kWh in kWh/100 km: 14.3; CO2 emissions combined in g/km: 0 (WLTP))
  • Electricity consumption combined for the Hyundai KONA Electric 64 kWh in kWh/100 km: 14.7; CO2 emissions combined in g/km: 0 (WLTP))


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