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Sustainable Natural Rubber Policy

Hankook Tire makes constant efforts for the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the natural rubber value chain.

Hankook Tire makes constant efforts for the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the natural rubber value chain.

Definition of Natural Rubber

Natural rubber, which is obtained from rubber trees that grow in tropical rainforests, refers to an elastic hydrocarbon polymer manufactured through the process of collecting and processing rubber tree sap.


Hankook Tire makes constant efforts for economic, social and environmental sustainability of the natural rubber value chain.


About 85 percent of rubber trees are grown by smallholders. As industrial rubber demand increases due to world population growth and improvements in the quality of life, it is expected that economic, social and environmental issues will arise. To minimize these issues, we aim for establishing sustainability throughout the entire natural rubber value chain by improving the productivity and quality of natural rubber, and reducing the environmental impact.

Natural Rubber Value Chain

  • 1. Growers: refer to those who collect natural rubber from rubber trees (e.g. rubber tappers).
  • 2. Dealers: refers to those who purchase natural rubber from growers and sell it.
  • 3. Processors: refer to those who purchase natural rubber and sell it as converted rubber bales (including traders).
  • 4. Manufacturers: refer to those who produce finished or semi-finished products using natural rubber (including Hankook Tire).

Sustainable Natural Rubber Policy (referred to as Policy hereafter)

  • 1. Support for raising growers’ living standards through improving productivity and quality of natural rubber
    • - We, Hankook Tire, will increase its material efficiency trying to identify the most suitable cultivation practices (such as effective improvement of plant breeding and development of agricultural techniques, etc.) and encourage growers to receive training (such as using productive fertilizers, or appropriate tapping techniques, etc.).
  • 2. Demand for compliance with laws and regulations, and code of ethics
    • - Members of Natural Rubber Value Chain (referred to as “Members”) shall comply with the laws and regulations of the country in which they operate their business.
    • - Members shall be responsible for compliance of Hankook Tire’s Code of Ethics and Supplier Sustainability Guidance.
  • 3. Demand for respecting and protecting human rights
    • - Members shall not force labor against the free will of their employees through physical and mental suppression of freedom.
    • - Members shall comply with the minimum employment age regulations of each country where they operate, and shall assign jobs/tasks for workers with consideration for impact on their safety and health.
    • - Members shall not discriminate against their workers based on their race, age, gender, nationality, disability, religion, pregnancy, unionization or marital status in their employment, remuneration and promotion, etc. Also, Suppliers shall train their workers on diversity and anti-discrimination on regular basis.
    • - Members shall offer communication channels between the companies/organizations/owners and their workers to resolve their grievance, and ensure its effectiveness.
    • - Members shall provide a safe and clean work environment for their workers.
  • 4. Demands for protecting environment and minimizing its impact
    • - Members shall not use HCV (High Conservation Value)* areas, HCS (High Carbon Stock)** areas, and peatlands for cultivating natural rubber.
      *HCV: High Conservation Value   https://www.hcvnetwork.org/
      **HCS: High Carbon Stock   https://highcarbonstock.org/
    • - Members are required to prevent deforestation and land grabbing for biodiversity, and minimize impacts on local communities.
    • - Members are required to use water resources in a responsible and environmentally-friendly manner, and minimize energy use.
  • 5. Efforts to prevent resource depletion and maintain sustainability
    • - Members are required to reduce the use of raw materials by improving manufacturing processes, products’ quality and materials used.
  • 6. Continued efforts for transparency and traceability of natural rubber value chain
    • - Members are required to continue efforts to build a traceability throughout complicated and diverse natural rubber supply chain ranging from growers to manufacturers.
    • - Members are required to actively participate in engagement with local and global stakeholders.
    • - Members are required to disclose plans and achievements to fulfill this Sustainable Natural Rubber Policy in a transparent and faithful manner.

Implementation of the policy and compliance with it

  • 1. We, Hankook Tire, conduct ESG assessment every two years with regard to suppliers' compliance with the Policy, and can suspend transactions when the significant social and/or environmental impacts occur resulting from non-compliance of this Policy.
  • 2. We, Hankook Tire, promise to develop our ESG assessment tools constantly.


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