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Hankook Tire strengthens policy to foster a sustainable value chain for natural rubber

2021. 09. 23

- Updates its sustainable natural rubber policy in alignment with Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) policy framework
- Makes continuous efforts to lead improvements in human rights, environmental protection and management transparency
- Aims to help improve smallholders’ living standards, upgrade quality of natural rubber and minimize environmental impact

Seoul, Korea, September 23, 2021 – Global leading tire company Hankook Tire further fosters sustainability across its value chain for natural rubber, a primary raw material for tires, through updating its sustainable natural rubber policy in accordance with Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) policy framework.

Hankook Tire had established a sustainable natural rubber policy in 2018 and is a member of GPSNR, an international membership driven platform set up to define sustainability for natural rubber value chain. Through the policy, each party of the natural rubber value chain, including producers, processors, traders and manufacturers are obliged not only to comply with the laws and regulations of the countries in which they operate but also to fulfill Hankook Tire’s requirements updated in compliance with the new GSPNR policy across diverse fields such as human rights, environmental protection and management transparency.

Guidelines for human rights include protecting customary, traditional, and communal land tenure rights of indigenous people and local communities based on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Hankook Tire also currently runs a Grievance Mechanism following the effectiveness criteria of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

In terms of environmental protection, prevention of deforestation, prevention of water pollution caused by the use of chemicals, prevention of resource depletion, and prohibition on development or procurement of peatland farming of natural rubber are regulated. Hankook Tire is committed to restoring natural forests and ecosystems along with endangered species and wildlife as well as to mitigating GHG emissions. Efforts should also be made to enhance transparency of the complex natural rubber value chain, which ranges from producers to end users.

In the meantime, Hankook Tire plans to increase its material efficiency to identify the most suitable cultivation practices while encouraging smallholders to receive related training. The company will also actively support partners to implement the policy through incentives, training and purchasing monitoring. In addition, Hankook Tire will conduct assessment toward their partners to evaluate their compliance with the policy at least once every two years.

“Sustainability is an agenda that we cannot compromise, and value chains are an integral part of sustainability management plan today. We know that for the future to be sustainable, we must reframe the way we operate and do our business with all the stakeholders involved,’’ says Sooil Lee, President and CEO of Hankook Tire & Technology. “As a member of the GPSNR, we are committed to legal compliance, community livelihoods, healthy, functioning ecosystems, and respecting all human rights in natural rubber procurement and production. Together with our supply chain partners, we will help improve the quality of life of the natural rubber cultivators, upgrade quality of natural rubber and minimize environmental impact.’’

Stefano Savi, GPSNR Platform Director adds “ Hankook Tire‘s alignment with the GPSNR’s policy framework reflects their commitment to a fair, equitable and sustainable natural rubber value chain. As more and more member companies align with the policy framework, we believe this is a step ahead for the industry at large as GPSNR finds 50% of the natural rubber demand represented in its membership..’’

Hankook Tire is continuously working towards promoting a healthy and sustainable global community, taking the topic of sustainability seriously. As a result, starting with its first inclusion on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices in 2011, the company has been listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) World for five consecutive years from 2016 to 2020.

The updated sustainable natural rubber policy that falls in alignment with GPSNR’s policy framework can be found on Sustainable Management page of Hankook Tire website(link).