Hankook Tire introduces policy for rubber supply chain sustainability

Hankook Tire is the latest tyre maker to establish a policy setting out social responsibility within the natural rubber value chain. The policy aims to ensure each link in the natural rubber supply chain is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.

By establishing a sustainable value chain for natural rubber, Hankook Tire plans to help improve the overall quality of life of natural rubber growers, who are generally smallholders, as well as to lift natural rubber productivity and quality.

Through the policy, each party of the natural rubber value chain, including growers, dealers, processors and manufacturers, are obliged not only to comply with the laws and regulations of the countries in which they operate but also to fulfil their social responsibility in regards to human rights, environment and management transparency.

Guidelines for human rights include respect for employees’ free will for labour, compliance with the minimum employment age regulations of each country and prohibition of discrimination. Environmental guidelines regulate the conservation of biodiversity, utilisation of environmentally friendly water resources, optimisation of energy usage, and prevention of resource depletion. Measures to enhance transparency of the complex natural rubber value chain, which ranges from growers to manufacturers, are also covered.

Hankook Tire will conduct a biennial CRS assessment to evaluate its partners’ compliance with the policy. The tyre maker anticipates that they will jointly “make great efforts to minimise the social and environmental impacts that might result from non-compliance.”

Yokohama Rubber also announced its implementation of a similar policy earlier this month.

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