Neu-Isenburg, Germany, 28th March 2022 – Renowned rating for sustainable action: premium tyre maker Hankook was awarded the “S&P Global Gold Class” by US financial services provider S&P Global in its Sustainability Yearbook 2022. Hankook is one of the top companies in the sustainability yearbook, which is based on the S&P Dow Jones World Sustainability Index, widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost sustainability indices. For this year’s edition, 7,554 companies from 61 industries were evaluated. Seventy-five companies received gold, eighty-nine received silver and one hundred and six received bronze awards for outstanding achievement. The award underlines Hankook’s ongoing commitment to sustainable practices and ESG management (environmental, social and corporate governance). A recently announced project to support Indonesian natural rubber producers exemplifies the company’s activities.
S&P Global awards the Gold Class to only the top one per cent of companies assessed, and besides Hankook, only one other automotive supplier is among them. Hankook was recognised as the top performer in the sector, achieving the best rating with 78 out of 100 points. 2021 marked the sixth consecutive time the tyre maker appeared in the Dow Jones World Sustainability Index, which underlines the company’s leadership position in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG).
Hankook established an organisation dedicated to CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) more than ten years ago. Last year, Hankook established a new ESG committee within the board to strengthen ESG management. Through eight subcommittees, the company engages all employees in its vision of sustainability, improving its performance in this area. The company has set challenging goals and cooperates with stakeholders, resulting in a variety of activities that contribute real value to society.
Focus on Sustainability throughout the Entire Product Life Cycle
Hankook’s focus is on the sustainable value chain, for example. In 2018, Hankook published its E-Circle statement, which includes a strategy for sustainable material technologies. The company’s sustainable natural rubber policy, which was introduced at the same time, was updated in 2021 in line with the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) guidance. In addition to striving for a more sustainable value chain and reduced environmental impact of products throughout their life cycle, Hankook continues to donate to support the mobility of local social institutions.
“We are proud to receive this prestigious rating for sustainable action. The award is a testament to our commitment to a more sustainable future,” says Sooil Lee, President and CEO of Hankook. “To further drive our growth as a global acting tyre company, we plan to strengthen our social, environmental and financial activities globally.”
Example Projects of More Sustainable Natural Rubber Production
Exemplary of Hankook's commitment to sustainable natural rubber production is its pledge to provide a total of 6,000 litres of formic acid to more than 100 producers in Indonesia. Formic acid serves as an environmentally friendly and responsible coagulant for rubber production that contributes to greater occupational safety and health protection. Other coagulants harm vegetation, contribute to water pollution and can thus threaten biodiversity in wetlands. The tyre industry accounts for around 70 per cent of the natural rubber produced and consumed worldwide, and around 85 per cent of global rubber production relies on smallholders in Southeast Asia.
In addition, the tyre maker is also participating in a blockchain-based project on the traceability and sustainability of natural rubber. PROJECT TREE by ITOCHU Corporation, an international trading company, is the first step to establish traceability in the natural rubber industry by using blockchain technology. Hankook's goal is to work with its supply chain partners to improve the quality of life for natural rubber producers, increase the quality of natural rubber and minimise environmental impact.