NASHVILLE — Sustainability in the tire industry continues to be a key driver for the Hankook Tire & Technology Co. Ltd.
The Seoul-based tire maker said it has committed to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) by submitting its targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its operations.
According to Hankook, the SBTi is a partnership between CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project), the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
More than 3,600 companies in the world are working with the SBTi to set, measure and report science-based reduction targets in line with the Paris Agreement, a legally-binding international treaty on climate change.
Hankook joined the SBTi initiative in March this year as the first tire manufacturing company in Korea, where it is headquartered. In August, the company submitted its mid- to long-term science-based emissions reduction targets. The validation is expected in early 2023.
The company said it will reduce its Scope 1 and 2 emissions that occur during the production stage by 46.2% from its 2019 baseline by 2030. Hankook also has pledged to curtail Scope 3 emissions in its value chain by 27.5% from its 2019 baseline by 2030. This includes the reduction of all greenhouse gases generated from raw material acquisition, distribution, investment, production and other major business activities.
Hankook is participating in the Business Ambition for 1.5℃ Campaign — a call to action for companies to set targets to limit global warming to 1.5°C and strive for a net-zero future to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Led by SBTi in cooperation with international partners, more than 1,300 companies are participating in this campaign.
Climate change and sustainability are a core initiative for the company since 2010. Last July, Hankook launched an ESG committee within the board of directors to strengthen the company's ESG management.
The ESG committee accelerated Hankook's long-term goal of a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 from its 2018 baseline to 2030. The committee also created a new 2050 carbon-neutral roadmap including Scope 3.
Hankook said that since 2016, it has successfully reduced greenhouse gas emissions every year. In 2021, GHG emissions were reduced by around 54,487tCO₂-eq globally. This is a 3% decrease in total emissions compared to 2020.
In 2021, Hankook received the platinum medal in the EcoVadis assessment of Corporate Social Responsibility, given to only the top 1% within each industry sector. In 2022, Hankook was among several tire makers to be awarded Gold Class, the highest possible rating, in the Sustainability Yearbook 2022 published by S&P Global.
Meanwhile, Hankook recently published its 13th annual ESG report, which features the company's sustainability management efforts and achievements in 2021 as as well as its mid- to long-term Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategies.
Hankook Tire published its first ESG report in 2010. The report includes Hankook's achievements in each of the three priority areas of ESG: Eco Value Chain, Sustainable Product, and Responsible Engagement. These priorities are a key component in the company's ESG vision that was renewed last year.
The report details Hankook's roadmap to carbon neutrality. In addition, compared to the previous year, the report disclosures Hankook's efforts are more in accordance with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures' (TCFD) recommendations.
In May, Hankook established a corporate governance charter to lay the groundwork for transparent ESG management, following the ESG committee launch under the board of directors in July 2021. The ESG committee has eight subcommittees that focus on specific areas of expertise.
Hankook said it shares its vision of sustainability with executives and employees, and improves its ESG management.
The company first created a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) organization in 2009, and set up an EHS integrated management system the following year as the grounds for promoting company-wide CSR activities. In 2018, it developed sustainable natural rubber policies and made E-Circle declarations.
The 2021/22 ESG report is available here.