Nokian Tyres' value chain

Nokian Tyres' value chain

A tire is a truly global product whose value chain extends throughout the world. 

1. Raw materials

The main raw material groups in tire manufacturing are synthetic rubber, fillers, chemicals, reinforcing materials, and natural rubber, which makes up for approximately one fourth of a tire’s raw materials. We use more than 150 different raw material suppliers and we require that all our sustainability critical suppliers adhere to our Supplier Code of Conduct. We have conducted sustainability audits in rubber procurement factories since 2016.

(UNGC 1, 2, 4, 5, 10).

The cultivation of natural rubber mostly takes place on small farms. Its complex path to becoming a raw material for tires have a significant role in terms of the producing countries’ social structure. 

Here is an example of the natural rubber value chain:

Rubber production

Natural rubber forms one fourth of a tire’s raw materials. As an agricultural product, its production differs from the other raw materials. Most of the natural rubber that we use comes from Malaysia and Indonesia. Natural rubber is cultivated in forests, often on small farms. More than 85% of the world’s natural rubber is produced on farms smaller than two hectares in size whose daily output may be just a couple of kilograms of crude rubber. The crude rubber that Nokian Tyres purchases from traders comes from family farms and some larger plantations.


Family farms sell crude rubber to local wholesalers. Rubber is produced on a day-to-day basis: wholesalers go around small farms to buy their daily production. To get an idea of the number of these small streams, consider that natural rubber production in Indonesia exceeded 3 million tons in 2017*. Wholesalers, in turn, sell the crude rubber to processors.
(* Source: Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries)


Processing plants purify the natural rubber, process it as specified, and pack it for further use. 


From the processors, the rubber is taken to the international market via traders from who companies, including Nokian Tyres, purchase the rubber. The price of rubber is determined, among others, by the Singapore Commodity Exchange. Nowadays, even family farms are using their mobile phones to check the daily market rate.

2. TRANSPORTATION of raw materials

Most of the raw materials for tires are transported by sea to large ports in Europe from where they are shipped to Finland and the US. Our factories use similar raw materials that come from the same sources. This allows us to ensure the quality of our tires regardless of the site of manufacture: we market our tires everywhere in the world, and we can only guarantee the same high level of quality to consumers anywhere in the world through consistency in terms of the raw materials and manufacturing methods.

(UNGC 10)


We work globally with several subcontractors in various fields, such as construction, security, cleaning, data administration, maintenance, and logistics. Especially our factory in Finland is frequented by dozens of subcontractors. All new subcontractors offering their services are expected to commit to our Supplier Code of Conduct.

Before subcontractors’ employees are allowed to start working in our factories, they must pass induction training on safe working practices. We compare and select our subcontractors carefully. Close partnership with our subcontractors ensures strong relationships that benefit everyone.

(UNGC 1, 2, 10)


We produce tires in Nokia, Finland, and Dayton, US. In addition, we have sales companies in our key markets in the Nordic countries, Central Europe, and North America. Every day, our employees contribute to our continuous development efforts with their competence and ideas according to our way of conducting sustainable business.

(UNGC 1-10)


Our impact is directly seen in our factory locations. There, we are locally a significant job creator and a permanent part of the surrounding community: in Finland, we offer work practice and thesis opportunities, and in the US, Nokian Tyres has donations committees in Dayton, Nashville and in Colchester. Our purchases, salaries, and taxes as well as the dividends to shareholders contribute to well-being throughout the world.

(UNGC 3, 6)


From the logistics centers, the tires are transported to warehouses by land and sea.

(UNGC 10)


Nokian Tyres’ products are sold globally via the branded distri- bution network, Vianor and Vianor Partner chains, as well as through car dealership and tire stores. Vianor’s mission is to maintain Nokian Tyres’ market share and to support its brand in the Nordic countries. The purpose of our own Vianor chain is to help in the development of concepts for driving our customers’ sales and to provide deeper insight about our customers’ business and consumer needs.

(UNGC 10)


Consumers – the users of our tires – are the most important link in our value chain. The purpose of the safety, premium quality and unique innovations of our tires is to ensure consumers trouble-free and safe trips under all conditions. Around 89% of a Nokian Tyres' tire’s carbon footprint is generated during its use, which means that our product development efforts for improving the tires’ safety and reducing their environmental impacts are measured during their use by consumers.

(UNGC 7, 8, 9)


End-of-life tires can be shredded or granulated to be utilized in various applications. 

Retreading is one of the best recycling methods. If the carcass of a bus or truck tire is undamaged, it can be retreaded to even 4 times.

Another way is to combust used tires for energy.

As one of the original founders of Finnish Tire Recycling Ltd we are involved in their work of looking for new ways to recycle and utilize tires.

(UNGC 8, 9)

Back to Fundamentals or Read about our 7 Sustainable Development Goals