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Respecting human rights

Our principles in all operations are fairness and respecting human rights, whether we are dealing with our personnel or other stakeholders. Our supplier self-assessments address sustainability topics important to Nokian Tyres, including human rights.

In 2017, Nokian Tyres Sustainability Workgroup members conducted a human rights assessment. It was done to all 32 human rights listed in the UN’s “Relationship between businesses and human rights” document, which was used as a normative. 

The assessment was done in three parts: own employees, supply chain, and customers & end-users.

Own employees

 We recognized four human rights related risk areas:

  • Right to health
  • Right to privacy
  • Right to life
  • Right to enjoy just and favorable conditions of work

An action plan has been created for these risk areas. Developing Safety Culture is a continuous project lead by Head of Global Safety. Our goal in 2019 is to reduce the number of workplace injuries by 35% compared to the 2018 level. In 2018, Nokian Tyres introduced a new Group wide risk assessment tool to identify work related hazards. It compiles all the risk assessments in a single database and thus enables to assess the possible problems in a centralized way. 

During 2019, Nokian Tyres will continue to have updated risk assessments in place for all of our workplaces and tasks. We encourage our employees to make safety observations and carry out safety actions with the goal of 2 safety actions per employee on average – resulting in 10,000 safety observations in 2019.

The procedural and documentation requirements introduced by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation have been implemented at Nokian Tyres in 2018. GDPR work is lead by Head of Information Security. The purpose of the privacy implementation work carried out in 2018 has been to ensure appropriate and safe handling of personal data of both employees and customers. We aim to increase the personnel’s awareness of privacy and data security matters, for instance by introducing an online training on data privacy.

The privacy work continues by specifying and further developing the required documentation and processes, for example by updating the Nokian Tyres’ privacy statements and further increasing the awareness within the company.

Way of Working, a project to make working more flexible and adjusted to global working environment, started in 2018 and is being lead by SVP People and Culture. You can read more about the project here.

We have several on-going projects concerning the risks detected and, for the time being, have found no need for additional actions.

Supply chain

In the assessment we recognized several (10) human rights related risks in supply chain: Right to health, right to privacy and right to family life being the most evident.

  • Right to privacy
  • Right to a family life
  • Right to health
  • Right to life
  • Right not to be subjected to slavery, servitude or forced labor
  • Right to freedom of movement
  • Rights of protection of the family and the right to marry
  • Right to enjoy just and favorable conditions of work
  • Right to an adequate standard of living
  • Right to education

Most of the natural rubber used by Nokian Tyres comes from the Southeast Asia. As an agricultural product, it is the livelihood of many families living in countries where the local legislation and working conditions have not been fully developed. Nokian Tyres expects its partners to adhere to our Supplier Code of Conduct, which expects the suppliers to commit to human rights, and prohibits the use of child or forced labor and discrimination, among other things.

In 2016, Nokian Tyres followed its sustainability plan and started auditing the natural rubber processing plants it cooperates with. Audits are conducted by a third party and corrective actions are suggested where issues are detected. Re-audits are then planned to ensure development. Actions in audited natural rubber processor facilities are ongoing and the results are promising: workers had shifted to more moderate working hours, they had resting days and water automats as well as education on their rights, to name a few. We have set a goal to audit all of Nokian Tyres’ major rubber processor partners by 2020. This relates to at least 80% of our natural rubber purchasing volume.

Also traceability remains problematic as the supply chain is fragmented. There are approximately 3-6 million farmers of natural rubber, who collect the cup lumps and sell them to local dealers. They collect them from several farmers and sell the latex then forward to processing plants. The processing plants then sell the processed natural rubber to global traders. Nokian Tyres only purchases rubber, which is being processed in the plants our company has approved. 

Nokian Tyres considers cooperation with the industry and other stakeholders as vital in improving these conditions. The tire industry has made a joined effort to move toward sustainable natural rubber also when it comes to labor rights. Nokian Tyres is a member of Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber, which is a platform established by WWF, several other nonprofit organizations, rubber traders and processors, and large tire manufacturers. 

GPSNR strives to increase the supply and uptake of sustainable natural rubber in the global marketplace. Members of the platform will develop sustainable natural rubber standards, mechanisms and guidance on the implementation, monitoring and verification of sustainable natural rubber commitments from companies.

Customers and end-users

In our assessment we recognized risk areas related to three human rights:

  • Right to health
  • Right to privacy
  • Right to life

In order to mitigate these risks, actions are on-going and there seems to be no need for further actions at the moment. We are continuously developing the best products that will ensure the safety of our end-users. This is how we can enable a healthier life and the right to life for them.  Our tires undergo several tests to examine the tire’s safety, behavior in a range of conditions as well as its durability and eco-friendliness, to name a few. We develop tires’ aquaplaning properties, grip, and handling, as well as rolling resistance and tire noise. We have also developed a free, digital scanning service SnapSkan to improve road safety. By using a drive-over ramp, it scans the tread depth of the tires and sends the information to the driver’s mobile device as an easy-to-read report.

Also Data Protection (GDPR) work is on-going, lead by Head of Information Security.