Singapore – Natural rubber ‘stakeholders’ on 25 Oct announced the launch of an “independent platform to lead improvements in the socio-economic and environmental performance of the natural rubber value chain.”
The Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) includes manufacturers of tires and general rubber products, suppliers and processors, vehicle makers and NGOs.
By aligning priorities and standards across the NR supply chain, the GPSNR aims to “improve respect for human rights, prevent land-grabbing and deforestation, protect biodiversity and water resources, improve yields, and increase supply chain transparency and traceability.”
The platform was initiated by CEOs of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Tire Industry Project (TIP) in November 2017.
The initiative has since been led by a working group of member companies of the TIP – Bridgestone, Continental, Cooper Tire & Rubber, Goodyear, Hankook, Kumho, Michelin, Pirelli, Sumitomo Rubber, Toyo Tire & Rubber and Yokohama Rubber.
The tire industry consumes around 70% of natural rubber and demand is growing, Peter Bakker, president and CEO of WBCSD said at the launch ceremony.
“This throws into sharp relief the social, economic and environmental opportunities associated with this important commodity,” Bakker commented.
The launch included the signing of a GPSNR member statement by the 11 members of TIP, and Ford Motor Co., Halcyon Agri Corp. Ltd, ITOCHU Corp., Kirana Megatara, SIPEF, Socfin Group, and Southland Global PTE Ltd.
The WBCSD’s TIP will financially support the platform during start-up and its first two years of operation to ensure basic operations while a paying membership base is established.
Despite industry backing the GPSNR will remain indepent, insisted Anne-Cécile Remont, director WBCSD TIP: “Once officially launched, the platform will be independently managed, with governance and decision making overseen by a representative group of stakeholders.”