Washington – The tire industry’s Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) is “doomed to fail,” environment campaign group Mighty Earth has warned.
The GPSNR was launched 25 Oct by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) Tire Industry Project (TIP).
The “independent platform” to improve socio-economic and environmental performance in the NR value-chain, marked the culmination of a year-long effort by a working group of TIP member companies.
The working group comprises: Bridgestone, Continental, Cooper Tire & Rubber, Goodyear, Hankook, Kumho, Michelin, Pirelli, Sumitomo Rubber, Toyo Tire & Rubber and Yokohama Rubber.
However, no NGOs have joined the GPSNR, said a 25 Oct statement from Mighty Earth. The platform, it added, “risks being a green-washing scheme that does little more than serve as a forum for discussion.”
The environmental group went on claim that important NR stakeholders such as NGOs, ‘civil society’ groups and small-scale farmers were “prohibited from having a seat at the table.”
Asked to elaborate, a Might Earth spokeswoman told ERJ that NGOs, academia and farmers' organisations are excluded from the value chain committee, a key decision-making body within the GPSNR.
ERJ put these complaints back to a GPSNR spokesman, who insisted that industry stakeholders remained optimistic that NGOs would join the platform.
“We have valued their [NGOs] enthusiastic involvement so far in helping to defining sustainability priorities for the natural rubber supply chain,” the spokesman said.
The governance structure, he added, was not yet finalised but “is leaning towards a structure that reflects stakeholder ownership, expertise and capacity to implement meaningful change towards the priorities that industry and NGOs have agreed.”