NGO sets out challenges for sustainable NR initiative

Singapore – The Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) has been officially launched with a view to addressing sustainability challenges throughout the natural rubber supply-chain.

The platform will examine issues such as deforestation, carbon emissions, and human rights violations within the rubber industry, said NGO and founding member Mighty Earth said 20 March.

The GPSNR consists of stakeholders with “equal voice” across the value chain, including major tire companies and environmental NGOs, the environmental group added in a press statement.

Monitoring the supply-chain for human rights and environmental issues are among the most urgent tasks for the GPSNR this year, according to Glenn Hurowitz, Mighty Earth’s CEO .

“It took a little while to get to the starting line, but… major tire companies are now racing to address deforestation and land-grabbing in their supply-chains,” said Hurowitz.

According to Mighty Earth, rubber plantations are an increasing contributor to deforestation worldwide, particularly in south east Asia and western Africa.

Another issue for platform members to address concerns the rights of forest-dwelling communities living close to industrial plantations, the NGO continued.

At least nine tire companies have so far adopted “transformative rubber-buying policies” as part of the GPSNR initiative, according to Mighty Earth.