Singapore – Some 12 leading tire makers have aligned their natural rubber (NR) policies with the policy framework of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) over the recent weeks, it was announced 24 Sept.
The tire makers, listed alphabetically, include Apollo Tyres, Bridgestone, Continental Tires, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Hankook Tire & Technology, Kumho Tires, Michelin, Nokian Tyres, Pirelli, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, the Toyo Tire Group and the Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd, said GPSNR in a statement.
As part of the commitment, the companies’ policies now feature major components such as commitment to legal compliance; healthy functioning ecosystems; respecting human rights; community livelihoods; increased production efficiency; supply chain assessment and traceability, monitoring & reporting.
“These commitments will help improve the quality of life of the NR cultivators, upgrade quality of NR and minimise environmental impact,” said Sooil Lee, president and CEO of Hankook Tire & Technology,
Also commenting, Michelin’s NR sustainability manager Edouard De-Rostolan said the ‘risk-based approach and the continuous improvement model’ of the policy framework will help GPSNR achieve its mission of ‘creating impacts on the ground in order to enhance the sustainability of the industry as a whole.’
GPSNR is currently working on an implementation guidance document and the baseline reporting requirements in order to ensure that the committed companies have enough support in implementing the policies.
“All GPSNR members are required to align with the policy framework, and it is heartening to see companies follow through with the process,” said director Stefano Savi,
The platform, he added, is expecting “many others to follow suit in the next few weeks.”
According to GPSNR, once adopted by all members, the policy framework is estimated to bring about 5.5 million hectares of land used for rubber production under the purview of sustainability commitments such as healthy functioning ecosystems and human rights.
It will also positively impact 3 million smallholders, GPSNR told ERJ, adding that the platform represents 50% of the world's natural rubber production and consumption.