In conjunction with representatives of social institutions, NGOs and the rubber processing industry, the BMW Group established the independent Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) at an inaugural meeting in Singapore in March. The aim is to make the entire rubber value chain verifiably sustainable. The automotive industry is one of the world’s largest consumers of natural rubber.
Rubber is made from the latex milk collected from rubber trees. In most cases, cultivation takes place in monocultures in Southeast Asia, across an area spanning more than eight million hectares. Over 80 percent of natural rubber is grown on very small farms – making it difficult to monitor social and environmental growing conditions.
The BMW Group only purchases natural rubber indirectly. However, since transparency and sustainability throughout the value chain are an integral part of the company’s philosophy, it has taken steps over the years requiring greater sustainability from tyre manufacturers. The BMW Group alone needs around 24,000 tons of natural rubber per year for vehicle tyres.
All GPSNR founding members have also committed to improve social and environmental conditions for cultivation and urge their business partners towards more sustainability. Additional measures will be implemented to combat deforestation and ensure greater supply chain transparency.
The Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber was initiated by the CEOs of the Tyre Industry Project (TIP), a forum created by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Over 200 of the world’s leading companies work together in the WBCDS to drive progress in the field of sustainable development. More than 40 organisations and institutions are currently participating in the GPSNR – primarily tyre manufacturers, suppliers, the automotive industry and NGOs committed to the environment and improving working conditions at international level. The BMW Group is the only automobile company also represented on the Executive Committee.
SOURCE: BMW Group