TOKYO—Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. is implementing a sustainable natural rubber procurement policy throughout its supply chain.
The content of Yokohama's new program is based on the Sustainable Natural Rubber Initiative launched by the International Rubber Study Group and the Tire Industry Project, led by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Yokohama said in an Oct. 15 statement issued from its Tokyo headquarters.
"In recent years, the demand for tires and consequently that for natural rubber…has been expanding steadily," the statement read.
"However, this growth in demands has increased concerns about a host of problems, including unlawful deforestation, land exploitation, human rights violation and adverse effects on biodiversity," it said.
The new policy contains initiatives specific to Yokohama, such as its Yokohama Forever Forest Project, which is designed to help members of Yokohama's supply chain fulfill the company's requests for cooperation in sustainable procurement, the statement said.
The policy builds on sustainability activities Yokohama already has initiated, according to the company. For example, Yokohama has collaborated with universities in Thailand since 2013 to conduct research on natural rubber, it said.
Yokohama also promotes widespread use of an "agroforestry farming method" with local natural rubber suppliers to help Thailand's rubber farmers obtain a more stable income, according to the company.
Also, Y.T. Rubber Co., Yokohama's NR supplier in Thailand, has introduced a system to recycle and purify the water it uses at its facility, the tire maker said.
"Going forward, the Yokohama Rubber Group will work with all members of its supply chain to promote activities that conform to the Procurement Policy," the company said. Yokohama will post updates on its sustainability activities on its website.