SINGAPORE—The Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber, an independent platform designed to improve the socio-economic and environmental performance of the natural rubber value chain, is up and running.
Stakeholders in the natural rubber industry convened in Singapore for the GPSNR's inaugural general assembly, during which they approved the body's organizational statutes and code of conduct and formed an executive committee to oversee the body's strategic and operational activities.
Still on the agenda: finalizing the group's operational strategy, which will include the harmonization of standards to improve respect for human rights, prevent land-grabbing and deforestation, protect biodiversity and water resources, improve yields and increase supply chain transparency and traceability.
The GPSNR was developed by the CEOs of tire makers that comprise the Tire Industry Project of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. TIP announced the founding of the new organization in November 2017.
Representatives from nearly 40 stakeholder organizations—representing NR producers, processors and traders as well as auto and tire makers, civil organizations and affiliate members—attended the March 21 general assembly, the GPSNR said.
More than 50 stakeholders met in Singapore Feb. 5 for a workshop featuring founding members of the GPSNR, at which attendees agreed on a multi-stakeholder governance structure that included greater voting power for civil society members, the organization said.
As required by the statutes, the committee consists of representatives from each of the four membership categories: rubber producers, processors and traders; car makers, other downstream users of NR and financial institutions; tire makers and other natural rubber product makers/buyers; and civil society organizations.
Formation of the executive committee was a landmark achievement in the history of the GPSNR, Stefano Savi, the organization's director, said.
"It has taken considerable effort from all stakeholders to bring us to this point," Savi said. "We know that the real hard work lies ahead, but today from Singapore we send a clear message—the GPSNR is open for business."
Peter Bakker, WBCSD President and CEO Peter Bakker, added: "We are enormously proud to see the GPSNR take this important step. The commitment of TIP members to achieve sustainable natural rubber has been a crucial driving force in taking the GPSNR from concept to reality.
"Today, our members are joined by a growing and increasingly well-balanced GPSNR membership of rubber value chain and civil society members—the actors are in place, and the foundations for transformative action along the natural rubber value chain have been laid. Now the real work can begin."
Tire makers that are part of the GPSNR are: Bridgestone Corp., Continental A.G., Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Hankook Tire Co. Ltd., Kumho Tire Co. Inc., Michelin, Nokian Tyres L.L.C., Pirelli & C. S.p.A., Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., Toyo Tire Corp. and Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd.