MUNICH, Germany—German car maker BMW A.G. has joined the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber, a coalition of stakeholders from across the natural rubber value-chain, including many major tire makers.
The move is a "rather logical approach," considering the amount of rubber used in the automotive industry, the Munich-based company said.
"BMW needs around 24,000 (metric) tons of rubber a year for tires alone," the company said, noting this decision links to its efforts to combat climate change.
In a statement about joining the sustainability effort, BMW said in most cases natural rubber cultivation takes place in monocultures in Southeast Asia, across an area spanning nearly 20 million acres of land, with more than 80 percent grown on small farms, making it difficult to monitor social and environmental growing conditions.
"We have to avoid the production environment for natural rubber becoming like that for palm oil, which can lead to difficult, non-transparent social and ecological conditions in the regions concerned," Vanessa Buchberger, responsible for sustainable purchasing at BMW, said.