KOBE, Japan — Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. (SRI) has adopted a sustainable natural rubber policy in line with its participation in the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) announced recently.
Since joining the Sustainable Natural Rubber Initiative (SNR-i) established by the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) in October 2016, SRI said it has pursued independent sustainability efforts.
By participating in the GPSNR, Sumitomo said it is committed "not only to promoting more proactive, collaborative efforts that involve both supply chains and various other stakeholders, but also to redoubling our own efforts toward attaining natural rubber sustainability' in accordance with its own sustainable NR policy.
SRI said its new policy includes commitments to:
- Zero deforestation and environmental considerations (reducing its environmental footprint);
- Respecting human rights;
- Ensuring thorough compliance;
- Enhancing transparency and traceability;
- Improving agricultural productivity; and
- Promoting health and safety considerations.
Sumitomo said one of the most important elements of its efforts to become a more responsible corporate citizen is working toward achieving sustainable natural rubber, since NR is the primary raw material in its main product: tires.
SRI noted that growing global demand for tires brings with it growing concern about the problems that may arise from increased demand for NR, such as environmental damage caused by deforestation in regions that produce natural rubber or human rights violations associated with poor working conditions.