MILAN — Pirelli & C. S.p.A. has created a digital platform dubbed "Being Fast Takes Time" that chronicles the effort it takes to turn rubber latex into a tire with emphasis on natural rubber cultivation in Indonesia and Thailand.
The platform features 30 black and white images from Italian writer/photographer Alessandro Scotti, videos and other elements, including Mr. Scotti's logbook of his journey through Indonesia and the plantations in the province of Chonburi in Thailand.
The project seeks to help viewers understand how precious the natural equilibrium is and follows the path on which Pirelli embarked in 2017 with its Sustainable Natural Rubber Policy.
That decision arose out of the ongoing multi-stakeholder dialogue conducted by the company to govern the sustainable and responsible supply of natural rubber along the entire value chain.
The platform, which consists of seven sections: the project, the journey, natural rubber, the community, nature and fauna, our commitment and from block to white, documents the meticulous process of latex extraction (taking three hours to fill half a coconut shell). It also follows the long wait for it to solidify — in harmony and respect of nature's times and rhythms — through to the final product, the tire.
These distant but connected realities illustrate the steps that separate the work and rhythms of the farmers from those of the technological world and industrial production.
The reportage documents the role of women; the life of the farmers, whose sustenance depends on these precious trees; the complex tapping technique; and the wildness of nature, where people live alongside elephants, orangutans and crocodiles.
"Pursuing sustainable development means always looking ahead to tomorrow, keeping it clear that economic, environmental and human capital are interdependent and should be managed as such," Pirelli Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera said. "We have always worked to create enduring value, based on the passion and skill of our people, and this approach is also found in our sustainable natural rubber policy."
Pirelli — which does not have its own plantations and therefore implements its sustainability strategy through partnerships with its suppliers — said it places people and the environment at the center of its policy.
Pirelli cannot do without natural rubber in the production of tires, according to Filippo Bettini, chief sustainability and risk governance officer, "so it is of fundamental importance to us that the processes involved in its cultivation and extraction are carried out in a sustainable way, respecting people and the ecosystem in the key producer countries like Indonesia and Thailand.
"Only with a responsible approach can we contribute to ensure the future of such a precious raw material and to the local populations that draw their sustenance from rubber."
The key elements of the project are the people and their 360-degree involvement along the entire chain: from suppliers to employees to local processors.
In his logbook, Mr. Scotti writes: "At the heart of this story are Sofyan and Maimunah, who are the first cultivators that I meet. They live in a stilt house immersed in the deafening sounds of the forest, a tranquility that bursts with action: silence of human activity and the impetuous din of invisible activities.
"It is the rhythm of nature. To synchronize you need to slow down. And do it in a determined fashion, to allow the time of nature to become the time of men."
As for Pirelli's natural rubber policy, in 2018 it produced an Implementation Manual based on active stakeholder involvement and published a Roadmap 2019-2021, which details the activities the company is undertaking to support its supply chain with the implementation of the policy.
Activities planned for 2019 include training activities to facilitate the implementation of Pirelli's Policy along the supply chain, partnerships with strategic suppliers to enhance the productivity of their plantations and mapping of socio-environmental risks and of forest areas to be protected.