HANOVER, Germany — Hoping to provide greater transparency to its natural-rubber supply practices, Continental A.G. is turning to a digital trading platform, HeveaConnect, for some of its NR purchasing.
"Our goal is to procure all materials from responsible sources," Andrea Appel, head of purchasing at Continental's tires business unit, said. "The key to achieving this lies in innovative technologies and digitalization, which can make a decisive contribution to transparency in complex supply chains."
Conti did not say how much of its NR-procurement will be through HeveaConnect.
This move ties into Conti's commitment to create sustainable and traceable supply chains, the company said in disclosing its decision to tap into HeveaConnect.
Responsible sourcing of raw materials helps to minimize ecological and human rights-related risks, according to the tire maker, which has set a goal of attaining 100% sustainably produced materials in its tire products and achieving complete climate neutrality along its entire value chain by 2050.
The platform, developed by Singapore-based HeveaConnect Pte. Ltd., validates key aspects of a sustainable supply chain and ensures compliance through transparency and special offers, Conti said.
Platform participants are provided with a dashboard showing standardized information on quality, traceability, and compliance with social and environmental standards, as well as information on average selling prices.
"HeveaConnect shows how digital platforms enable solid analyses of complex supply chains as well as their targeted management. Ecological, social and financial risks are made equally transparent for all market participants. Targeted additional offers provide attractive incentives for producers to act sustainably," Ms. Appel said.
In addition, Continental said it can use the platform to call up offers from rubber suppliers in real time, compare and negotiate them, conclude short- or long-term supply contracts and document them electronically.
"Our platform aims to make trading in physical natural rubber more efficient, transparent and provide buyers with key sustainability focused data to make better procurement decisions," HeveaConnect CEO Gerald Tan said. "We create data-backed rubber by pairing the sustainability information with the physical rubber product that is traded on our platform."
Through the engagement of Continental and other industry players on Hevea Connect's trading platform, the company is one step closer to creating data-backed physical indices, Mr. Tan said.
With the help of the Singapore Exchange (SGX), the firm hopes to complement the SICOM benchmark, the global price index for natural rubber, with an index with greater price granularity.
HeveaConnect debuted in early 2019 as a joint development of Halcyon Agri Corp. Ltd. — one of the world's largest NR traders — and DBS Bank Ltd. of Singapore.
Halycon Agri claims a rubber processing capacity of 1.63 million metric tons per year through 38 processing plants in most major rubber producing origins. It has created a sustainable natural rubber under the proprietary HEVEAPRO brand.