Continental and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) have agreed on a significant expansion of their project to ensure full traceability of the natural rubber supply chain in the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan in Borneo.
Currently, 450 small farmers are involved in the project. By 2024, Continental says 4,000 small farmers will be involved.
Small farmers in the natural rubber sector are trained to grow high-quality raw materials in compliance
with clearly defined sustainability criteria. By improving the quality of the raw material, the income
of small farmers is to be increased, Continental says.
“Continental’s goal is to achieve 100 percent sustainable supply chains by 2050. The valuable
experience we are gaining in this project allows us to progressively increase the transparency of
our natural rubber supply chains,” said Claus Petschick, head of sustainability of the tires
business area. He adds, “Education and digitalization are important contributors to making our
supply chains more sustainable. Together with our partners, we are demonstrating in Borneo that
this can succeed in the natural rubber sector. I am pleased that we are now significantly expanding
this successful project.”
Indonesia is one of the world’s largest producers of natural rubber, Continental says. The Kapuas Hulu district, where Continental is collaborating with the BMZ, has two national parks that have been designated as biosphere reserves by UNESCO.
Continental and the BMZ implemented a digital traceability system for natural rubber in the region back in 2018. Through this process, all steps of the natural rubber supply chain can be evaluated in detail – from cultivation to further processing to Continental’s tire plants, the company says.
Sustainable and responsible business practices have been an integral part of Continental’s
corporate strategy for many years and also an important part of the “Vision 2030” strategy program
for the tires business area. The tire manufacturer aims to differentiate itself specifically with
sustainable technologies and innovative solutions.