Natural rubber stakeholders gathered this week for the inaugural General Assembly of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) – an independent platform that aims to improve the socio-economic and environmental performance of the natural rubber value chain.
During its first meeting, the General Assembly approved organizational statutes, a code of conduct and the formation of an executive committee that will oversee strategic and operational activities of the GPSNR. According to the statutes, the Executive Committee will be made up of representatives from each of the four GPSNR membership categories – rubber producers, processors and traders; car makers, other downstream users of natural rubber and financial institutions; tiremakers and other natural rubber makers/buyers; and civil society organizations.
Development of the GPSNR was initiated by the CEOs of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Tire Industry Project (TIP) in November 2017.
“We are enormously proud to see the GPSNR take this important step,” said Peter Bakker, WBCSD’s President and CEO. “The commitment of TIP members to achieve sustainable natural rubber has been a crucial driving force in taking the GPSNR from concept to reality. Today, our members are joined by a growing and increasingly well-balanced GPSNR membership of rubber value chain and civil society members – the actors are in place, and the foundations for transformative action along the natural rubber value chain have been laid. Now the real work can begin.”
Members of the platform include tire manufacturers, rubber suppliers and processors, vehicle makers and NGOs. Representatives from each of these stakeholder groups have contributed to the development of the Singapore-based platform and the wide-reaching set of priorities that will define GPSNR strategy and objectives, the WBCSD said in a press release.
Following a ceremonial launch in October 2018, membership in the GPSNR has grown to 39 founding members and has allowed for the organization to recruit the platform’s first civil society members. The GPSNR remains open to membership applications from all natural rubber stakeholders.
“The appointment of the executive committee is a critical piece to a landmark achievement. It has taken considerable effort from all stakeholders to bring us to this point. We know that the real hard work lies ahead, but today from Singapore we send a clear message – the GPSNR is open for business,” said GPSNR Director Stefano Savi about the creation of an executive committee.
Currently, the group is working to finalize its operational strategy, guided by the stakeholder-agreed GPSNR priorities of harmonizing standards to improve respect for human rights, preventing land-grabbing and deforestation, protecting biodiversity and water resources, improving yields and increasing supply chain transparency and traceability.