In response to Bridgestone’s announcement of its new Global Sustainable Procurement Policy, with commitments to a sustainable supply chain for natural rubber, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Kerry Cesareo, vice president, forests.
“Unsustainable and illegal natural rubber production has emerged as a threat to many forests of Southeast Asia – forests that are critical to the survival of millions of people and iconic wildlife.
“We are encouraged by Bridgestone’s leadership to help stop the deforestation, land grabs and human rights violations associated with natural rubber production.
“Bridgestone’s policy includes a wide range of important commitments, from zero deforestation and no development of peatlands to the protection of human rights and land rights.
“It is moves like this—combined with earlier commitments made by Michelin and Pirelli—that give us hope that a major transformation of the natural rubber industry is possible. But the change must go beyond commitments on paper. It is essential that commitments are applied to the whole rubber supply chain, their implementation is independently monitored by third parties, mechanisms are established through which stakeholders can report on supply chain issues, and supply chains are made transparent to allow all of the above.
“With the number of vehicles predicted to double globally by 2050, business as usual for companies that make or use tires is not an option. WWF encourages companies to use their influence to stop one of the leading drivers of deforestation in the world.