With global demand for natural rubber expected to rise, a sustainable natural rubber supply chain is essential in order to preserve forests, biodiversity, and to allow long-lasting development for local communities and economies.
The natural rubber supply chain – from the upstream to downstream level – includes manufacturers/farmers, dealers, processing plants, sales subsidiaries and manufacturing plants. Pirelli is the end point of this complex chain, as a tyre manufacturer that doesn’t own natural rubber plantations or processing plants.
Pirelli is committed to promoting, developing and implementing sustainable and responsible procurement and use of natural rubber throughout its entire value chain.
Our commitment is on many fronts, and it is possible to learn more on this page, from the fundamental cooperation with suppliers to monitoring their performance with a view to continuous improvement, as well as collaboration on multistakeholder platforms. At the local level, we are committed to protecting biodiversity and developing community projects. We also collaborate with customers and NGOs, while promoting awareness of the world of natural rubber and, importantly, we pay great attention to the innovation of processes, including certification to ensure to the sustainability of the materials’ supply chain from its origins.
In line with its Sustainable Natural Rubber Policy, Pirelli established multi-year roadmaps (the first one for the years 2019-2021, the current one for 2022-2025), with measurable action plans and performance indicators, whose results are reported on this webpage and in our Annual Report.
Pirelli’s Sustainable Natural Rubber Policy is the result of a long drafting process based on consultations with key Stakeholders within the value chain, and knowledge sharing activities with Corporations that have a history of experience in the sustainable sourcing of natural raw materials. The Draft version of the Policy was submitted to Stakeholders in a consultation session held in September 2017, attended by International NGOs, major Pirelli natural rubber Suppliers, traders and farmers within the supply chain, Automotive Clients, and Multilateral International Organizations.
The Policy was updated in 2021 in line with the new Policy Framework issued by the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber.
Pirelli has drawn up this Implementation Manual to provide clarification on the underlying values, commitments and concepts expressed in its Sustainable Natural Rubber Policy. It’s a practical tool to ensure that Suppliers can draw on suggestions to implement each Policy pillar, as well as the reference standards, also taking into account the differences of operational deployment at various levels of the chain.
The Manual is the result of a multi-stakeholder engagement process lasting more than a year, which started in the field with the consultation of farmers, dealers, small plantation owners, NGOs, trade union representatives and natural rubber industry local unions. Drafts were then trialed on the ground and submitted to key International Stakeholders. Their feedbacks led to the final version of the Manual, published here.
This content of the Manual is meant to evolve and improve over time in light of experiences in the field, and following the evolution of the regulatory context and of the rubber industry itself.
The Manual is available in local languages and constitutes the basis for the training sessions that Pirelli organizes for Suppliers in their respective countries.
English Version Chinese Version Indonesian Version Malaysian Version Portuguese Version Thai Version
Roadmap & Key Performance Indicators 2022-2025
In 2021, Pirelli, in partnership with BMW, joined BirdLife International in a three-year project that aims to favor the long-term production of sustainable and deforestation-free natural rubber in Indonesia in the long-term.
Hutan Harapan is an Ecosystem Restoration concession (ERC) managed by PT Restorasi Ekosistem Indonesia (REKI), a consortium of Burung Indonesia, BirdLife International and RSPB, covering an area of 98,555 ha located in the provinces of South Sumatra and Jambi. It is one of last remaining patches of lowland forests in Sumatra and former logging concession; however, it is still rich in biodiversity. Hutan Harapan has 1,300 species of flora and 620 of fauna including the Sumatran Tiger, the Sumatran Elephant and a variety of tropical lowland birds. PT REKI is developing sustainable business actions to improve community welfare, in a broader sense beyond forest restoration alone.
The initiative involves part of the lowland forest of Hutan Harapan (Sumatra Island) and is articulated through a series of activities aimed at protecting indigenous communities, maintaining a deforestation-free area of 2,700 ha and protecting threatened species. Different activities will be implemented in line with the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber’s targets.
As well as supporting GPSNR, the activities are also in line with the Indonesian government's programs to alleviate poverty and improve community livelihoods as well as sustainable forest management. This includes:
1. A natural rubber-based agroforestry approach employed to optimize the quality and quantity of rubber, diversify community income, restore forests with communities, increase soil fertility and conserve biodiversity.
2. Involvement of indigenous and local communities including women and the vulnerable: involving farming families to identify, ensure respect for and protection of their customary rights and the rights of women and the vulnerable.
3. Empowerment of women and the vulnerable: education and training for women and vulnerable people to be actively involved and support activities related to rubber cultivation and sustainable natural rubber management, forest protection and biodiversity.
4. Management and control of forest and land fires through community-based fire prevention in the Forest Partnership areas and surrounding areas.
5. Protection and security of forest areas and biodiversity, carried out together with government agencies, communities, and other stakeholders. The location of rubber agro-forestry and its surroundings are a habitat for several species of animals that are protected by Indonesian law, including the ivory hornbill, Sumatran tigers and elephants.
- → Pirelli and The BMW Group together with Birdlife International initiate project to contribute to safeguarding Indonesia’s natural ecosyste
- → Safeguarding the Indonesian ecosystem with the help of female empowerment (pirelli.com)
- → R for Rubber
- → A new Alphabet with 26 words that define Pirelli. R for Rubber.
The certification confirms that plantations are managed in a way that preserves biological diversity and benefits the lives of local people and workers, while ensuring that it sustains economic viability. The complex FSC chain of custody certification process verifies that FSC-certified material has been identified and separated from non-certified material as it makes its way along the supply chain, from the plantations to the tyre manufacturer.
The full traceability of natural rubber along a complex supply chain is a great challenge and is currently well underway. With a long-term commitment, Pirelli has worked in partnership with its suppliers in order to achieve this result. Innovation takes time before it becomes common usage on a broad scale, but the journey has started.
The Pirelli platform "Being Fast Takes Time" was created to promote awareness of the world of natural rubber and the importance of preserving its precious ecosystem. A voyage through images from Indonesia to Thailand taken by the photographer Alessandro Scotti, following the path on which Pirelli embarked in 2017 with the launch of its Sustainable Natural Rubber Policy, which illustrate the journey from the slow process of the extraction of latex to the tyre, protagonist of the world of competitive motorsports.
→ Being Fast Takes Time
Pirelli had an active role in developing the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber - GPSNR together with tyre manufacturers belonging to the Tyre Industry Project Group, within the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The development of the platform has benefited from the contribution, the ideas and suggestions of the main stakeholders involved in the value chain, such as tyre manufacturers, processors, car manufacturers, and the fundamental expertise contributed by the relevant international NGOs.
The platform is intended to support the sustainable development of the natural rubber sector at the global level, benefit the entire value chain, through tools and shared initiatives based on the respect for human rights and work, the prevent land grabbing, respect biodiversity and the enhancement of plantations productivity, in particular small owner operations.
In 2021 Pirelli took an active role in four working groups activated by the platform, specifically:
- → the “Smallholder Representation working group”, co-chaired by Pirelli, identified a geographically diversified farmers group that could effectively represent smallholders’ interest inside the platform and found three representatives who sit in the Executive Committee. Their work supporting the smallholders’ community in the platform goes on, with the aim of broadening the geographical coverage and finding new goals;
- → the “Capacity Building working group”, co-chaired by Pirelli, in 2021 carried on its activities with the aim of developing a capacity building strategy in support of smallholders and industrial plantations, identifying potential sources of funding;
- → the “Traceability and Transparency working group” is aimed at identifying a tool to increase traceability on a wide-scale, as well as transparency, of the complex natural rubber supply chain. In 2021 the Group focused on mapping the traceability systems currently available on the market, with attention to the ones already applied in the natural rubber sector. This research is proceeding in 2022, with the goal of defining the general features of the traceability tool will need to satisfy the level of transparency required by the GPSNR platform;
- → Pirelli takes part to the “Shared Responsibility Working Group” with the aim of defining principles and frameworks for the implementation of shared responsibility within the platform. Pirelli’s representative was nominated the most participating co-chair of the platform, demonstrating our Company’s strong commitment to the project.
→ Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber