Pirelli, BMW and Birdlife International partner to safeguard natural rubber supply

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Pirelli and BMW have joined BirdLife International, a three-year project that aims to favor the long-term production of sustainable and deforestation-free natural rubber in Indonesia.

Working in collaboration with BirdLife International, the automotive companies will support the project as it seeks to carry out actions in Indonesia that will protect the country’s natural ecosystem and its forests – including its endangered animal species – while also benefitting communities.

Located in part of the Hutan Harapan rainforest on the island of Sumatra, the project will carry out several initiatives, including the improvement of farmers’ land rights and the conservation of a 2,700-hectare deforestation-free area. The range of activities will be carried out in alignment with the goals of the Global Platform of Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR), the multi-stakeholder platform for the sustainable development of the natural rubber business, which all three project partners are founding members of.

Some of the project activities will include an agroforestry approach to natural rubber – as promoted by the GPSNR – to optimize the relationship between production and income diversification by varying crops in the same area. The conservation of biodiversity and soil fertility will also be evaluated. In addition, smallholders will be given training on good cultivation methods and plantation management practices to support the surrounding environment and its productivity.

The project will also create the natural rubber Growers’ Cooperative. This will permit the direct supply of natural rubber from farming communities to the processing plants in the region by introducing documentation for the traceability of rubber, from the plantation to the processor.

“Together with BMW Group, in support of the goals of BirdLife we intend to be an active part of a project that aims to have a sustainable impact all round on natural rubber, in the belief that community, biodiversity and business must grow by supporting each other, creating a shared socio-environmental value,” commented Giovanni Tronchetti Provera, senior vice president, sustainability and future mobility, Pirelli.

“Our goal is to lead the way on sustainability and actively take responsibility within our supply chains. In the fight against climate change, we are rolling out targeted measures to support biodiversity and tropical rainforest conservation,” said Andreas Wendt, board member for purchasing and supplier network, BMW. “Our project in Indonesia will help people and the local economy to work in greater harmony with nature. At the same time, it will also support local communities by professionalizing their traditional cultivation methods for natural rubber.”

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKi Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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