Yokohama Rubber joins RubberWay Geo-Mapping for sustainable natural rubber procurement

Hiratsuka, Japan—The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., introduced RubberWay® Geo-Mapping, a risk assessment tool announced in March 2024 by RubberWay®, a sustainability solution provider for the natural rubber industry, in the aim of promoting sustainable natural rubber procurement.

The Yokohama Rubber Group procures the natural rubber used in a wide variety of its products from a complex supply chain composed of many small-scale rubber plantations, intermediaries, and processing plants. It therefore has become difficult for the Group to assess and monitor risks related to environmental issues in its supply chain, such as illegal deforestation or poor water resource management, and social issues like child labor and forced labor, as well as the impacts of these issues on local communities. Given this, ensuring traceability has become an issue for the Group’s promotion of sustainable procurement.

RubberWay® Geo-Mapping is an application that allows users to assess and monitor famers’ geolocation data as well as environmental and social issues. Currently, over 30,000 farms have been registered in the system. The introduction of Geo-Mapping will allow Yokohama Rubber to improve the traceability of natural rubber in its supply chain and to accelerate disclosure based on the recommendations of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) and compliance with the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR). The EUDR, which will apply from December 30, 2024 onward, will obligate any operator that deals in natural rubber or other related products in the EU to perform due diligence to prove that the products do not originate from recently deforested land or have contributed to deforestation.

A founding member of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR), Yokohama Rubber revised its “Procurement Policy for Sustainable Natural Rubber” in September 2021 and is strengthening its collaboration with GPSNR activities. The introduction of RubberWay® Geo-Mapping reflects the principle of “improve traceability” and “environmental initiatives” set forth in the Procurement Policy. Yokohama Rubber will continue to implement and announce initiatives in line with the action guidelines stipulated in this policy. Yokohama Rubber also is endeavoring to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations. As part of these efforts, the Yokohama Rubber Group is promoting the procurement of sustainable raw materials, including natural rubber.

Under the slogan for sustainability management “Caring for the Future,” Yokohama Rubber is creating shared value by addressing social issues through its business activities.