Natural Rubber Industry Pioneers Sustainability Assurance Benchmark

In a landmark move towards greater sustainability, members of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR), representing nearly 60% of the value chain, have reached a consensus on an industry-wide assurance system. This agreement, forged during an Extraordinary General Assembly, marks the first standardised, stage-by-stage process for companies to commit to, implement, and verify rigorous sustainability standards within their operations.

Natural Rubber Industry Pioneers Sustainability Assurance Benchmark
Setting a New Standard: Natural Rubber Industry Pioneers Sustainability Assurance Benchmark
June 26, 2024

The newly introduced assurance system is currently in a pilot phase, with volunteer manufacturers and processors testing its framework until August 2024. Simultaneously, three of its four mandatory elements have been opened to public consultation, inviting feedback and additional input to refine the model. The insights gathered from both the pilots and the public consultation will be integrated into the assurance model and presented for member review at the Annual General Assembly in October 2024. By 2025, all GPSNR members are expected to adopt this model within their operations.

The model encompasses four mandatory elements: an Assurance Assessment checklist outlining minimum requirements based on the GPSNR policy framework, an Assurance Protocol guiding external assessors, a Remediation Protocol specifying actions and timelines to address identified gaps, and a Members Journey providing a broad timeline to achieve these requirements. Additionally, supplementary tools, such as a due diligence framework and national risk assessments, will aid members in implementing the assurance model.

“Having a system that can verify and cross-check the implementation of our members’ commitments has always been our overarching goal at GPSNR,” stated Stefano Savi, GPSNR’s Platform Director. “With the voting in of the Assurance Model structure, our members have demonstrated their intent to deliver on their sustainability promises. I am especially proud of the multistakeholder nature in which the assurance model has been agreed on, keeping in mind the practical position of each member category.”

Next week, GPSNR’s membership will convene in Singapore to finalise the details of the minimum requirements outlined in the Assurance Model checklist, the nature of claims that can be made, feedback from the pilots, and the assurance protocol for third-party assessors.

This initiative reflects a significant step forward for the natural rubber industry, ensuring that sustainability commitments are not only pledged but also meticulously verified and upheld. The collective effort underscores the industry's dedication to sustainable practices, promising a more responsible future for natural rubber production.

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