Michelin Group, world leading tyre manufacturer and first world buyer of natural rubber just published a zero deforestation procurement policy based on the methodology High Carbon Stock (HCS) Approach [1].

Cécile Leuba, Forest campaigner for Greenpeace France:

“The announcement by the Michelin group to commit to a zero deforestation natural rubber procurement policy sends a strong signal to the entire rubber sector: it will soon be more difficult to sell natural rubber that contributes to deforestation”.

“This zero deforestation commitment is just the first step: Michelin must now ensure its implementation and quickly stop sourcing from rubber growers who refuse to commit to producing zero deforestation rubber. This starts with Socfin which, is an important supplier for Michelin’s natural rubber”.

Michelin need now to stop buying rubber from Socfin

In February and May 2016, Greenpeace France published two reports, with the support of investigations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sao Tome and Principe, Cameroon and Liberia highlighting how  Socfin’s concessions included primary forests, but also secondary forests that store significant amounts of carbon. But the company refuses to make a Zero Deforestation commitment worthy of the name.

Michelin’s commitment to protect all “High Carbon Stock” (HCS) forests confirms that the HCS Approach is today the only standard enabling corporations to implement a real “zero deforestation” commitment.

“After the Zero Deforestation commitment of more than 75% of the palm oil sector, as well as major pulp and paper producers in tropical areas, it is now the rubber industry stakeholders who are adopting this methodology,” says Cécile Leuba . “The decision of the Michelin group increases the risk for Socfin of being marginalized and the risk to find themselves in non-compliance with procurement policies of their major customers”.

Greenpeace France calls on all Socfin’s customers, palm oil and natural rubber consumer, to ensure that their commercial relations with Socfin continue only on the basis of implementation of a zero deforestation policy based on the High Carbon Stock (HCS) Approach methodology.

Notes to editors:

[1] purchasing.michelin.com/content/download/907/11821/file/SUSTAINABLE%20NATURAL%20RUBBER%20POLICY_VD.pdf

The HCS methodology, implemented since 2011 in the palm oil sector, is a tool aimed at guiding plantation companies in the implementation of their zero deforestation commitments. The aim is to identify forest areas that must absolutely be protected as they store a large amount of carbon (that would be released into the atmosphere should they be converted into plantations) or are home to significant plant or animal biodiversity.

Rubber tree cultivation to produce natural rubber is also an important factor in deforestation. Recent

studies suggest that 4.3 to 8.5 million hectares of new plantations would be necessary to meet the demand for natural rubber in 2024, and that the impact of these monoculture plantations on forests is comparable to that of the oil palm. In view of its significant impact on forests, the natural rubber sector must, like the palm oil sector, commit to zero deforestation practices

Media Contact : Magali Rubino – Greenpeace France : 00 33 7 78 41 78 78