Michelin, a world leader in tires and sustainable mobility: Continental AG, a technology company and world leader in tire manufacturing: and Smag, a leading software developer for agriculture, have announced the creation of a joint venture specializing in the development and deployment of technological solution for mapping sustainability practices in the supply chain of natural rubber: Rubberway®.
Rubberway® is designed in compliance with the objectives of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR).
The joint venture is due to begin business before the end of 2019 (subject to validation by the relevant antitrust authorities).
Rubberway® is a technological solution that maps and assesses practices and risks regarding environmental issues, social affairs, and Corporate Social Responsibility governance throughout the natural-rubber industry, from rubber-processing plants downstream to plantations upstream. Rubberway® will provide its users (tire manufactures) with the collected data and enable them to identify and improve sustainability in the natural rubber chain.
Indeed, the natural-rubber supply chain—which includes around six million farmers, 100,000 intermediaries and over 500 processing plants—is highly complex.
The technological solution Rubberway®—produced in collaboration with the software developer Smag—has been operational since 2017 and is already used in some main production countries (including Thailand, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Ghana and Brazil).
In this joint venture, Michelin is bringing the rights of use and exploitation, as well as its user experience of it on the ground.
Continental demonstrates its interest in this solution through its investment in the joint venture and, in doing so, is opening up the path to wider use of the application by other tire-makers and car-parts manufacturers, therefore helping accelerate the rise of responsible practices in the natural-rubber industry.
Smag is sharing all its technological and sector-specific expertise in digital solutions for agriculture.
Through this joint venture, the partners are seeking to make Rubberway® an independent solution that can be easily used by all the other natural rubber players and working towards making the supply chain more transparent.