A "Zero deforestation" partnership
The first phase of collaboration, begun in 2015, related to the definition of sustainable natural rubber, the development of procurement practices, and the promotion of good practices among the key players on the market and in the international bodies. Thanks to this partnership, Michelin Group has been able to publish its sustainable natural rubber policy and several major players have followed the example of the Group in making commitments to zero deforestation.
In this context, WWF France and Michelin Group have developed together a pilot project in Indonesia. Installed in zones that have sustained damaged, and which have priority status for the WWF on account of their rich biodiversity and the proximity of the Bukit Tigapuluh park, this project aims to preserve and restore the forest while developing responsible rubber plantations, to benefit both the local communities and the ecosystems. The field project has made major progress, particularly with the creation of a consultation and inclusion programme for the local communities, the construction of villages, the shrinking of illegal deforestation practices in the territory, and the protection of nearly 10,000 additional hectares for the elephant population, despite a local context that presents many social and environmental challenges.
The renewal of the current partnership between Michelin and WWF France will enable the continuation of this project, to strike a balance between local economic development, benefits for the local communities, and preservation of the forests and of biodiversity.
2019: Launch of the International Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber
This partnership contributed to the establishment, in March 2019, of the International Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber, of which Michelin Group and the WWF are founder members.
Joined by 39 other members, the platform's mission is the large-scale transformation of the purchasing and production practices for this key raw material, involving all stakeholders in the value chain, from producer to consumer, so as to preserve the forests and ecosystems threatened by unsustainable practices.
Here again, the renewal of the current partnership should make it possible to institute changes at the heart of the rubber market and its production, by drawing on this platform.
Sustainable mobility and protection of biodiversity
Lastly, this new partnership phase opens up two additional lines of work: sustainable mobility and protection of biodiversity. WWF France will support Michelin Group in aligning its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal against that of the Paris Agreement, to stay well below the 2°C target. They will work together alongside international mobility and climate players to communicate joint messages on the mobility of tomorrow. WWF France will also support Michelin Group in developing and then implementing a Biodiversity 2030 strategy for the Group.
Our ambition to develop sustainable mobility is enriched by the contributions from civil society and all stakeholders. Hence, our global partnership with the WWF allows us to make more efficient and rapid progress on essential topics, such as the protection of the tropical forests or of biodiversity. The assessment of the actions that we have conducted together since 2015 is very encouraging.
Because it is one of the world's leading purchasers of natural rubber, Michelin Group serves as a vital lever for driving the transformation of rubber plantations and the rubber market. We are proud of this collaboration which has already produced tangible results both on the rubber market and on the ground. The renewal of this partnership represents a unique opportunity for bringing good practices into the sector as a whole and in this way preserving the forests and biodiversity.