Michelin deploys Rubberway, an application that charts CSR practices in its natural rubber supply chain

Pursuing its commitment with regard to responsible and sustainable natural rubber production around the world, Michelin has launched Rubberway, an innovative mobile application dedicated to following up and respecting best practices for collecting latex, transforming the product industrially and transporting it. This application was presented to the various players in Michelin’s natural rubber supply chain in Singapore on July 6.

The world’s largest purchaser of natural rubber, the Michelin Group is committed to responsibly and sustainably managing the rubber production industry. In order to preserve this resource and to manage its social and environmental impact, Michelin has chosen to promote rubber farming while also respecting certain rules throughout the value chain. Established in 2016 with the assistance of NGOs specialized in protecting the environment and human rights, the recommended measures are based on five fundamental axes: respect for people, protection of the environment, improved farming techniques, proper use of natural resources and good governance practices.

Rubberway, an innovative application that promotes best practices

To assess respect for these rules, which must take into account the entire industry's practices, Michelin has designed Rubberway, an application developed in cooperation with SMAG information systems. By collecting data from smallholders, large farms, intermediaries and raw material processing plants, Michelin is taking action transparently while also promoting the use of best practices worldwide.

The digital revolution is an opportunity that benefits all segments of the industry, including the raw material supply chain. Rubberway is a tangible expression of this revolution. Innovative and useful, this mobile application collects and analyzes data according to established criteria and maps areas of high social and environmental risks. By sharing this information with our suppliers, we can make a targeted, efficient contribution and improve the industry’s production conditions.

Luc MINGUET, head of Michelin Group Purchasing

A global challenge

Natural rubber is a sustainable raw material that is essential to tire production. Out of the 30 million people that earn a living from rubber industry around the world, six million work on farms, 85% of which are smaller than four hectares and belong to small landowners. Mapping Michelin’s natural rubber supply chain is a sizable project but this ambitious approach, which is part of a long-term process, will transform the face of the industry. Michelin has designed its corporate social responsibility commitments for the long term. Its ability to get all players involved will give unmatched momentum to this vision. A tool like Rubberway will accelerate this resolutely assertive approach in the area of sustainable rubber farming.