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Yokohama launches procurement policy for sustainable rubber

Yokohama Rubber has launched a new procurement policy aimed at sourcing rubber more sustainably, amid concerns around deforestation in southern Asia where it is farmed.

The policy outlines how the company will source natural rubber without causing deforestation or harming biodiversity.

The policy also calls on suppliers to do the same, but adds that the company would take steps to support them in doing this, such as promoting the latest efficient farming techniques and investing in initiatives to search for materials which could replace natural rubber.

The company said it was participating in the Sustainable Natural Rubber Initiative, an inter-governmental organization made up of rubber producers and consumer stakeholders, which aims to fight unsustainable rubber farming.

Of the world’s natural rubber resources, 90 percent is farmed from trees in forests between India and Vietnam, as well as in southern China and Indonesia, according to WWF.

Yokohama said that growth in demand in recent years has “increased concerns about a host of problems, including unlawful deforestation, land exploitation, human rights violations and adverse effects on biodiversity.”

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