Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. is pleased to announce that we have recently established a natural rubber procurement subsidiary (SUMITOMO RUBBER SINGAPORE PTE. LTD.) in Singapore, the world's largest natural rubber trading hub, with the aim of ensuring a more stable supply of high-quality natural rubber to meet the needs of the Sumitomo Rubber Group. Up until now, the Natural Rubber Division of our tire sales subsidiary in Singapore (SUMITOMO RUBBER ASIA (TYRE) PTE. LTD.) has handled the procurement of natural rubber for our group. When it begins operations in April of this year, this newly established subsidiary will take over these procurement activities as well as various other outward-looking efforts related to natural rubber and its procurement.
■Purpose of New Company
In light of following factors, the Sumitomo Rubber Group has determined that, in order to reliably procure high-quality natural rubber, there is a strong need for a procurement system spearheaded by a locally situated organization that is responsible for and capable of handling both procurement activities and outward-looking efforts such as GPSNR.*
•Changes in the Procurement Business Environment
In spite of rising global consumption of natural rubber in recent years, output is anticipated to decline in the major natural rubber production centers of Asia in the near future. As such, there is now a growing need for a global approach to natural rubber procurement. At the same time, when it comes to securing a stable supply of high-quality natural rubber, the business environment is currently undergoing a series of major changes that pose various challenges, as mergers and market withdrawals within the natural rubber industry create greater risks of monopolies, price fluctuations and other potential issues in various markets.
•Human Rights & Environmental Considerations
With the potential for human rights abuses, deforestation and other problems that may arise in the process of producing natural rubber coming under sharper scrutiny from the viewpoint of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there is a now a greater demand for considerations from the perspective of human rights and the environment in the procurement process toward realizing sustainable procurement of natural rubber. In order to address these issues, GPSNR was launched in October of 2018 and, as a founding member, the Sumitomo Rubber Group has since been actively engaged in activities that aim to ensure a sustainable future for natural rubber.