Together with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), we are working in a development partnership to promote greater sustainability in the natural rubber supply chain in Indonesia. The country is the world's second largest producer of natural rubber. The aim of the project is to develop a catalog of criteria for the sustainable production of natural rubber, to train farmers in sustainable cultivation methods in accordance with these criteria, and to ensure the traceability of the rubber from the small farmers to its use in production at Continental. Better rubber quality, higher yields and supply chain optimization increase the income of rubber farmers. The partnership between Continental and GIZ is supported by the develoPPP.de program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Since rubber trees grow in rainforest areas, it must be ensured that the cultivation of rubber trees does not lead to deforestation. In order to be able to guarantee and monitor sustainable rubber production, Continental and GIZ already introduced a traceability system in 2018 to promote the traceable production of rubber in Indonesia's West Kalimantan. In total, around 4,000 smallholder farmers are to be trained to grow high-quality rubber in compliance with clearly defined sustainability criteria by 2024.
With the help of a traceability system for natural rubber implemented in the project region, all steps of the natural rubber supply chain can be evaluated in detail - from cultivation to further processing to Continental's tire plants.
For Continental, natural rubber is responsibly sourced when it is sustainably cultivated and processed through a transparent supply chain that is monitored by a due diligence mechanism. These measures help to uphold human rights, minimize environmental impact and improve the living conditions of local smallholders. The goal is to establish a fair value chain for natural rubber. Continental aims to achieve 100 percent sustainable supply chains by 2050 at the latest. When it comes to natural rubber, Continental Tires is going one step further and aims to cover its entire demand exclusively through responsible sources by as soon as 2030.