Michelin moves to keep rubber in EU Deforestation Regulation

The French tire giant, Michelin has become the first major company to back the inclusion of natural rubber in the new EU deforestation regulation, currently going through final negotiations. The tire industry is by far the biggest user of this commodity. Read more here on Michelin’s statement and Mighty’s response.

Excavator in action at RLU/LAJ concession on High Conservation Value (HCV) potential area on the edge of Bukit Tigapuluh National Park, Jambi in Sumatra, November 2014. Credit: TFT/Earthworm (2014)

New investigation alleges deforestation and greenwashing linked to Michelin.

A major new year-and-a-half long investigation by Voxeurop into a “sustainable” rubber project by French tire giant Michelin and Indonesian conglomerate Barito Pacific has led to fresh allegations of widespread deforestation, wildlife habitat destruction, and greenwashing linked to the joint venture. 

The investigation, initially sparked by Mighty Earth’s 2020 Complicit report, alleges investors in a $95 million so-called “green bond” used to finance the PT Royal Lestari Utama (RLU) project in Jambi, Sumatra, were misled and never told that Michelin’s local partner had deforested thousands of hectares of tropical rainforest and global priority wildlife habitats just prior to the launch of the flagship project in January 2015.

Hat Yai sustainable rubber workshop

Learning how to ‘do’ sustainable rubber

As part of Mighty Earth’s continuing efforts to advance sustainability within the natural rubber sector, we are thrilled to be co-publishing a new practical guide for rubber industry actors, entitled “Sustainable Natural Rubber: pathways, policies and partnerships”.

New Mighty Earth Report Finds Agroforestry Drives Sustainability in Rubber Supply Chain

Rubber agroforestry has multiple benefits for smallholder farmers, biodiversity, and the environment.

Complicit: An Investigation into Deforestation at Michelin’s Royal Lestari Utama Project in Sumatra, Indonesia

“Our evidence shows thousands of hectares of wildlife-rich rainforests were industrially deforested in Jambi in the run-up to the agreement of the RLU Project in late 2014. Michelin knew about this terrible forest destruction, they didn’t do enough to stop it, and instead chose to provide green cover to the project in order to attract green bond investors that have since sunk millions of dollars into the scheme.” Click to read full report and press release.

A Bridge Too Far? Social and Environmental Concerns in Bridgestone’s Liberian Rubber Plantation and A Plan for Remediation

This report discusses labor and environmental sustainability issues at the Firestone Rubber Plantation in Liberia, which is the single largest rubber plantation on the planet. Firestone Liberia is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company.

Restoration & Reparations: Reforming the world’s largest rubber company

This report documents social and environmental problems found at the Hévécam rubber plantation in southern Cameroon, which is owned by Halcyon Agri, “the world’s leading rubber franchise.”

Bad Year: Driving Deforestation

Despite having long been aware that natural rubber grown on plantations in the Greater Mekong Region has been linked to deforestation, biodiversity loss, human rights abuses, and land grabs, Goodyear has done little to mitigate these risks.