The World’s First FSC-Certified Tyre Becomes a Reality Thanks to Pirelli and the BMW Group

In 1888, the invention of the rubber tyre forever changed the way we travel. Today, Pirelli is changing the way rubber tyres are sourced. The new Pirelli P ZERO tyre is the first to use FSC-certified natural rubber and rayon as well as other materials, and will be equipped on the BMW X5 Plug-In Hybrid model. This is a major breakthrough for a better future with sustainably sourced natural rubber.

Natural rubber is a basic material for many everyday products, such as rubber boots or mattresses. About six million smallholders worldwide are responsible for 80 per cent of the world’s natural rubber production. They operate small farms of one to two hectares in size and under a wide variety of conditions in the so-called rubber belt in tropical regions. Addressing the social, environmental, and economic needs of these millions of smallholder farms is a major challenge. The implementation of FSC certification for natural rubber plantations, forests and chain of custody contributes to resolving this challenge by supporting responsible and sustainable natural rubber production.

FSC has already made considerable progress in certifying the natural rubber value chain for various consumer sectors. A variety of products are available on the market today that contain FSC-certified natural rubber including gloves, footwear, mattresses, pillows, yoga mats, and balloons; FSC certification gives an assurance that natural rubber in these products is sourced from forests or plantations with safe working conditions, and without deforestation or other environmental damage.

The tyre sector consumes roughly 70 per cent of natural rubber production, thereby offering the potential to play a crucial role in sustainable sourcing; however, FSC-certification in this sector had not been achieved until now. Therefore, with the launch of the first FSC-certified tyre, Pirelli and the BMW Group have initiated a significant step in the sustainable transformation of the natural rubber value chain.

Jeremy Harrison, Chief Markets Officer, FSC International, said: “The new FSC-certified Pirelli tyre is a significant milestone in the drive to deliver economic, social, and environmental benefits across the natural rubber value chain; this is particularly important in the context of natural rubber’s sustainability challenges. We congratulate Pirelli for their commitment to responsible sourcing and for demonstrating that a certified value chain for automobile tyres is possible for natural rubber from smallholders to the market. We also applaud the BMW Group for supporting the development of the FSC-certified tyre and for choosing it to equip one of their models. This is a major step forward in the journey towards a more sustainable natural rubber value chain, thereby helping to mitigate deforestation and support the fight against climate change.”

Giovanni Tronchetti Provera, Pirelli’s Senior Vice President for Sustainability and Future Mobility, added:“Before even reaching the road, sustainable mobility begins with raw materials. With the world’s first FSC-certified tyre, Pirelli once again demonstrates its commitment to pursuing increasingly challenging goals in terms of sustainability, a testament to the constant work on innovative materials and increasingly cutting-edge production processes. We continue to invest in sustainable growth for our planet, aware that this is also essential for the future of our businesses.”

After several years, the BMW Group’s wish to source an FSC-certified tyre has become a reality through the certification of Pirelli’s supply chain, which includes smallholder-owned rubber plantations.“As a premium manufacturer, we aspire to lead the way in sustainability and take responsibility,” said Dr. Andreas Wendt, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network. “We have been committed to improving cultivation of natural rubber and increasing transparency in the supplier network since 2015. The use of tyres made of certified natural rubber is a pioneering achievement for our industry. In this way, we are helping preserve biodiversity and forests to counteract climate change.”

FSC, Pirelli, and the BMW Group are all members of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber, a multi-stakeholder platform created in 2018 to support the sustainable development of the natural rubber sector worldwide. By introducing FSC-certified natural rubber into their finished products, Pirelli and BMW have demonstrated that certification can serve as a means of fulfilling both their individual commitments and many of the goals set jointly within this platform.

FSC celebrates the sustainability leadership shown in this case, which represents a new horizon towards increasingly sustainable tyre production and looks forward to driving a wider transformation across the industry.

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