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Natural rubber assessment summary - March 2023

ZSL's SPOTT initiative assesses 30 natural rubber producers, processors, traders and manufacturers on their public disclosure regarding their organisation, policies and practices related to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. We encourage stakeholders to engage with companies, as policies and commitments may not always translate into effective implementation on the ground.

SPOTT scores natural rubber producers, processors, traders and manufacturers using up to 182 ESG indicators across 10 categories. View the categories below to find out more about key results, and visit company pages to view their full assessments.

Note: Indicators are disabled if they are not applicable to companies due to the nature or location of their operations.

41.5% Average total score:
  • Sustainability policy and leadership Sustainability policy and leadership 62.6%
    • 11 companies / 17 (64.7%) have put in place clear sustainability policies that apply to all their operations.
    • 19 companies / 29 (65.5%) have a sustainability policy that applies to all their suppliers.
    • 14 companies / 30 (46.7%) have a high-level position of responsibility for sustainability.
    • 11 companies / 30 (36.7%) are members of external industry schemes or initiatives to improve the sustainability of natural rubber production.
    • 9 companies / 30 (30.0%) have conducted and published an assessment of climate-related risks.
  • Landbank, maps and traceability Landbank, maps and traceability 29.5%
    • 26 companies / 30 (86.7%) reports their countries of operation and nature of operations in each country.
    • 5 companies / 29 (17.2%) publicly list the countries they are sourcing from.
    • 9 companies / 17 (52.9%) report the area managed for natural rubber, totalling around 1.30 million hectares.
    • 7 companies / 17 (41.2%) report their areas set aside for conservation or High Conservation Value (HCV) areas, totalling more than 0.19 million hectares.
    • 1 company / 29 (3.4%) publicly list the jurisdictions where sourcing from smallholders.
    • 0 company / 19 (0.0%) publish the names and locations of all third party supplying processing facilities.
    • 4 companies / 25 (16.0%) have a time-bound commitment to achieve 100% tracebility to industrial plantations.
    • 1 company / 18 (5.6%) report the percentage of supply from third party processing facilities traceable to industrial plantations.
    • 4 companies / 29 (13.8%) have a time-bound commitment to achieve 100% traceability to jurisdictional level for smallholders.
    • 1 company / 19 (5.3%) report the percentage of supply from third party processing facilities traceable to smallholders at jurisdictional level.
  • Certification standards/Sustainability initiatives Certification standards/Sustainability initiatives 30.5%
    • 17 companies / 30 (56.7%) are members or a subsidiary/parent are members of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR).
    • 2 companies / 17 (11.8%) have certified some of their estates under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Forest Management (FM) scheme.
    • 1 company / 20 (5.0%) reports the percentage of all natural rubber products handled/traded/processed (tonnes) that is FSC-certified.
    • 1 company / 13 (7.7%) has certified some of its estates under the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) scheme for Forest Management (FM).
  • Deforestation and biodiversity Deforestation and biodiversity 34.3%
    • 11 companies / 17 (64.7%) have a clear commitment to zero deforestation.
    • 20 companies / 29 (69.0%) have a zero deforestation commitments that applies to their suppliers.
    • 3 companies / 17 (17.6%) provide strong evidence of monitoring deforestation.
    • 4 companies / 29 (13.8%) provide evidence of monitoring deforestation in supplier operations.
    • 5 companies / 30 (16.7%) report to be implementing a landscape or jurisdictional approach.
    • 7 companies / 17 (41.2%) report multiple examples of species and/or habitat conservation management activities.
  • HCV, HCS and impact assessments HCV, HCS and impact assessments 41.1%
    • 13 companies / 17 (76.5%) commit to conduct High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments for all new development.
    • 21 companies / 29 (72.4%) have a commitment to conduct HCV assessments that applies to all their/its suppliers.
    • 1 company / 10 (10.0%) has undertaken HCV assessments for all new plantings planted since 1st April 2019.
    • 7 companies / 17 (41.2%) have a commitment to the High Carbon Stock (HCS) Approach.
    • 15 companies / 29 (51.7%) have a commitment to the HCS Approach that applies to all their/its suppliers.
    • 2 companies / 12 (16.7%) make some or all of their High Carbon Stock (HCS) assessments publicly available.
    • 2 companies / 30 (6.7%) have undertaken social and environmental impact assessments (SEIA) and have made associated management and monitoring plans publicly available.
  • Soils, fire and GHG emissions Soils, fire and GHG emissions 42.5%
    • 9 companies / 17 (52.9%) have a clear commitment to no planting on peat of any depth.
    • 21 companies / 29 (72.4%) have a commitment to no planting on peat of any depth that applies to all their/its suppliers.
    • 5 companies / 17 (29.4%) report evidence that their landbank includes peat.
    • 11 companies / 17 (64.7%) have a clear commitment to zero burning.
    • 18 companies / 29 (62.1%) have a commitment to zero burning that applies to all their suppliers.
    • 6 companies / 17 (35.3%) disclose clear information relating to monitoring and managing fires.
    • 0 company / 29 (0.0%) discloses clear information relating to the number of hotspots/fires in supplier operations/jurisdictions.
    • 10 companies / 30 (33.3%) have a time-bound commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity.
    • 4 companies / 30 (13.3%) report a reduction in their GHG emissions intensity over time.
  • Water, chemical and pest management Water, chemical and pest management 32.3%
    • 7 companies / 30 (23.3%) have a time-bound commitment to improve water use intensity.
    • 8 companies / 30 (26.7%) report making progress towards their/its water use intensity commitment.
    • 2 companies / 29 (6.9%) have a time-bound commitment to improve water quality.
    • 3 companies / 29 (10.3%) report making progress towards their water quality commitment.
    • 14 companies / 29 (48.3%) report evidence of reducing odours from natural rubber processing or manufacturing facilities.
    • 1 company / 17 (5.9%) reports reductions in chemical fertiliser usage.
  • Community, land and labour rights Community, land and labour rights 54.8%
    • 23 companies / 30 (76.7%) have a public commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or equivalent.
    • 16 companies / 21 (76.2%) commit to the principle of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC).
    • 18 companies / 29 (62.1%) have a commitment to FPIC that applies to all their/its suppliers.
    • 0 company / 17 (0.0%) supports the inclusion of women across their/its operations, including addressing barriers faced.
    • 24 companies / 30 (80.0%) commit to the Fundamental ILO Conventions or Free and Fair Labour Principles.
    • 10 companies / 30 (33.3%) commit to pay a living wage.
    • 1 company / 30 (3.3%) publish the ratio of living wages to local minimum wages paid across their operations.
  • Smallholders and suppliers Smallholders and suppliers 23.7%
    • 19 companies / 29 (65.5%) commit to support smallholders.
    • 5 companies / 29 (17.2%) report the percentage of natural rubber supply from smallholders.
    • 1 company / 19 (5.3%) clearly reports it has or supports a programme to support scheme smallholders/outgrowers in the supply chain.
    • 7 companies / 28 (25.0%) clearly report they have or support a programme to support independent smallholders in the supply chain.
    • 3 companies / 29 (10.3%) report a clear process for assessing and engaging smallholder suppliers on compliance with company's policy and/or legal requirements.
    • 2 companies / 29 (6.9%) report the number or percentage of smallholder suppliers engaged on compliance with company's policy and/or legal requirements.
  • Governance and grievances Governance and grievances 57.2%
    • 24 companies / 30 (80.0%) have commitments to both ethical conduct and prohibition of corruption.
    • 20 companies / 30 (66.7%) have a grievance or complaints system open to all stakeholders.
    • 3 companies / 30 (10.0%) have disclosed details of complaints and grievances.

Key findings

  • The average score of companies is 41.5% in March 2023, compared to 39.3% during the last assessment of natural rubber companies in March 2022.
  • 16/29 (55%) companies assessed in 2022 saw an increase in their scores in 2023 – the average change in score was +7.1 percentage points.
  • 12/29 (41%) companies assessed in 2022 saw a decrease in their scores in 2023 – the average change in score was -2.8 percentage points.
  • The average score per supply chain segment is producers 38.6%, processors 39.5%, traders 30.8%, and manufacturers 44.7%.
  • The average score of Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) members (17 companies), including companies with subsidiary or parent company members, is 53.9% vs. 26.0% for non-GPSNR members (13 companies).

Average scores by type

Disclosure types
Organisation
42.6%
Policy
50.6%
Practice
27.8%
ESG
Environmental
34.8%
Social
42.9%
Governance
42.9%
Supply chain
Producer
43.8%
Processor
43.4%
Manufacturer
42.9%

About SPOTT

Developed by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), SPOTT is an online platform supporting sustainable commodity production and trade. By tracking transparency, SPOTT incentivises the implementation of corporate best practice. SPOTT assesses commodity producers, processors and traders on their public disclosure regarding their organisation, policies and practices related to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. SPOTT scores companies annually against sector-specific indicators to benchmark their progress over time. Investors, buyers and other key influencers can use SPOTT assessments to inform stakeholder engagement, manage risk, and increase industry transparency. For more information, visit spott.org.

About ZSL

ZSL (Zoological Society of London) is an international conservation charity working to create a world where wildlife thrives. From investigating the health threats facing animals to helping people and wildlife live alongside each other, ZSL is committed to bringing wildlife back from the brink of extinction. Our work is realised through our ground-breaking science, our field conservation around the world and engaging millions of people through our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. For more information, visit zsl.org.


SPOTT is a ZSL initiative.
Zoological Society of London (ZSL)