Michelin begins natural rubber JV with Barito Pacific

Michelin has invested US$55 million for a 47 per cent share in a joint venture with the Barito Pacific Group (BPG). The two parties will work in Indonesia on the production of natural, eco-friendly rubber in a project that involves the reforestation of three concessions that were previously ravaged by uncontrolled deforestation, a total area of 88,000 hectares.

Throughout half the area, sites situated respectively in the provinces of Jambi (Sumatra) and North-East Kalimantan-Timur (Borneo), rubber trees will be planted to produce natural rubber (approximately 80,000 tonnes per annum). The other half will be earmarked for re-creating a natural environment and community crops. This project will ultimately create more than 16,000 direct or indirect long-term and stable local jobs.

In the framework of promoting practices of sustainable natural rubber production, Michelin has also entered into a long-term cooperation with the WWF. A four-year partnership between the tyre maker and the NGO was signed on 24 April 2015 by Michelin Group CEO Jean-Dominique Senard and WWF International president Marco Lambertini. It comprises three facets:

A global partnership involving the promotion of best practices in rubber tree plantation and the extraction and transformation of latex, among the international bodies representing the rubber industry.

A partnership with WWF France and WWF Indonesia for researching and establishing the best possible solutions in the plantation zones, with the WWF having presence on concessions bordering those of Michelin/Barito in Jambi. To better address the CSR aspects of the project, Michelin and Barito Pacific Group have set up a specific governance body, which WWF will be part of. The local coordination between Michelin, Barito and the WWF also aims to protect the Bukit Tigapuluh National Park and Limau Protected Forest, which are today under threat of deforestation.

A targeted partnership with the WWF France Foundation that involves the protection, conservation and restoration operations for the fauna and flora within and around the concession zones.

Barito Pacific Group started as a timber company in the seventies. Over the years it gradually phased out this activity, ending it entirely in the mid-2000s. Barito Pacific Group is now a large industrial Group diversified into several industries including petrochemicals, geothermal, power, oil and gas, mining, real estates and plantations.

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