Exploring Sustainability, Traceability, Transparency, and the Future of Mobility w/ Stefano Savi (Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber)

You think your supply chain is complicated? Think again. Did you know 70% of global production of natural rubber goes into tires, and 85% of the world’s natural rubber is produced by 6-7 million smallholders? Global economies depend on these industries, critical to many other industries and supply chains, but how do we make them sustainable?

I had the pleasure of chatting with physicist turned green champion Stefano Savi of Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) in Episode 39 of the Supply Chain Revolution® podcast. The new platform boasts over 90 members including BMW GroupBridgestone AmericasContinentalFord Motor CompanyGeneral MotorsGood Year TirePirelliRainforest AllianceGroupe RenaultToyota Motor CorporationWWF, and World Resources Institute to name a few who are championing strong supply chain sustainability commitments through collaboration, ESG policies, and technology connecting complex multi-tier traceability, transparency, and data sharing standards.  GPSNR's policy framework sets out eight overarching themes that include commitments to legal compliance, community livelihoods, healthy, functioning ecosystems (including no deforestation), and respecting all human rights. 

GPSNR members realized a broad theory of change was needed to make sustainability a reality. A few key components emerged: 1) strategy and objectives: how should a sustainable ecosystem look and where are the gaps; 2) policy components and what actors/responsibilities are needed to procure and produce; and 3) capacity building to improve the diversification of income, agricultural practices for farmers.

We also discussed the future of mobility and impact rubber consumption has on the automotive industry. Surprisingly, the 'future of mileage' actually goes up, even with car shedding, and we can't forget economies coming into play where access to mobility increases. Full disclosure, I've only had exposure to Tier-1 automotive. I had no idea how complicated auto & tire supply chains are. No company can fix this alone, especially in commodity like rubber with 6 – 7 million farmers who have 1 -2 hectares each producing this commodity, aggregated by 500 processing factories around the world. Oh, and add that a buying company is bound to switch supply on a weekly, monthly basis, or quarterly basis. It's difficult to map your own supply chain effectively…if you go to last level you potentially touch every farmer.

We close the episode with Stefano describing his journey and that moment that made him realize he wanted a career change. In a vulnerable moment, he describes how he was a never a person that had it figured out, that he's always wanted to make a difference but it didn't come as intuitively. I won't spoil the ending, but he had me on the verge of tears. Maybe it's what's going on in the world that's heightened my emotions. When I hear amazing stories like this, it makes me realize there are others out there who want to build a better world. 

Check it out and please reach out to  Stefano Savi to share your thoughts or join the cause. And as always, thank you 1000X for your support. You are appreciated. Feel free to drop a 5 star on iTunes and push sustainable supply chain, DEI, and circular economy front and center to help spread the word.

EPISODE 39 on iTunes 🎧 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/supply-chain-revolution/id1496899179#episodeGuid=9c13b9f8-e811-48f3-92b0-23010e7bd886

EPISODE 39 on Spotify🎧 https://open.spotify.com/episode/0W4WFBXlLv3NXcv4GeOt0k?si=9QcwQ7-YQeuJx9BDoSkSuQ

About The Author

Sheri R. Hinish
Sheri R. Hinish
SupplyChainQueen ® | Executive Advisor and Change Leader | EY Principal and Senior Leader | Passionate about Supply Chain, Sustainability, Innovation, and Inclusion|

To read more about Sheri R. Hinish, check out her full bio here.