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Natural rubber industry, dominated by smallholders often unable to absorb the costs of sustainable practices, tends to be overlooked by global sustainability initiatives. Negative social and environmental impacts present a risk to investors.

Webinar Presentation: ESG Risks in the Natural Rubber Sector

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Rubber products are present in our daily lives, often without us even noticing. But unlike other industries such as palm oil or timber, which have been under extensive external pressure to improve sustainability, natural rubber is often overlooked. This is due to 85% of the global supply being produced by smallholders made up of local people cultivating small patches of land, unable to absorb the costs of adopting more sustainable practices. Unaddressed, poor management practices and associated low productivity can lead to negative social and environmental impacts, including pollution, health issues, and poverty. The environmental and social issues associated with rubber production represent financial, regulatory, and reputational risks to both the downstream companies and the financial institutions involved. 

This CFA Institute and ZSL SPOTT* webinar provides an overview of ZSL’s inaugural natural rubber sector transparency assessment findings, and a selection of speakers will unpack the main ESG risks facing natural rubber sector companies and those exposed to them.

Watch the Webinar

  • Clara Melot, SPOTT Engagement and Impact Manager, Zoological Society of London
  • FookLeong Chan, CFA, Executive Director, Advocacy, CFA Society Singapore
  • Lee Chestnutt, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Corrie MacColl Plantations
  • Ryan Wiener, Global Head, Strategic Marketing, Corrie Plantations
  • Paul Speed, Director, Operations & Acquisitions, New Forests Asia (Singapore) Pte & New Forests Asia Sdn Bhd

*SPOTT assesses commodity producers and traders on their public disclosure regarding their organisation, policies, and practices related to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. SPOTT scores tropical forestry, palm oil, and natural rubber companies annually against more than 100 sector-specific indicators to benchmark their progress over time.

Video: 1 hr 8 min.

Recorded: 16 April 2020.

About the Authors

Clara Melot

Clara Melot joined ZSL in 2016 as Sustainable Finance Specialist. Her role within the Zoological Society of London focuses on financial sector capacity building and engagement on business and biodiversity issues. Clara has an MA in Marketing and Advertising from La Sorbonne University, through which she gained experience in the corporate partnerships department of WWF-France. She then obtained an MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation from the London School of Economics and went on to join the Climate and Forests team at ClientEarth where she spent three years working on FCDO funded projects under "Forest Governance, Markets and Climate" grants.

Fook Leong Chan
Fook Leong Chan CFA

Mr Chan Fook Leong, CFA is responsible for ethics education in CFA Society Singapore. He puts together ethical courses for practitioners based on the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. He also conducts training on ethics for financial institutions and writes on ethical issues for the CFA Singapore Insights Column in the Business Times.

In his current role, Mr Chan is also involved in thought leadership projects, sector analysis, investor education and protection, undergraduate outreach on ethics and issues relating to ESG and market integrity. He is also the representative in Singapore for Asia Pacific Research Exchange (ARX), a dedicated repository for Asia Pacific specific research and materials. Prior to joining CFA Society Singapore, Mr Chan co-authored a market manipulation research report on Singapore-listed companies

Lee Chestnutt
Lee Chestnutt

Responsible for the development of Corrie MacColl plantations, Lee Chestnutt has more than 25 years experience in natural rubber. Mr Chestnutt entered the rubber industry in 1995 with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company as Project Manager and subsequently Project Director in their Sumatra plantation. His last role with Goodyear was Manager, Supply & Quality Development, focusing on developing high quality supply of rubber from Africa for use in European tyre plants. Mr Chestnutt joined the Halcyon Group in 2013 and was appointed Global Head, HEVEAPRO Technology and Standards in 2017 where he developed the standards and led the implementation across Halcyon’s global factories.

Ryan Wiener
Ryan Wiener

Ryan Wiener joined Halcyon Agri, Corrie MacColl’s parent company, in 2014 where he worked as Manager, Strategic Development in Singapore. In 2017, he joined Centrotrade Deutschland and subsequently Corrie MacColl Limited as Global Head of Strategic Marketing. His responsibilities cover commercial marketing, Group structure, branding and investor relations. Previously, Mr Wiener spent five years in real-estate investment at Savills Singapore. He has a bachelor degree in International Business from Bond University, Australia and is currently undertaking a Masters in Applied Finance from Kaplan Professional, Australia.

Paul Speed Picture
Paul Speed

Paul Speed is a director of New Forests Asia (Singapore) Pte and the director for Operations & Investments for the New Forests Southeast Asian forestry funds. He oversees the team of forestry investment and operations professionals in the region. Mr. Speed's experience spans over 25 years, including nine years in the Solomon Islands in direct plantation forestry management and then eight years international forest industry consulting. He specializes in forest due diligence, investment appraisal, and operational management. Mr. Speed has a bachelor’s degree in pure and applied biology and a master of science in forestry from oxford university. He is a full member of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry, the Incorporated Society of Planters in Malaysia, and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.