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Sustainability seems to be the buzzwork, in the realm of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives. The global glove industry, lead by Malaysian manufacturers, has been investing heavily in the past 10 years. R&D that pertains to manufacture of sustainable gloves, be it natural or synthetic. Such development in the industry, is driven by the joint efforts of Malaysian Rubber Gloves Manufacturers Association (MARGMA), Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) and Malaysian Rubber Council (MRC). To achieve the sustainability goal, the three pillars of sustainability namely economic, social and environment must be integrated optimally even though in the real world.
It is often not the case as countries or business organizations tend to give more focus on economic sustainability at the expense of social and environmental sustainability. Innovation, as far as the Malaysian glove manufacturers are concerned, has a huge slant towards sustainability. This paper gives an overview of the various sustainability initiatives as well as innovations within the industry. The nexus between innovation and sustainability cannot be understated, especially when discerning end users, look forward to more sophisticated functional applications of gloves, brought about by innovation and the narrative that fits the cradle to grave journey.
The Malaysian Rubber Council (MRC) is an agency under the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities. It is tasked with undertaking market promotion of quality Malaysian rubber products in world markets, and supports small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through domestic promotion efforts. Formerly known as the Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council (MREPC), the agency was incorporated on 14 April 2000 under the Companies Act 1965 as a company limited by guarantee under the Ministry of Primary Industries.
Dr. Supramaniam S Shanmugam
Malaysian Rubber Gloves Manufacturers Association (MARGMA)
Dr. Supramaniam is the President of the Malaysian Rubber Gloves Manufacturers Association (MARGMA), an entity that represents the Malaysian glove manufacturers which garner 64% of the global glove market share. He holds a Bachelor degree from University of Science Malaysia, Masters from the University of East Asia, and a Doctorate from the Southern Cross University, Australia. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK, a registered Chemist and Senior Member of the Malaysian Institute of Chemistry. He is also the Managing Director of Bonric Group, an entity that specializes in the manufacture and testing of cleanroom rubber gloves. He heads the research for the glove industry on the usage of nano materials in enhancing the property, characteristics and throughputs of gloves.