General Motors (GM) is committing to sourcing sustainable natural rubber in its tyres. Claiming the move as an auto industry first, the company says it is ‘helping drive the industry toward net-zero deforestation and uphold human and labor rights’ and that transforming the global rubber and tyre supply chain to create lasting, environmentally sound sustainable rubber production requires a collaborative approach.
“Our supplier partners are an extension of our company,” said Steve Kiefer, GM senior vice president of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “We want to encourage affordable, safer and cleaner options for our customers that drive value to both our organisation and the communities in which we work.”
GM believes that sourcing tyres produced using sustainable natural rubber has a number of community, business and environmental benefits, including:
- Preserving and restoring primary forests and high conservation value and high carbon stock areas that are critical to addressing climate change and protecting wildlife
- Improving yield and quality for natural rubber farmers, further supporting the small businesses that contribute 85 per cent of this material
- Mitigating business risk related to supply chain sourcing and performance and helping assure long-term availability of a key commodity
- GM goes on to say that as tyre manufacturers develop sustainable natural rubber policies, automaker demand will help fuel results and that it will be working with tyre suppliers, governments, rubber industry associations and environmental NGOs to drive alignment and reduce supply chain complexity.
GM says it is also working with suppliers such as Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear and Michelin to develop appropriate transparency into natural rubber and ensure its traceability throughout the supply chain and is encouraging other automakers and suppliers to join in the effort to accelerate progress.