Detroit automaker General Motors Co. has begun working with tire manufacturers to change the global rubber and tire supply chain to create sustainable, environmentally sound products for its vehicles. GM says the commitment to sourcing sustainable natural rubber in its tires will help drive the industry towards net-zero deforestation, as well as better support human and labor rights.
“Our supplier partners are an extension of our company,” says 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 organization and the communities in which we work.”
Kiefer says using sustainable, natural rubber will have several community, business, and environmental benefits, including preserving and restoring key forests, improving yield and quality for natural rubber farmers and the small businesses that contribute 85 percent of the material, and mitigating business risks related to supply chain sourcing and assuring the long-term availability of rubber materials.
As tire manufacturers develop sustainable rubber policies, automaker demand will help guide results. GM will work with tire suppliers, government leaders, rubber industry associations, and environmental NGOs to reduce supply chain complexity and drive alignment. GM is working with Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear, Michelin, and other suppliers to develop an appropriate transparency regarding natural rubber and to ensure its traceability throughout the industry.