GM collaborating with tyre makers on natural rubber sustainability

General Motors has committed itself to sourcing original equipment tyres produced from sustainable natural rubber. The vehicle manufacturer views this step as an industry first and says its aim is to help “drive the industry toward net-zero deforestation and uphold human and labour rights.”

Transforming the global rubber and tyre supply chain to one based upon environmentally and sound sustainable rubber production requires, comments GM, a collaborative approach. “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 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.

It is expected that as tyre manufacturers develop sustainable natural rubber policies, demand from vehicle manufacturers will help fuel results. GM states that it will be working with tyre suppliers, governments, rubber industry associations and environmental NGOs to drive alignment and reduce supply chain complexity.

GM is also working with tyre manufacturers such as Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear and Michelin to develop appropriate transparency into natural rubber supply and ensure its traceability throughout the supply chain. The company encourages other car makers and suppliers to join in the effort to accelerate progress.

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