General Motors is setting a precedent. Today, it became the first automaker to announce an initiative to begin sourcing sustainable natural rubber for tires used for its vehicles. GM says the decision to set the framework for natural rubber in its tires is based on a handful of areas.
Foremost, natural rubber is cleaner and safer. It also helps curb deforestation and protect rubber as a key natural resource. In the process, moving to natural, sustainable rubber helps slow climate change and protects wildlife and their ecosystems.
GM also says the move will have tremendous effects on natural rubber farmers. It will support small businesses and improve yield and quality.
The automaker will devote time and resources to help tire makers such as Bridgestone, Continental, Michelin and Goodyear, work with governments and rubber industry associates to implement natural rubber policies. GM also believes it will help reduce supply chain complexity.
“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 organization and the communities in which we work.”
In its announcement, GM called on other automakers to support its initiative in an effort to improve communities, the environment, and global operations.