General Motors says it is the first automaker to commit to using sustainably-sourced natural rubber in the tires it uses on new vehicles. GM hopes this action will have several positive effects on the overall industry, notably moving it towards a net-zero deforestation goal while upholding both human and labor rights. It anticipates having a comprehensive plan of action by the end of the year that will encompass general purchasing requirements as well as traceability of the rubber from farm to factory and ways to monitor and assure responsible practices were employed to produce it.

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“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,” said Steve Kiefer, GM senior vice president of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “GM sources more than 49 million tires each year, and while we are not the largest user, our volume can have an impact on the direction of industry.” To that end, the firm says it will collaborate with tire suppliers including Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear and Michelin, as well as various governments, rubber industry associations and environmental NGOs to create better alignment of these primary goals as well as to reduce supply chain complexity.

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GM also is encouraging other automakers to join in this new green initiative. It believes that accelerating real-world demand for this type of more sustainable tire also will speed up the pace and scale of the ensuing positive results. 


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