General Motors to use sustainable natural rubber tyres

US-based GM, producer of popular brands such as Cadillac, Chevrolet and Vauxhall in countries across the globe, pledges to work with tyre suppliers, governments, rubber industry associations and NGOs to reduce the complexity within the tyre supply chain.

The motoring giant hopes this move will preserve primary forests, improve yields and quality for natural rubber farmers and mitigate business risk related to supply chain sourcing performance.

“Our supplier partners are an extension of our company,” said GM senior vice president of global purchasing and supply chain Steve Kiefer. “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.”

With over 32 million tonnes of material being used each year by the tyre industry, and three-quarters of this comprising of fossil origin, it will be crucial for the sector to source sustainable products and ensure that tyres are recycled at the end of their life cycle.

Recently GM revealed to EDIE how recycling and remanufacturing has already generated a further $1bn in revenue to the company’s bottom line. The carmaking giant, which has also pledged to source 100% of electricity from renewables before 2050, is now ensuring that 95% of its near 10,000 auto parts used throughout its vehicle portfolio are recyclable wherever possible

This decision to source sustainable natural rubber should prompt other car manufacturers and suppliers to join in the effort to accelerate progress, GM has said. The company aims to develop transparency and traceability throughout the supply chain by working alongside suppliers such as Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear and Michelin.

The latter hit the headlines last month after its energy-saving tyres were shown to be 1.19% more fuel efficient than other premium brands. These findings were generated by a year-long trial, which saw Michelin provide ‘regional’ tread pattern tyres for Ginsters Cornish Pasty brand owner, Samworth Brothers.

Also making news is global outdoor-wear company Timberland and tyre manufacturer and distributor Omni United by teaming up to produce a line of tyres intended to be recycled into footwear out-soles once finished with on the road.

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