General Motors to Buy Sustainable Rubber Tires
In an initiative to help small rubber farmers and protection of annual profit, General Motors has planned to commit that it will buy sustainable natural rubber. Since the company buys around 49 million tires annually, the commitment will help it ensure the long-term availability of the material.
The carmaker will be making up requirements for purchasing that will be based on the use of sustainably harvested rubber. The company also plans to encourage more automakers to make up such requirements in what can be aimed as a way to combat growing deforestation and uphold labor and human rights.
GM plans to use rubber that was harvested keeping in mind the economic and social development of the area while maintaining transparency and traceability to ensure there is no discrepancy in the process. Although, both GM and its tire suppliers agree that they will try to make sure that the rubber will be obtained responsibly, but they also said that natural rubber can’t be entirely replaced by synthetics yet.
The figures related to the cost required for using better sustainable farming practices isn’t known yet, but it is being hoped that it is around the cost that it takes right now. Since rubber trees grow only in limited places and have a high probability of catching diseases, it is imperative that the entire industry joins hands for sustainable development.
General Motors will meet with stakeholders in June to set and develop criteria for purchase of rubber and introduce by the year end an industry road map.