Akron, Ohio – The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has announced a new sustainable soybean oil procurement policy which will see the US manufacturer further committing to responsible sourcing of the raw material.
Effective immediately, the policy will address a number of areas, including human rights, land acquisition and the environment, said Goodyear in an 18 March statement.
On the human rights front, Goodyear said it would work to ensure its soybean oil supply chain “supports and protects" the rights of all involved and creates a positive working environment at all levels of the supply chain.
In addition, the Akron-based manufacturer will work to promote “an environmentally and socially responsible soybean supply chain, free from deforestation and land grabbing.”
The policy also includes provisions for environmentally friendly growing, harvesting and processing of soybean oils, Goodyear added.
“Goodyear’s use of soybean oil is growing, and we want our actions to make a difference in the lives of soybean farmers and others in the soybean supply chain,” said Maureen Thune, VP and chief procurement officer.
The new policy, she said, will help guide processors, farmers, and others to strengthen the sustainability of the global soybean supply chain.
Goodyear has stepped up its use of soybean oil, as a sustainable material, in its tire production in recent years.
The company said it has developed tire tread compounds, in which soybean oil has replace some or all petroleum-derived oils.
The soybean oil, according to Goodyear, helps keep a tire’s rubber compound pliable in changing temperatures, a key performance feature that enahnces tire grip.
Goodyear commercialised the material in its Assurance WeatherReady consumer tire line in 2017, the Eagle Enforcer All Weather in 2018, the Eagle Exhilarate in 2019 and the Goodyear Assurance ComfortDrive in 2020.
Goodyear’s 2020 use of soybean oil increased 73% over 2019 usage, making progress toward its long-term goal of full petroleum oil replacement in its products by 2040.