You might not realize it, but the auto industry absolutely plows through rubber. GM wants to make sure that its desire for a constant flow of fresh tires doesn't break the planet in the process.
General Motors has announced that it will make a commitment to using natural, sustainable rubber for all of its tires. It's the first promise of its kind in the auto industry, and it should bestow improvements not only upon the environment, but also upon the folks who work to source all that rubber.
Rubber comes from trees, so finding a sustainable source will go a long way toward preventing deforestation, which can have benefits regarding climate change and wildlife. But there's also a human element involved -- GM believes its push for natural rubber will help the small businesses that provide much of the global supply.
GM isn't in this alone. It's working with governments, the rubber industry and non-governmental organizations to smooth out its supply chain. It's also working with tire suppliers like Bridgestone and Continental in order to make the supply chain more transparent, so GM can make sure its rubber is actually coming from natural, sustainable sources.
"Our supplier partners are an extension of our company," said Steve Kiefer, GM's senior vice president of supply chain and purchasing, in a statement. "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."