Strengthening our commitment to sustainable natural rubber

Natural Rubber Procurement Policy

In 2018, Goodyear announced a new natural rubber procurement policy that reflects its strong commitment to the responsible sourcing of raw materials.  

The company believes the implementation and adherence to this policy will help address deforestation, land grabbing, and human rights in the areas of the world where natural rubber is produced. 

“We know our actions can make a difference in protecting the rights of people throughout the supply chain, including the smallholders who grow natural rubber on their own land,” said Maureen Thune, VP and chief procurement officer. “Our new policy also helps to protect the environment by promoting environmentally and socially responsible land use.” 

Building upon the company’s Business Conduct Manual and Supplier Code of Conduct, the policy, which can be reviewed here, introduces seven principles that will guide the development of a long-term, sustainable supply chain: 

  1. Human Rights – Goodyear will work to ensure its natural rubber supply chain protects the rights of all involved, fostering a positive working environment at all levels of the supply chain. 
  2. Responsible Land Acquisition and Use – Goodyear will work to promote an environmentally and socially responsible natural rubber supply chain, free from deforestation and land grabbing. 
  3. Traceability – Goodyear will work toward and promote practices that lead to the ability to trace natural rubber through the entire supply chain. 
  4. Natural Rubber Processing – Goodyear expects its suppliers who process natural rubber for its usage to manufacture their product in a responsible and environmentally friendly manner. 
  5. Natural Rubber Growing and Harvesting Process – Goodyear encourages its suppliers to utilize best-known cultivation practices for existing planted and replanted natural rubber trees. 
  6. Smallholder Outreach, Engagement and Community Development – Goodyear will work to increase yields and improve the livelihoods of existing smallholders, encouraging all its direct suppliers and relevant members of their supply chain to support their communities. 
  7. Policy Implementation and Compliance – Goodyear is committed to the corruption-free and transparent implementation of this policy and its principles. 

Beyond this new policy, Goodyear is also working collaboratively to improve sustainability across the entire natural rubber supply chain. Goodyear is a member of the Tire Industry Project (TIP), a CEO-led initiative made up of the world’s 11 major tire companies, which is actively working with key stakeholders, including automakers, rubber producers and civil society, to develop an industry platform for natural rubber sustainability. 

“The multi-stakeholder collaboration is exciting, and we believe it is the key to the development of significant progress in the industry,” said Thune. 

Sponsoring a program for natural rubber farmers

 As part of Goodyear's commitment to sustainable natural rubber, we sponsored our second community outreach program near Jambi, Indonesia, last year. The programs are focused on increasing the natural rubber yield for smallholders, which are the small family-run farms that grow approximately 90% of the world's natural rubber supply.  

At the latest event, which was co-sponsored by one of our natural rubber suppliers, Goodyear donated money to guarantee that 45 hectares (111 acres) of land would be replanted with more than 25,000 high-yield natural rubber tree clones. Best practices were shared with the smallholders to improve the yield from their trees.

We also awarded 45 three-year educational scholarships to children of the smallholders. These scholarships enable students to secure the education they need for their future while easing the financial burden on their families. 

Goodyear plans to continue to engage the smallholder community through similar programs in the future. Doing so improves the sustainability of the natural rubber supply, which supports the elimination of human rights issues and addresses concerns of future deforestation.

Natural rubber saplings.

James Laimos and Choon Hwee Ng, GOCPL Natural Rubber, and Martinus Sinarya, Kirana, celebrate planting the donated natural rubber seedlings.