In 2018, Goodyear was recognized by Honda North America with its prestigious Supplier Sustainability Award for demonstrating an exceptional commitment to social and environmental responsibility. Goodyear was Honda's only North American Original Equipment Supplier to earn this distinction, out of more than 500 suppliers.
The company was singled out for excelling in all areas of Honda's seven-part sustainability program: human rights; compliance and ethics; governance; diversity; trade compliance; health and safety; and environmental. As a part of the award process, Honda visited Goodyear's Lawton, Oklahoma, tire plant to see firsthand how these efforts are being implemented.
"We strive to lead the tire industry, for the benefit of our customers, our communities and the environment," said Steve McClellan, Americas president. "Our innovations drive improvements throughout the supply chain, from tire designs that enhance rolling resistance and help drivers use less fuel per mile, to reducing operational use of water and energy in our plants and ensuring our tires are managed properly at the end of their useful life."
Goodyear has a long history of working with Honda and has been supplying tires for the automaker for more than 30 years. Tires for the Honda Accord and Acura RDX and TLX vehicles are manufactured at the Lawton plant – Goodyear's largest North American tire plant and Oklahoma's largest manufacturing facility.
Lawton's successes in associate safety and continuous skills development, energy conservation and community engagement were key drivers for earning the award. Examples cited by Honda include:
Safety targets are displayed inside and outside the plant and discussed daily. Associates are involved in the plant's People and Environmental Care plant optimization process to study, strategize and implement environmental continuous improvement activities. And, certified machine operators train and monitor the work of their peers at each step of the tire building process.
Monthly environmental themes are cascaded throughout all business centers within the plant. Energy conservation opportunities are identified and addressed through the plant's Energy Action plans, which include a Leak Seek program for steam, water, oil, high pressure nitrogen and compressed air for the plant's 2.94 million-square-foot building.
The plant and its associates donated more than $557,000 to the United Way of Southwest Oklahoma last year – representing 40% of the community's annual drive.
"This is a tremendous honor," said Lawton Manufacturing Director John Cunningham. "I'm proud of the cutting-edge work our associates do every day and the high standards we maintain for quality products, customer service, responsible environmental practices and community partnership."
Goodyear’s Fulda plant in Germany was also awarded in 2018, receiving Honda UK's 2018 Sustainability Award for demonstrating great commitment to sustainability at the highest level. The award is a great recognition for the Fulda team and their daily focus on quality products, customer service, responsible environmental practices and community partnership.
Fulda was awarded for excelling in the areas of health and safety, compliance and ethics, and environmental and community service. One of the areas specifically recognized by Honda UK was Fulda's specific activity of replacing mineral gear oil with synthetic oil in machinery, creating savings in energy and maintenance.
"On behalf of the team, we are very proud to receive this award. This recognition proves our commitment to customers, communities and environment in everything we do," said Katrin Rost, manufacturing director, Fulda.
Alex Schumann, director, EHS&S EMEA, emphasized that corporate responsibility is an integral part of Goodyear's business strategy, "Honda UK's recognition of Fulda not only acknowledges our plant's focus, but also our company's focus."
"Honda emphasized that Goodyear's new natural rubber policy on responsible sourcing, which puts an emphasis on transparency, human rights, land rights, and sustainable production, was especially impressive," added Schumann.
Honda's Sustainability Award, which has replaced the Honda Green Excellence Award, has been designed to cover a wide range of the automaker's suppliers' activities that enhance supply chain sustainability.
All suppliers applying for the award have to answer an extensive questionnaire on sustainability, providing supporting evidence of their activities. Michael Wynn, senior key account manager, OE consumer EMEA, received the award on behalf of Goodyear at the Honda UK Manufacturing Supplier Conference.
Alex Schumann, director, EHS&S EMEA gives the Honda 2018 Sustainability Award to Katrin Rost, manufacturing director, Fulda, and her team.