Tread Trends: GM Switches to Artisan Tires Using Sustainable 'Green Rubber'
General Motors has announced it will choose “sustainable natural rubber” for the 49 million tires it buys each year. The automaker claims it is establishing a set of buying principals to ensure sustainably harvested materials and is encouraging other automakers to follow suit in a bid to reduce deforestation.
It won’t suddenly make driving your Chevrolet good for the environment, but it should give drivers bragging rights — allowing them to claim their tires killed fewer critters before even getting the opportunity to run any over.
However, environmental smugness is occasionally warranted. With tire manufactures representing 75 percent of the natural rubber market (according to the World Wildlife Fund), an overall shift toward sustainability would provide a measurable impact on deforestation. But what is General Motors getting out of this move and what will the price of environmental awareness be?