General Motors said Monday it was moving toward sustainable rubber production for the cars and trucks it produces every year, reducing contributions to deforestation in Southeast Asia and South America.
Steven Kiefer, senior vice president for global purchasing and supply chain, said the move would push the auto industry and its supply chain towards "net-zero deforestation."
The new policy would also help guarantee the labor and human rights of the six million small farmers and 30 million workers who harvest rubber in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Brazil.
"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," Kiefer said at a news conference.
"At the same time, it should help insure the supply of natural rubber as demand rises."
He was joined by representatives of tire producers including Bridgestone, Goodyear and Michelin and Continental, which supply more than 80 percent of the tires used by GM.
GM said in a statement it was working with the companies to ensure traceability throughout its natural rubber supply chain.