WASHINGTON—Goodyear's new Natural Rubber (NR) Procurement Policy lacks the policy safeguards that would make it a truly effective vehicle for fighting deforestation, land grabbing and human rights abuses, an environmental organization claims.
Following such companies as Bridgestone Corp., Group Michelin, Pirelli & C. S.p.A. and General Motors Co., Goodyear issued its new policy April 23. The tire maker said the document was designed to promote a sustainable, environmentally responsible NR supply chain.
However, the environmental group Mighty Earth claimed April 26 that Goodyear's policy lacks the strong criteria regarding non-compliant rubber suppliers that the other corporations' policies have.
"Goodyear's policy underscores a commitment to following several industry-accepted standards for agriculture free of human rights abuse and deforestation," said a Mighty Earth press release.
"However, it lacks policy points for monitoring implementation, transparency of suppliers, termination of non-compliant suppliers, forest restoration, banning of hazardous chemicals as prohibited by the Rotterdam Convention, a full ban on burning and development on peatland, and additional clarification on labor rights protections," the release said.
In particular, Mighty Earth said, Goodyear bought rubber on 84 occasions from Dau Tieng Rubber Corp., a Vietnamese firm with rubber plantations in Cambodia, and a company based in Cameroon, Hevea Cameroun (Hevecam), between October 2016 and March 2018.
Dau Tieng and Hevecam have both been responsible for extensive deforestation in biodiverse areas, land grabbing and human rights violations, according to the group.
"By continued purchasing from these companies, Goodyear is not only engaging with suppliers found to be operating destructive plantations, but also turning a blind eye to the possibility of tainted rubber entering their tire supply chain," Mighty Earth said.
Goodyear officials could not immediately be reached for comment.