AKRON — Goodyear plans to replace petroleum-derived processing oils with soybean oil in its tires by 2040 and increase its soybean oil consumption 25% by 2020.
The lofty goal, announced in the company's most recent Corporate Responsibility Report, has a number of benefits.
Using a green technology is more sustainable, the company said, and it can capture a growing section of consumers who factor environmental concerns into their buying decisions. And, it will be a boon for the U.S. soybean industry.
"Using soy to replace petroleum-based raw material provides a more sustainable and renewable product," United Soybean Board Director Gregg Fujan said. "That's a win for manufacturers and consumers while providing another market opportunity for farmers."
But, most importantly for Goodyear, using soybean oil is about building a better tire.
"It's all about performance," a Goodyear spokesman said. "It's a green technology. It's sustainable. … But in the end, when consumers look to the Goodyear name and brand, they will buy our tires because of the performance."
Soybean oil allows for greater flexibility at lower temperatures. Providing better traction in the cold made it a perfect fit for production of all-weather tires.
Currently, Goodyear has three tire lines produced with soybean oil: the Assurance WeatherReady, Eagle Exhilarate and Eagle Enforcer All-Weather.