ST. LOUIS (March 25, 2021) — Soy checkoff research funding and partnership with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has led to a multi-decade commitment by the tire manufacturer to source sustainably produced U.S. soybean oil, phasing out petroleum-derived oils from its products by 2040.
The initial research led to the discovery that soybean oil could not only improve tire flexibility across temperatures but also provide enhanced grip on road surfaces, making it an ideal choice for Goodyear’s all-weather tire line. Goodyear commercialized this innovation in its Assurance® WeatherReady® consumer tire line in 2017, the Eagle® Enforcer All Weather™ in 2018 and the Eagle Exhilarate™ in 2019, and announced the Goodyear Assurance ComfortDrive™ in 2020. Building upon that success, Goodyear recently announced a new sustainable soybean oil procurement policy that reflects its strong commitment to the responsible sourcing of raw materials.
End users continue to increase demand for sustainably produced products. The nation’s 515,000 soybean farmers are unified in their effort to grow market opportunities by providing the best raw materials to support partners such as Goodyear. U.S. farmers are leaders when it comes to using new leading-edge technologies and best management practices to increase economic and environmental sustainability.
“We are pleased to partner with Goodyear for their award-winning innovation with U.S. soy in tires and are ready to meet their current and future needs for the sustainable procurement of soybeans,” said United Soybean Board farmer-leader Ed Lammers, who serves as the Oil Target Area coordinator. “U.S. soybean farmers offer a safe and reliable source of sustainably grown soybeans that provide versatility in the areas of food, feed and fuel, and also deliver high-performance products for industrial use partners, such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.”
Goodyear increased its use of soybean oil in 2020 by 73% over 2018, making progress toward its long-term goal of full petroleum replacement. The new procurement policy features a variety of components, including provisions across the supply chain for responsible land use, growing, harvesting and processing. With its goal to be a global leader in sustainability, the U.S. soy industry is well-positioned to meet this demand. U.S. soybean farmers employ sustainable farming practices such as crop rotation, reduced tillage and nutrient management to improve soil health, reduce inputs, boost crop productivity, conserve water and enrich the quality of soil.
“Goodyear’s use of soybean oil is growing, and we want our actions to make a difference in the lives of soybean farmers and others in the supply chain,” said Maureen Thune, vice president and chief procurement officer of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. “Our new policy will help guide us as we work with processors, farmers and others to strengthen the sustainability of the global supply chain.”
Goodyear’s new soybean oil procurement policy is effective immediately and applies to all soybean-based materials sourced by its operations worldwide.