Soy-based products are taking markets by storm and are the center of a biobased economy. A biobased economy is defined as, ‘the idea of using living things and products from the land to drive the economy. Today, we explain a few examples of innovative soy products that are beginning to surface on the market.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company introduced the Goodyear Assurance ComfortDrive on February 4, 2020. The all-season tire combines a soybean oil compound with evolving traction grooves and Treadlock technology to offer more comfort, performance, and sustainability.
In 2019, Goodyear’s sustainability goals outlined in their Corporate Responsibility Report included an increased consumption of soybean oil by 25 percent by 2020 and fully replacing petroleum-derived oils by 2040. As of 2021, Goodyear Tires released four different lines of soy-based tires, so if you’re driving on Goodyear tires, you could be using a soy-based product!
Some companies started to see the success Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is having with their rubber technology made with U.S. soybean oil and wanted in on the innovation. Skechers was quick to hop on board and began collaborating with Goodyear to bring the same durable performance and sustainability to their running shoes. Skechers now uses the same rubber compounds made with soybean oil that Goodyear uses in their tires to deliver the grip and stability runners need. Skechers launched their soy-based shoes called the “Skechers GOrun collection” and plan to bring this technology into a wider assortment of colors and styles in the near future.
From roads to the sky, there has been an extraordinary effort to reduce humanity’s carbon footprint. Transportation companies are moving towards renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel. Over the past few years, the race to reduce aviation carbon emissions has gained traction in airline circles. Oil companies are also in on the conversation and putting big dollars into soybeans and other feedstocks to produce more renewable fuel.
In September of this year, Chevron announced they’re investing $600 million in a soybean processing partnership for renewable fuels. The joint venture with Bunge is aimed to expand soybean processing capabilities in Illinois and Louisiana. In a statement given in September, Chevron’s Executive Vice President, Mark Nelson said, “Chevron’s proposed joint venture with Bunge positions us to expand into the renewable fuel feedstock value chain, which will advance our higher returns, lower carbon strategy.”
With more companies looking into sustainable practices and reducing their carbon footprint, farmers could have the opportunity to expand into these different types of markets. Soybeans have the potential to make a huge impact in a biobased economy. It will be interesting to watch the industry continue to grow.