At a time when environmental problems are a focus of concern, companies and consumers are looking for sustainable ecological solutions to minimise damage. Tyres are a part of this. The production of tyres uses both natural and chemical resources. So, how can tyre manufacturers reduce their environmental footprint? What is the commitment of tyre manufacturers for green growth?

By Published On: 3 June 2021Categories: Brands and products694 words3.5 min read
Ecological footprint tyre brands
How can tyre brands reduce their environmental footprint? © iStock

Ecological transition: what plan for tyre brands?

A tyre is an essential product for everyone’s mobility. However, the products and materials used to produce it are far from being beneficial for the environment and the recycling a complex issue. This is the reason why several tyre manufacturers want to move towards an ecological transition. Whether at a company level or at a product level, the objective is to implement sustainable solutions.

How is Pirelli fighting against climate change?

Pirelli has been named world leader in the fight against climate change by the CDP (former Carbon Disclosure Project) for the second consecutive year. The company states on CDP’s “A list” of companies recognised for their environmental commitment. This international non-profit organisation is committed to communicating on environmental protection issues. It helps companies and governments reduce their environmental footprint through data collected on management of water, forests, and more.

The score it gave Pirelli includes the efficiency of efforts made to:

  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other climate risks
  • develop a low carbon economy
  • provide clear information on its ecological commitment
  • opt for better practices for the climate

Also on the “A” are manufacturers Sumitomo, Yokohama, Michelin and Bridgestone. As for Goodyear, Nokian and Continental, they are rated B.

Michelin’s objective to achieve zero CO2 emissions?

Michelin reveals it zero CO2 emissions strategy that applies to each step of a tyre’s life cycle: from production to the use made by drivers, not forgetting the logistics. Remember, that traffic is responsible for 30% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Already committed to sustainable mobilityMichelin has several objectives in mind to accelerate its energy transition:

  • achieve zero carbon emissions in its factories throughout the world before 2050.
  • reduce consumption due to tyres per kilometres driven by 20 % for 2030

How does Michelin intend to achieve this encouraging and ambitious objective to fight global warming?

  • continue to supply Michelin’s factories in Europe with electricity from renewable sources. With this in mind, CO2 emissions have been reduced by 22% between 2010 and 2018.
  • extend the use of renewable energies to all industries by eliminating the use of coal before 2030.
  • limit transport and reduce travelling distances at a company organisation level: for example, replacing a lorry by the train on certain routes, or by sharing with other merchandise deliveries.
  • offer customers optimised performances throughout the tyre’s life while consuming less energy.
  • invest in sustainable mobility with hydrogen fuel cell systems: less C02 emissions, better quality of air

Its commitments based on the Paris Agreements signed during the COP21 in 2015 will contribute to limiting global warming to +2° Celsius and the reduction of carbon in the transport sector.

What green solution for Nokian Tyres?

As a green solution, Nokian Tyres proposes to develop more ethical products to combat global warming. The brand proposes tyre bags which are more environmentally friendly since they are partially produced from biomaterials. Their production reduces carbon dioxide emissions by up to 75% compared to making bags from plastic.

All the same, Nokian uses about 40 tonnes tyre bags for Finland and Norway alone. The production of bags made from green PE (polyethylene) and LPDE (low density polyethylene) produces about 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide compared with almost 88 tonnes of CO2 for the production of bags from virgin plastic and about 44 tonnes for bags made from recycled plastic.

Nokian tyre bags even carry the “I’m Green” label. This label indicates that the raw materials used are more environmentally friendly. Indeed the bio-based sugarcane ethylene used for Nokian tyre bags has already absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere during its growth phase, thus reducing the total of the final greenhouse gas emissions involved in the production of tyre bags.

What green solutions for the driver?

More and more global brands, and in particular, tyre brands are accelerating their energy transition thanks to actions focused on green economy and sustainable development. As consumers, we can also contribute to a cleaner and more environmentally friendly mobility by adopting eco-friendly habits, for example:

  • buy green tyres when those fitted are worn down to the legal minimum tread depth.
  • implement eco-driving or economic driving
  • use a carpool

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