Tire Industry CEOs commit to ambitious sustainability workplan

TIP builds on established program of scientific research with enhanced action and stakeholder engagement across across range of tire-lifecycle projects


Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel
The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Laguna Niguel at the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

Laguna Niguel, 1 November 2023: The CEOs of 10 leading tire manufacturers gathered this week to confirm a two-year Tire Industry Project (TIP) workplan focused on research and action for sustainability in the tire lifecycle, including tire-emission research and end-of-life tire management.

TIP’s workplan for 2024 and 2025 builds on its established program of scientific research with enhanced action and stakeholder engagement across projects relevant to environmental, social and governance (ESG) in the tire sector.

“Our new workplan underscores the commitment of our members to a tire value-chain that has positive impact on people and planet,” said TIP Executive Director Larisa Kryachkova. “We are evolving and taking an increasingly collaborative and solution-oriented approach to building the knowledge, engagement, and action required to drive a sustainable tire lifecycle.

The CEOs of TIP member companies meet regularly to review project progress and approve workplans. The workplans are also reviewed by an Assurance Group of independent scientists who provide guidance on the scientific relevance and robustness of planned research.

TIP’s members are Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear, Hankook, Kumho, Michelin, Pirelli, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Toyo Tires, and Yokohama. TIP is co-chaired by Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear, and Michelin.

“I am pleased to see TIP’s progress. TIP has expanded its reporting on the environmental performance of manufacturing operations and is considering mitigation actions while advancing scientific understanding of TRWP. TIP has also skillfully facilitated stakeholders to confront the challenges of end-of-life tire management. While there is much that remains to be addressed, there is no question that this influential WBCSD Sector Project is making a positive contribution.” Says Professor John Spengler, who is Professor of Environmental Health and Human Habitation at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, and has been an independent member of TIP’s assurance group for over a decade.

Components of the new 2024 and 2025 workplan include:

Tire-emission research and mitigation

TIP will initiate a global conference to bring the scientific community and other subject matter experts together to advance both scientific understanding and mitigation action on tire emissions, including tire and road wear particles (TRWP). TIP will also organize open calls for projects, to catalyze studies into tire emissions beyond TRWP.

TIP will continue efforts to generate representative tire emissions to advance tire emission risk assessments. In parallel, the Project’s increasingly solution-oriented approach will see the generation of data and methods to guide mitigation actions and the launch of TRWP-mitigation pilot projects.

End-of-life tire management

End-of-life tires (ELT) are a valuable resource for the circular economy, and improving their sustainable management is a TIP priority. TIP will contribute expertise to updating international guidelines that will drive more sustainable global movement and management of ELT. Complementing this, TIP will deliver workshops, tools, and data to build stakeholder capacity for more circular ELT management.

More effective sustainability assessments

TIP has also committed to developing tire specific sustainability definitions and methodologies to enable the tire industry to deliver more effective circularity and sustainability assessments. The definitions and methodologies are expected to improve tire sector alignment on sustainability reporting, improving both the transparency of claims, and making it easier to compare progress across the sector.

Building on the achievements of the 2022-2023 workplan

A review of 2022 and 2023 workplan noted the publication of six peer-reviewed scientific studies, including the development of methods that help the identification of TRWP in environmental samples, and research to better understand the aging of TRWP in the environment.

Other achievements included the culmination of a series of regional end-of-life tire management workshops with the publication of the report ‘Perspectives on End-of-Life Tire (ELT) Management: Challenges and Potential Solutions in the US, Europe and China’. The report recommends measures aimed at providing organizations and individuals with the tools and frameworks for knowledge exchange and collaboration that are required to effectively lead the development of better – more circular – ELT management systems. A recent workshop in India continued this work.

The 2022-2023 review also covered the expansion of TIP’s reporting on key performance indicators for an improved assessment of industry contributions to the most relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets.