AKRON—Green business and economic practices, encompassing both manufacturing and recycling, are crucial to the continuing health and viability of the tire industry, speakers said at the International Tire Exhibition & Conference held in Akron Sept. 11-13.
The world's population will reach 10 billion by 2058, said Rahinda Mukhopadhyay, director of the Hari Shankar Singhania Elastomer and Tyre Research Institute in Karnataka, India.
Population growth will be especially intense in India, which will surpass China as the most populous country in the world, according to Mukhopadhyay.
Along with population growth will come increased economic activity, but also wealth disparity, climate change, increasing societal polarization, rising cyber-dependency and an aging population, he said.
Because of these factors, auto and tire manufacturers face the challenge of creating new green technologies and expanding the sustainable economy while remaining globally competitive, according to Mukhopadhyay.
"The green economy means improving human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities," he said.
Climate change already is having a profound impact on Asia, according to Mukhopadhyay. The risks include:
- Increasing crop failure and lower crop production;
- Increased risk of heat-related mortality;
- Increased river, coastal and urban flooding, with increased risk of flood-related deaths, injuries and infrastructure damage;
- Increased water shortages in arid regions; and
- Increased risk of water- and vector-borne diseases.
To reduce these risks, the world must adopt a green economy that turns away from fossil fuels and unbridled consumption toward a focus on saving resources rather than labor, Mukhopadhyay said.
In terms of tires, this means the development of renewable, mineral-based and recycled raw materials, he said.