NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario—The Tire Industry Project, a collaborative effort between 11 tire industry CEOs to proactively identify and address the potential human health and environmental impacts of tires throughout their life cycle, is well on its way to meeting its objectives.
This was the message of Kimm Jarden, a principal sustainability specialist at Goodyear, in her presentation at the 2018 Rubber Recycling Symposium held recently in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Goodyear, Bridgestone and Michelin are co-chairs of the TIP, which was founded in 2005 under the aegis of the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development, according to Jarden.
The other members of the TIP include Continental, Cooper, Hankook, Kumho, Pirelli, Sumitomo, Toyo and Yokohama, she said. Together, they represent 65 percent of global tire production, with more than 650,000 employees around the world, she said.
"The TIP was founded on the scientific knowledge of the tire industry," Jarden said. "Our goal is to advance the scientific understanding of tires and their health and environmental effects."
Tire industry CEOs have TIP meetings in Geneva every two years, according to Jarden. The organization works with regional tire organizations across all countries, she said.
Tires contain more than 100 raw materials, and as such provide a unique challenge to recyclers, according to Jarden. Even so, in a study of 51 countries that contain 89 percent of the vehicles in the world, 67 percent of end-of-life tires are recovered, she said.
"World tire production is expected to double by 2050," Jarden said. "Understanding their environmental impacts is truly crucial."
Besides identifying and addressing the health and environmental impact of tires, Jarden said the objectives of the TIP are: To establish measurement and benchmarking frameworks to create new industry methodologies; and to initiate and support in-depth research that leverages industry resources and expertise.
To date, according to Jarden, the TIP has:
- Developed industry frameworks for measuring tire production, use and impact;
- Collaborated with third-party organizations to conduct peer-reviewed reports;
- Analyzed the potential impact of tire production and use on the environment and human health; and
- Identified areas for improvement in sustainability efforts, carbon emissions, energy consumption and water intake.
Besides end-of-life tires, the TIP's topics include but are not limited to ISO standards, key performance indicators, nanomaterials, sustainable natural rubber, product category rules, tire and road wear particles, tire granulates and tire testing, Jarden said.
Tire and road wear particles are "our meat and potatoes work," according to Jarden. "This work led to more lab studies on human health impacts and the identification of tire particles in the environment."