WASHINGTON—The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association has released its first-ever sustainability report, detailing U.S. tire makers' vision for sustainable manufacturing and its progress in achieving the goal of a sustainable tire manufacturing industry.
"Sustainability drives our members' business practices and operating principles," Anne Forristall Luke, USTMA president and CEO, said in the introduction to the report. "From engineering innovations that maximize tire longevity and performance, to ensuring driver and employee safety, to preserving the environment throughout the life cycle of a tire, our members are continually looking for ways to improve the societal contributions of their products and operations."
The report highlights the accomplishments of U.S. tire makers in achieving sustainability, including:
- 81 percent of scrap tires generated in the U.S. reaching beneficial end-use markets in 2017;
- A reduction of nearly 10 percent in carbon dioxide emissions since 2010;
- A 50-percent reduction in workplace injury and illness since 2005;
- Nearly 90 percent of USTMA member companies having certification under ISO 14001, the internationally recognized system for managing a facility's environmental footprint; and
- 100-percent support by USTMA member companies for charitable and philanthropic activities.
The report also details technological advances within the tire industry to achieve greater efficiency, performance, safety and sustainability, including:
- The development of run-flat, self-sealing, airless and self-inflating tires;
- The development of sensors, chips and tags that can be embedded in a tire's tread groove to provide real-time information on tire pressure, temperature and treadwear;
- Ongoing research and development on sustainable materials in tires, including guayule, Russian dandelions, soybean oil, rice husks and orange peels; and
- Implementation of technologies and practices that reduce manufacturing-related emissions, solid waste and water use, and improve energy efficiency.
"Automobile manufacturers are increasingly turning to USTMA member companies to help fine-tune safety, performance and environmental aspects of their vehicles," the report said.
Likewise, the report noted, tire makers "continue to innovate to find the combination of design, materials and advanced engineering required to meet these market demands—including an ever-growing focus on sustainability."
Many USTMA members' sustainability initiatives are cutting-edge and extend well beyond the parameters of the report, according to Luke.
"By uniting around a forward-looking vision on sustainability, we have the potential to make an even bigger impact in the areas of safety, performance and environmental stewardship," she said.
The USTMA Sustainability Report compiles information from 2016 to 2018 and will be updated every two years, the USTMA said.