For Bridgestone Americas Inc., the Nashville-based company is sourcing materials that "are more environmentally friendly," said Dan Levy, executive director of product and mobility solutions at Bridgestone, "as it's very important to us and it's very important to our customers to drive good sustainability outcomes."
Bridgestone also is working to improve on the retreadability of its tires, and the technology invested in its tires will help with this.
"The more durable that casing and the more insights that we can generate about how that casing has been used and handled over time, the more opportunity there is to drive more retread," Levy said. "This has great economic outcomes for the fleet, and this is also a big driver of sustainability outcomes, as you don't need to purchase new the bulk of the tire—the casing—after each use."
At Michelin, improving rolling resistance is key to sustainability in the commercial industry.
"Michelin focuses on all parts of the tire in its design," said Thomas Stacey, urban and regional B2B product manager at Michelin. "Technologies in our casing that contribute to lowering rolling resistance while also helping to improve the tire footprint for long, even wear are found in many of our tires, such as our X One products."
Stacey said Michelin also incorporates fuel efficient sidewalls to improve rolling resistance, which is seen in the company's X Line Energy Z tire.
"Advancements in compounding can deliver improvements in rolling resistance while also providing good wear," he added. "The tread design also plays a key factor in rolling resistance, traction and wear."
By lowering a tire's rolling resistance, Stacey said, Michelin can help reduce commercial truck/van fuel consumption, which "helps the environment by lowering truck and van emissions."
Stacey also noted the major environmental impact of scrap tires from commercial trucks and vans.
"Tire design advancements can increase the retreadability of the tire so that fleets get more use out of the original casing and lower the number of scrap tires that end up in landfills," integrating the tires into a more circular economy, he said.
"As sustainability and environmental impacts move to the forefront in the tire industry, tire designs will evolve to using more sustainable materials than they do today," Stacey said. "The Michelin Vision concept, for example, is manufactured from bio-sourced and recycled materials, leveraging the high-tech materials expertise of Michelin and its partners to achieve the objective of 100-percent sustainable materials by 2050."
At Prometeon Tyre Group, Marco Verzino, vice president of technical, product management and OE, also said rolling resistance is key in the commercial trucking industry when it comes to sustainability.
"Any vehicle manufacturer has to provide a certain classification for fuel emissions to the government," Verzino said, helping the industry achieve targets for lower emissions. "Having lower fuel emissions and longer tread life, low rolling resistance achieved with materials that are more sustainable, that's the name of the game."