Tire Industry Project CEOs reaffirm commitment to sustainability research

CEOs of 11 leading tyre manufacturers met to review progress and confirm the ongoing mandate of the leading global forum for tyre manufacturers on sustainability issues – the Tire Industry Project.

Founded in 2005, the Tire Industry Project (TIP) is a global CEO-led initiative undertaken by leading tyre manufacturing companies to research potential human health and environmental impacts of tyres throughout their lifecycle. TIP operates under the umbrella of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and is co-chaired by Bridgestone, Goodyear, and Michelin.

Representing approximately 65 per cent of the world’s tyre manufacturing capacity, TIP member CEOs meet biennially to review project progress and approve a two-year work plan. The work plan is reviewed by an Assurance Group of independent scientists who provide guidance on the scientific relevance and robustness of planned work.

In their review of the 2018-2019 work program, CEOs commended TIP on the landmark initiation and launch of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR), an independent multi-stakeholder platform created to lead improvements in the socioeconomic and environmental performance of the natural rubber value chain.

On the work undertaken by TIP on tyre and road wear particles (TRWP), TIP CEOs recognized the significance of the 2019 study, “Evaluation of Tire Wear Contribution to PM2.5 in Urban Environments,” that demonstrated that TRWP are a minor contributor to airborne particulate in three major cities. TIP has supported research into TRWP for more than a decade and has made a substantial contribution to relevant scientific literature.

The CEOs also approved publication of an updated TIP global state of knowledge report on the management of end-of-life tyres (ELT), and a 2019 edition of the TIP report on environmental key performance indicators for tire manufacturing, noting overall improvement in TIP member performance.

The publication of a Product Category Rule (PCR) for tyres was noted for its contribution to improve standardization and transparency in tyre lifecycle environmental impact assessment.

2020-2021 work programme approved

The CEOs went on to approve a 2020-2021 programme of work that will include numerous research projects studying TRWP, including extended sampling of TRWP presence in different environmental compartments (air, rivers, soil, estuaries), analyzing the degradation of TRWP, modelling TRWP fate in the environment and investigating the potential health impacts on organisms from long-term exposure to TRWP.

TIP will continue to report on the environmental performance of the manufacturing operations of its members and will see an evolution of its work on ELT to include dialogue with stakeholders toward an improved understanding of opportunities for more sustainable ELT management.

Furthering its work on tyre materials research, TIP will continue evaluating chemicals used in tyre making for any potential human health or environmental impacts and will contribute to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines on the safe development and use of nanomaterials throughout the tire lifecycle.

TIP will also study the opportunity to develop a WBCSD Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Sector Roadmap for TIP Members. The SDG Sector Roadmap would include suggestions for how the sector can maximize its potential to contribute to achieving the SDG agenda through business solutions, including building upon its 15 years of accomplishments.

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