Falken tyre brand manufacturer Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) has a new means of verifying supply chain transparency for the natural rubber it utilises. Its procurement company Sumitomo Rubber Singapore Pte. Ltd. been using the Rubberway solution since July 2023, and SRI emphasises that “being part of this industry initiative will accelerate sustainable procurement of natural rubber.”
Plant engineer and equipment manufacturer Zeppelin Systems launched the Zeppelin Sustainable Tire Alliance in March 2023 to pursue a goal of increasing sustainability within the tyre industry by rethinking production and recycling within the context of a circular economy. The Alliance brings together firms from around the world in order to put this vision into practice at various points in the tyre value chain. The latest to join is Siemens AG.
Apollo Tyres has appointed Rajasekhara Reddy as Group Head, Supply Chain for its Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (APMEA) region. In his new role, Reddy leads the regional SCM team and takes responsibility for providing leadership and direction to the regional SCM function.
Following Prime Minster Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet reshuffle, on Wednesday 26 October, NFDA has written to the new Secretary of States for key Cabinet positions, highlighting the principal challenges the automotive industry is currently facing. Sue Robinson, chief executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents car and commercial retailers in the UK commented: “NFDA is the leading figure for automotive retailers in the UK and it is important we maintain our close relationship with Government in order to effectively voice the issues affecting our members. Reaching out to Government’s new ministers, highlighting the key issues currently impacting our sector, will give us a head start in addressing these issues and levelling up our industry.”
The goal at Continental is to exclusively obtain natural rubber for its tyres from responsible sources as of 2030. Confirmation of responsible sourcing is essential to natural rubber’s status as a sustainable raw material, and gaining this confirmation requires traceability within the supply chain. Although completely seamless traceability is currently technically impossible, Continental says it is “working at full speed” on a blueprint for the sustainable and responsible structuring of natural rubber supply chains.
The International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) believes there are “no sustainable alternatives” to natural rubber. In order to gain a greater understanding of how climate change economically and socially impacts this industry, IRSG has enhanced its collaboration with the Singapore Agri-Food Lab (SAIL) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). This collaboration may expand in future to focus on sustainability in the supply chain beyond the plantation.
Mountain bike tyres from the Continental Gravity range have become the first products to feature responsibly sourced natural rubber from a project aimed at establishing sustainable natural rubber supply chains. Continental aims to achieve 100 per cent sustainable supply chains by 2050 at the latest, but is going one step further when it comes to natural rubber and intends to cover its entire demand exclusively through responsible sources by as soon as 2030.
Maxion Wheels has joined non-profit bodies the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) and ResponsibleSteel, and claims as such to be the first wheel manufacturer to become a member of these organisations committed to the responsible sourcing, production and use of aluminium and steel.
US and Canadian wholesaler American Tire Distributors, Inc. (ATD) has expanded its leadership team with the addition of Moid Alwy as chief supply chain officer. In this role, Alwy will oversee a supply chain that ATD describes as “sprawling” and evolve the vision and strategy for the supply chain’s function and innovation.
Announcing its financial results for the first quarter of 2022, tyre maker and automotive technology firm Continental states that it “performed well” during the period despite “an increasingly turbulent market environment.” It describes its Q1 2022 tyre business as “strong.”
Four in a row – For 2021, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has once again awarded Continental the highest grade in its Supplier Engagement rating. This makes Continental one of the eight per cent of companies awarded 2021 leadership status by the international non-profit organisation for supplier commitment to climate change.
Project TREE is the first attempt to establish natural rubber traceability using blockchain, and the UK is the first market where consumers can buy tyres containing verifiable sustainable rubber. Following the launch of traceable Pirelli tyres earlier this month, Hankook Tire & Technology is now distributing tyres manufactured through the project.
With immediate effect, tyre maker Continental will handle a portion of its natural rubber purchasing through HeveaConnect, a digital trading platform designed to ensure greater transparency and sustainability in the natural rubber supply chain. Reporting this new arrangement, Continental’s Dr Andrea Appel explains that the goal is to procure all materials from “responsible sources,” and that the key to achieving this “lies in innovative technologies and digitalisation, which can make a decisive contribution to transparency in complex supply chains.”
Every year, Pirelli awards just nine of the more than 14,000 suppliers throughout its global chain for distinguishing themselves in making the tyre maker’s supply chain even more sustainable, innovative and of the highest possible quality. Announcing the recipients of its 2021 Supplier Awards, Pirelli says the main selection criterion was care for the environment through an increasingly sustainable supply chain – with lower CO2 emissions, high quality, innovation, speed and global presence.
Japan’s Itochu Corporation announced today the commercial launch of Project TREE, an initiative that uses a blockchain-based traceability system to ensure the sustainability and traceability of natural rubber. Partners participating in the Project include Itochu subsidiaries and tyre manufacturers, and the UK will be the first market to benefit.