The GreenGT LMPH2G is making make its UK debut at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. The hydrogen-powered MissionH24 endurance race car will contest the hillclimb and be showcased on the Michelin Supercar Paddock stage every day of the four-day event.
The global struggle to reduce global warming through greater sustainability, conservation of resources and lowering of CO2 emissions is undisputedly one of the key problems our generation must address. Kraiburg Austria stresses that “the time for empty appeals, soapbox speeches and lip service is over,” adding that “coordinated measures need to be taken or introduced immediately to ensure the living conditions of future generations.”
Orion Engineered Carbons S.A. launched its Ecorax Nature family of plant-based carbon black products. According to the company, Ecorax Nature 100, which was launched on 17 June 2021, is “the first highly reinforcing carbon black grade made from renewable feedstocks which can be used in critical tyre tread construction”. The product is currently being tested by customers and will go into high volume manufacturing in the second half of 2022. Orion further reports that Ecorax Nature is the first “renewable carbon black” to be produced for the tyre industry.
Pirelli is working with energy sector company Enel X to set up electric vehicle recharging infrastructure in selected Pirelli ‘Driver’ tyre centre outlets. The two companies signed an agreement to this effect at this year’s socially distanced version of the Milano – Monza Motor Show, which began yesterday in the centre of Milan. They will begin by setting up charging facilities at Driver centres in Italy before rolling out charging infrastructures at sites in Spain and then other countries where Pirelli is active with Driver Tyres and Service.
Shandong Linglong Tire Co. Ltd is investing 6.066 billion yuan (£669.678 million; 779.348 million euros; US$949.830 million) in its latest tyre factory. Tyres & Accessories has confirmed that the roughly billion-dollar Tongchuan City factory project will put sustainability at the heart of its plans, which include largescale retread capacity.
Pirelli claims a world first with the launch of a range of FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) tyres. Designed for the BMW X5 xDrive45e plug-in-hybrid, these tyres contain FSC-certified natural rubber and rayon. According to Pirelli, its FSC-Certified P Zero represents “a new horizon for increasingly sustainable tyre production.”
The eleven leading tyre manufacturer members of WBCSD’s Tire Industry Project (TIP) have launched a Roadmap to accelerate tyre value-chain impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 to address some of the world’s most pressing issues by 2030. The members of TIP, in alphabetical order, are: Bridgestone, Continental, Cooper Tire, Goodyear, Hankook, Kumho Tire, Michelin, Pirelli, Sumitomo Rubber, Toyo Tires, and Yokohama Rubber.
Every year, 1.6 billion car tyres are sold worldwide in total. The PET fibres used in these tyres represent 800,000 tonnes of PET per year. With regards to Michelin alone, this represents nearly 3 billion plastic bottles annually. That’s why the France-based global tyre maker has been looking for ways that bottles can be recycled into technical fibres for use in the company’s tyres. Now, the company has validated that Carbios’s enzymatic process does exactly that, giving Michelin a step forward in its sustainability plans. Indeed, Michelin describes the development as “a major step towards developing 100 per cent sustainable tyres. Michelin has successfully tested and applied”. Michelin is committed to achieving 40 per cent sustainable materials (of renewable or recycled origin) by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2050.
Upstream suppliers to the tyre manufacturing industry Nynas, Cabot and Evonik have received some of the top ratings in the 2021 EcoVadis auditing process. Specifically, these three firms all ranked in the top 1 per cent of their peers, earning platinum status. Meanwhile, carbon black supplier Birla Carbon received the EcoVadis’ gold accreditation.
Groupe Michelin’s Capital Markets Day presentation, conducted via webcast on 8 April, set out its agenda for the next decade, putting its plans in front of leading global banks and financial firms. Circling around a central theme of sustainability, the group executive committee, led by managing chairman Florent Menegaux and general manager and chief financial officer Yves Chapot, showed how Michelin intends to “diversify while strengthening” in order to achieve its key economic and ecological targets. Chapot and Menegaux stated that expanding “non-tyre revenue” up to more than one-fifth of the group’s turnover by 2030 would make the group more agile and robust in the face of future crises. The current global health crisis has been instructive in this regard; the committee credited the development of the group’s non-tyre portfolio with assisting in its resilience over the difficulties of 2020, and now intends to continue the acceleration of its diversification. Its digital and materials innovations will simultaneously “deliver new growth,” while contributing to the overall strength of the group: a leitmotif of the committee’s presentation.
When Michelin launched its e.Primacy range in mid-November 2020, the French tyre manufacturer did so in the context of a goal to make all Michelin tyre 100 per cent sustainable by 2050. So how does Michelin plan to achieve this? One answer is the company’s expanding partnership with Scandinavian Enviro Systems (Enviro), details of which were recently released (see separate article). But there are other parts of this plan.
As far as auto components are concerned, Pirelli has come out on top in the S&P Global Sustainability Yearbook 2021, following the confirmation that it is rated as “Gold Class”. The Sustainability Yearbook 2021, which is published by S&P Global and takes into consideration the sustainability profiles of over 7,000 companies, also mentioned three other tyremakers: Hankook, Nokian and Bridgestone in the ranking.
Bridgestone Americas has executed a US$1.1 billion sustainability-linked credit facility in partnership with Sumitomo Mitsubishi Banking Corporation (SMBC). Under this credit facility, the costs that Bridgestone incurs in relation to its borrowings will decline or rise in line with independent appraisals of its sustainability.
We associate the slogan ‘every little helps’ with a well-known supermarket, but the idea of small savings adding up to a large one applies to more than just baked beans and washing detergent. From this month, Continental is making do without one of the two stickers it previously affixed to new tyres sold in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region. By doing so, it expects to avoid around 110 tonnes of plastic waste per year from the stickers themselves as well as waste from the backing foil.