The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) has released its first-ever sustainability report. The report presents the collective progress the organizer’s members have made with regard to sustainability and their shared vision for a sustainable tire manufacturing industry in the country.
Commenting on the report, Anne Forristall Luke, president and CEO of USTMA said that sustainability drives the business practices and operating principles of the members of the association. The measures that have been taken range from engineering innovations that can maximize tire longevity and performance, to ensuring driver and employee safety and measures to preserve the environment throughout the life cycle of a tire.
The USTMA has 12 member companies and collectively, they operate 56 tire-related manufacturing facilities spread across in 17 states and generate over USD 27 billion in annual sales and USD 11.3 billion in annual federal tax revenue. Together, they provide direct employment to as many as 250,000 employees who take home USD 20 billion in wages.
Luke said that the individual sustainability initiatives taken by many of the member companies went well beyond what was included in the report. By working together on a shared vision of sustainability, the companies now have the potential to make an even bigger impact in the areas of safety, performance and environmental stewardship.
Some of the sustainability accomplishments highlighted in the report include:
• 81 percent of the scrap tires were reused for beneficial end uses in 2017;
• Member companies managed to reduce CO2 emissions by almost 10 percent from 2010;
• Almost 90 percent of US member facilities are certified under ISO 14001, the internationally recognized system for managing a facility’s environmental footprint;
• There has been a 50 percent reduction in injury and illness rates at member facilities from 2005
• All of the members of the association support philanthropic activities.
The report also mentioned four specific areas in which the industry is working to drive progress.
1. They are working on advancing safety through innovations when it comes to the development of tire technologies like self-sealing, run-flat, airless and self-inflating tires.
2. They are engaged in the development of sensors, chips and tags which can be embedded in a tire’s tread groove, thus giving users access to real-time information on tire temperature, pressure and tread wear.
3. They are engaged in research and development projects to further expand the use of sustainable materials in tires, enhancing biodiversity and reducing dependence on non-renewable feedstocks. Many of the member companies are actively researching the commercial scope for the use of guayule as a replacement for natural rubber and investigating dandelion which could be another alternative for natural rubber. Other materials which are being used or tested include soybean oil, rice husks and orange peels.
4. The implementation of technologies and practices that reduce manufacturing-related emissions, improve energy efficiency, minimize water use and reduce solid waste.
The first edition of the USTMA Sustainability Report compiled content from 2016-2018 and this report will be updated every two years.
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