NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario — The Tire Industry Project (TIP) — a collaborative effort involving 11 tire industry CEOs to identify and address the potential human health and environmental impacts of tires throughout their life cycle — is well on its way to meeting its objectives.
This was the message of Kimm Jarden, a principal sustainability specialist at Goodyear, in her presentation at the 2018 Rubber Recycling Symposium in Niagara Falls Nov. 7-8.
Goodyear, Bridgestone Corp. and Group Michelin are co-chairs of the TIP, which was founded in 2005 under the aegis of Geneva, Switzerland-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Ms. Jarden said.
The other members of the TIP are: Continental A.G.; Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.; Hankook Tire Co. Ltd.; Kumho Tire Co. Inc.; Pirelli & C. S.p.A.; Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd.; Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd; and Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. Together, they represent 65 percent of global tire production, with more than 650,000 employees around the world.
"The TIP was founded on the scientific knowledge of the tire industry," Ms. Jarden said. "Our goal is to advance the scientific understanding of tires and their health and environmental effects."
Tire industry CEOs have TIP meetings in Geneva every two years, but the organization works with regional tire organizations across all countries, she said.
Tires contain more than 100 raw materials, and as such provide a unique challenge to recyclers, according to Ms. Jarden. Even so, in a study of 51 countries where 89 percent of the vehicles in the world operate, 67 percent of end-of-life tires are recovered, she said.
"World tire production is expected to double by 2050," she said. "Understanding their environmental impacts is truly crucial."
Besides identifying and addressing the health and environmental impact of tires, TIP's objectives are:
To establish measurement and benchmarking frameworks to create new industry methodologies; and
To initiate and support in-depth research that leverages industry resources and expertise;
To date, the TIP has:
Developed industry frameworks for measuring tire production, use and impact;
Collaborated with third-party organizations to conduct peer-reviewed reports;
Analyzed the potential impact of tire production and use on the environment and human health; and
Identified areas for improvement in sustainability efforts, carbon emissions, energy consumption and water intake.
Besides end-of-life tires, the TIP's topics include but are not limited to ISO standards, key performance indicators, nanomaterials, sustainable natural rubber, product category rules, tire and road wear particles, tire granulates and tire testing, Ms. Jarden said.
Tire and road-wear particles are "our meat and potatoes work," she said. "This work led to more lab studies on human health impacts and the identification of tire particles in the environment."