Now more than ever, going green is permeating the industry. Automakers are required to meet certain sustainability requirements, which means everything that goes into creating a vehicle–ahem, the tires–are held to higher sustainability targets, too. Just ask Bridgestone, whose goal is to have 100% carbon neutrality and 100% renewable resources in its tires by 2050. So, how are they going to achieve that?
Slowly but surely, and the foundation for a more sustainable future is being laid out as you read this. Here’s just one example: For more than a decade, Bridgestone has been researching the guayule plant to use as a domestic source of natural rubber, and now the first Firestone Firehawk race tire made with guayule natural rubber (grown and extracted at the company’s guayule R&D facilities in Arizona) will debut at this year’s Indy 500 on May 29.
Just last month, the company partnered with LanzaTech, a carbon capture and transformation company, to co-develop the first dedicated end-of-life tire recycling process. To learn more about Bridgestone’s guayule research and end-of-life tire recycling initiatives, we spoke with Bill Niaura, director of sustainable materials and circular economy for Bridgestone Americas Technology Center. In this episode of What’s Treading with Tire Review, presented by AAPEX, Bill dives into why Bridgestone is investing in these various sustainability initiatives and how creating a circular economy is in the tiremaker’s future.
- An update on Bridgestone’s research into guayule natural rubber (1:00)
- Why tiremakers are investing in alternate sources of natural rubber (2:11)
- How Bridgestone and LanzaTech will work together on end-of-life tire recycling and how the carbon transformation process starts from the guy of a rabbit (8:33)
- How Bridgestone’s relationship with its dealers will help its sustainability goals trickle down the tire industry (14:15)