CEOs of eleven tire manufacturers recently met to review progress and confirm the ongoing mandate of the Tire Industry Project (TIP).
Founded in 2005, TIP is a global CEO-led initiative undertaken by tire manufacturing companies to research potential human health and environmental impacts of tires throughout their lifecycle. TIP operates under the umbrella of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and is co-chaired by Bridgestone, Goodyear and Michelin.
Representing approximately 65% of the world’s tire manufacturing capacity, TIP member CEOs meet biennially to review project progress and approve a two-year work plan. The work plan is reviewed by an Assurance Group of independent scientists who provide guidance on the scientific relevance and robustness of planned work.
In their review of the 2018-2019 work program, CEOs commended TIP on the initiation and launch of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR), an independent multi-stakeholder platform created to lead improvements in the socio-economic and environmental performance of the natural rubber value chain.
On the work undertaken by TIP on tire and road wear particles (TRWP), TIP CEOs recognized the significance of the 2019 study, “Evaluation of Tire Wear Contribution to PM2.5 in Urban Environments,” that demonstrated that TRWP are a minor contributor to airborne particulate in three major cities. TIP has supported research into TRWP for more than a decade and has made a substantial contribution to relevant scientific literature.
The CEOs also approved publication of an updated TIP global state of knowledge report on the management of end-of-life tires (ELT), and a 2019 edition of the TIP report on environmental key performance indicators for tire manufacturing, noting overall improvement in TIP member performance.
The publication of a Product Category Rule (PCR) for tires was noted for its contribution to improve standardization and transparency in tire lifecycle environmental impact assessment.
The CEOs went on to approve a 2020-2021 work program that will include research projects studying TRWP, including extended sampling of TRWP presence in different environmental compartments (air, rivers, soil, estuaries), analyzing the degradation of TRWP, modelling TRWP fate in the environment and investigating the potential health impacts on organisms from long-term exposure to TRWP.
TIP will continue to report on the environmental performance of the manufacturing operations of its members and will see an evolution of its work on ELT to include dialogue with stakeholders toward an improved understanding of opportunities for more sustainable ELT management.
Furthering its work on tire materials research, TIP will continue evaluating chemicals used in tire making for any potential human health or environmental impacts and will contribute to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines on the safe development and use of nanomaterials throughout the tire lifecycle.
As part of its sustainability work within the tire manufacturing sector, TIP will study the opportunity to develop a WBCSD Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Sector Roadmap for TIP Members. The SDG Sector Roadmap would include suggestions for how the sector can maximize its potential to contribute to achieving the SDG agenda through business solutions, including building upon its 15 years of accomplishments.