Sustainability Driven

Decarbonizing operations

PART OF PATHWAY 3 Develop pathways to decarbonize operations

As described in the 2020 TIP’s Environmental Key Performance Indicators for Tire Manufacturing 2009-2019 report, the weighted average CO2 intensity (CO2 per ton of production) for TIP members decreased by 6% between 2015 and 2019. The implementation of decarbonization measures and the adoption of an energy mix with a greater share of renewable sources drove this reduction.

To limit energy loss and optimize the efficiency of their plant facilities, Kumho Tire and Toyo Tires have conducted regular audits to detect and prevent air and heat loss. Similarly, Goodyear commissioned third-party audits at 18 manufacturing plants, resulting in the identification of more than 500 projects with potential savings of approximately USD $15 million, including the installation of energy-saving solutions such as efficient air compressors, heat pumps and LED lightings.

TIP members such as Kumho Tire, Yokohama Rubber and Hankook are targeting a switch to renewable energy and have installed photovoltaic solar panels at plant facilities. TIP members are also transitioning from the use of heavy fuel for heat generation to natural gas, low-carbon steam, including thermal energy from biomass, and the use of absorption chilling. For example, the Hankook plant in Daejeon, South Korea, made the switch to low-carbon steam, reducing GHG emissions by approximately 25,000 tCO2-eq per year. Several TIP members have joined international global initiatives to reinforce their efforts to decarbonize. For example, Pirelli has committed to achieving group carbon neutrality by 2030, a commitment underpinned by the company’s goal to use 100% renewable electrical energy by 2025.

Complementing decarbonization with offsetting

Carbon offsetting has been employed to complement industry efforts to achieve the decarbonization of operations. Contributions to the development of carbon sinks and the financing of sequestration projects remain practical means to drive action to achieve net-zero.

Kumho Tire initiated the Carbon Offset Forestation Project in 2015 in collaboration with the Seoul Municipal Government. The project saw the planting of 20,000 trees in the northern part of Seoul, which are expected to absorb approximately 1,380 tons of carbon dioxide over the next 30 years.

Yokohama Rubber planted more than 900,000 trees through its Forever Forest project. In addition to carbon offsetting, the trees are expected to contribute to disaster prevention and the promotion of biodiversity through the provision of new habitats. Yokohama Rubber aims to plant 1.3 million trees in 17 countries by 2030.

Mitigating risk in water-stressed areas

Water optimization projects led by TIP members help reduce water consumption and mitigate risk in water-stressed areas. All TIP members have set targets for their manufacturing sites to reduce water withdrawal and use and to increase water recycling volumes. Leak prevention and water reuse and recycling are common features of strategies to reduce abstraction.

Cooper Tire completes water stress studies globally at manufacturing locations on a regular basis using Aquastat, the World Resources Institute (WRI) Aqueduct Risk Assessment tool and the Growing Blue Tool. The company contributes to relieving local water stress at its facility in El Salto, Mexico, by treating industrial and sanitary wastewater that is then used for irrigation.

Sumitomo Rubber aims to achieve a wastewater recycling rate of 100% at all of its 26 factories by 2050. In 2018, Sumitomo implemented water recycling measures at its manufacturing plant in Cankiri, Turkey, which is located in a region of high water stress. By the end of 2019, the factory was able to recycle 100% of its wastewater for use in applications including the watering of trees located on factory grounds. By 2021, Sumitomo Rubber aims to replicate this success at its factory in Changshu, China. By 2019, Sumitomo had achieved a year-on-year 2.5% reduction in global water usage. The Sumitomo group makes use of the WBCSD Global Water Tool and the WRI Aqueduct Risk Assessment tool, and will continue to implement recycling technologies across its manufacturing sites to achieve its long-term wastewater recycling rate objective.

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