Sustainability Driven

Low-carbon and circular tire solutions

PART OF PATHWAY 7 Advance innovation


Sumitomo is actively working to advance innovation in product materials and to incorporate the LCA concept into their product design, with the aim of enhancing their environmental performance throughout the tire life cycle. The company has made continual progress in promoting LCA when it comes to raw materials, including the development of the world’s first 100% fossil resource-free tires made from all-natural resources in 2013. In 2019, Sumitomo released ENASAVE NEXT III, the world’s first tires to incorporate cellulose nanofiber, a high-performance biomass material. More recently, Sumitomo has launched a new circular economy business model for the company called TOWANOWA. The model aims to link two key business levers: sustainability and data. By using Sumitomo’s Sensing Core technology, the company collects data throughout the entire tire life cycle and shares it with users and stakeholders along the value chain to improve tire sustainability performance.



In 2022, Continental signed a development agreement with Pyrum Innovations, a specialist in the pyrolysis of ELTs, with the aim to further optimize and expand the recycling of tires through pyrolysis.

Continental is aiming for fully circular operations in its tire production by 2050 at the latest. In addition to the use of renewable materials, the company is working systematically on using recycled raw materials in tire production. In the future, among other things, high-quality recovered carbon black (rCB) is to be obtained for tire production of Continental. Carbon black

is an important component of many tire compounds. By using high-quality carbon black, the performance of tires can be specifically improved. Continental’s subsidiary, Reifen-Entsorgungsgesellschaft (REG), will begin supplying end-of-life tires from the premium manufacturer to Pyrum as early as March 2022.

The partnership with Pyrum will help to ensure that carbon black can be obtained on a large scale in the future. Pyrum breaks down ELTs from Continental into their individual components in industrial furnaces using a special pyrolysis process. In this way, it can extract and recycle valuable raw materials contained in ELTs. During pyrolysis, Pyrum mainly recovers oil, gas and carbon from tires, which the companies can then use for various purposes, such as new raw materials employing pyrolysis oil. In the long term, Continental and Pyrum aim to establish a closed-loop circular economy concept for the recycling of old tires.


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