Research projects that address major sustainability issues keep on showing progress. Eleven CEOs of leading tire companies shared new results of current international researches investigating impacts that tires can have on human health and environment.

The Tire Industry Project (TIP) is the organization that unites 11 CEO’s of the most powerful companies in tire industry. The group was founded in 2005 to carry out researches and promote solutions to sustainability problems linked to the life cycle of tires. TIP is a proactive association, managed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

The main highlights of TIP’s recent research include the study on Tire and Road Wear Particles (TRWP), which supported conclusions of the previous research and found TRWP to be safe to human health and environment, and the report on end-of-life tires (ELT), which presented recovery rates in 51 countries, management strategies, recovery routes and offered a number of new beneficial applications of ELT.

Every two years, the CEOs meet to consider and evaluate TIP’s achievements and set a forward-looking agenda for current and new projects. The association aims to find methods to effectively tackle the issue of natural rubber’s sustainability. TIP has already put significant efforts to find the most efficient practices for responsible sourcing of natural rubber. Now, the organization aims to discover the best ways to evaluate promising sustainability practices and identify suitable management structures and possible platforms.

As a next step, TIP aims to work more on its TRWP Pathways projects to investigate new information. For instance, it going to carry out a research about the presence of microplastics in the oceans throughout the world.

Companies which shape TIP are: Bridgestone & Rubber Co., Ltd., Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd., Hankook Tire Co., Ltd., Compagnie Générale des Établissements Michelin, Kumho Tire Company Inc., Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. Bridgestone, Goodyear and Michelin have functioned as co-leaders of the organization’s work to date.

Representatives of the tire industry groups in Europe, Korea, Japan and the US also attended the meeting to provide their support of TIP’s initiatives.

For the last two years, TIP has dealt with a number of issues in tire industry. For instance, it has studied possible impacts of tire and road wear particles (TRWP); it found that the presence of TRWP PM 2.5 microns in size “very low and below all human health and regulatory thresholds anywhere in the world.” This finding is a result of ambient air testing in London, Delhi, Los Angeles and Tokyo.

In addiction, it considered possible impacts of new nanomaterials on life cycle health and environment. The study, conducted in association with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), demonstrated that new nanomaterials bear positive societal and economic effects. It has also presented a framework of effective methods to promote safe development and application of new nanomterials in tires.

Other TIP’s projects covered issues of management of end-of-life-tires (ELT), development of common reporting indicators and development of product category rules (PCR) for carrying out of life cycle assessments (LCAS).

More information about the Tire Industry Project can be found at the website of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.