How USTMA Is Committing to Sustainability in the Production of Tires

What comes to mind when you hear the word “tire?” If you’re like most people, you probably envision something round and black with a metal wheel. And while technically correct, tires are so much more than that. A critical part of our mobile society, tires keep our loved ones safe on the road, transport us to new and unknown places, and literally drive economic opportunity.

The member companies of the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) are continually looking for ways to integrate sustainability into the way they make their products and conduct operations. That includes innovations that maximize tire longevity and performance, ensure driver and employee safety, and protect the environment throughout a tire’s life cycle.  Simply put, sustainability drives what our members do every day and is at the heart of their operating principles.

The USTMA’s first sustainability report offers an inside look at the industry’s collective progress and shared vision for a sustainable U.S. tire manufacturing industry. As global companies manufacturing in the U.S., many of our members’ individual sustainability initiatives are cutting edge and extend beyond what is included in this report. By uniting around a forward-looking vision, our members have the potential to make an even bigger impact in the areas of safety, performance and environmental stewardship. 

The USTMA sustainability report highlights industry accomplishments, including:

  • 81% of scrap tires went to beneficial end uses in 2017;
  • Member facilities made an almost 10% reduction in CO2 emissions since 2010;
  • Nearly 90% of U.S. member facilities are certified under ISO 14001, the internationally recognized system for managing a facility’s environmental footprint;
  • 50% reduction in injury and illness rates at member facilities since 2005;
  • 100% of USTMA members support philanthropic activities.

And the industry is driving progress in other areas that might surprise you, such as:

  • Advancing safety through innovation with tire technologies like run-flat, self-sealing, airless and self-inflating tires.
  • Developing sensors, chips and tags that can be embedded in a tire’s tread groove, giving drivers access to real-time information on tire temperature, pressure and tread wear.
  • Ongoing R&D to expand the use of sustainable materials in tires, enhancing bio-diversity and reducing dependence on non-renewable feed stocks. Several USTMA members are researching the commercial potential of guayule, a shrub that contains natural rubber, working to produce, test and develop tires with tread made from 100% dandelion-derived rubber, and even working on new formulations based on soybean oil, rice husks and orange peels.
  • Implementing technologies that reduce manufacturing-related emissions, improve energy efficiency, minimize water use and reduce solid waste.

Please click here for a closer look. We welcome your feedback on our initiatives at sustainability@ustires.org and appreciate all you do to help ensure the sustainability of U.S. manufacturing.

Anne Forristall Luke

Annie Forristall Luke is the President and CEO of USTMA

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