SA tyre manufacturers commit to carbon net zero by 2050

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South African local tyre manufacturers are playing their part in driving towards a greener future and building a more sustainable future for all. Combining cutting-edge technology with capital investment and innovative practices, all four local manufacturers have committed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 in line with global targets.

Bridgestone South Africa, Continental Tyre South Africa, Goodyear South Africa, and Sumitomo Rubber South Africa, as members of the South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC), are taking a collective effort to play a key role in mitigating climate change in their industry.

Nduduzo Chala, Managing Executive of the SATMC, said, “The role of emissions in climate change cuts to the heart of the industry we operate in. As a united body of local manufacturers, we aim to be responsive to the needs of our customers and partners. Climate change impacts us all, and we are all demanding real action from each other. We are proud that the SATMC, and its member companies, have responded to this call to take action with a range of measures aimed at reducing their emissions, responsibly using energy, and cementing a circular economy to reduce and eliminate waste.”

Taking action

Bridgestone has announced the launch of “Bridgestone E8 commitment” that includes a corporate commitment to the realisation of a carbon neutral mobility society.  Setting focused targets, Bridgestone has committed to reduce its absolute CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030 (when compared to base year 2011).  Toward this goal, Bridgestone will contribute to CO2 emissions reduction during customers’ use, raw material procurement, distribution, reuse/recycle phases of the product life cycle, and from manufacturing where its local Brits plant has its own targets in line with the company’s global objective of attaining carbon neutrality by 2050.

Continental Tyre South Africa, in line with its international mandate, is striving for 100% emission-free driving, industrial products and factories. The company has committed to a three-step process towards achieving 100% climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest, along its entire value chain of products, operational processes, and supply chain. Phase one looks at the direct emissions from its operations, phase two will focus on the indirect emissions from purchased energy and the final phase will take into account all emissions associated with the company’s activities.

Goodyear’s Better Future framework outlines the company’s high-priority environmental, social and governance topics globally under four pillars – Sustainable Sourcing, Responsible Operations, Advanced Mobility and Inspiring Culture. In December 2021, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company announced its goal to reach net-zero value chain greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, aligned with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and its new Net-Zero Standard. The company also announced its commitment to achieve near-term science-based targets by 2030, including reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 46% and Scope 3 emissions by 28%, as compared to a 2019 baseline. In December 2022, Goodyear submitted its science-based targets to SBTi for validation.

Finally, Sumitomo Rubber South Africa’s journey to net zero is aligned with its parent company, Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI), headquartered in Japan, and is based on the GENKI Sustainability Activity Guidelines of Governance, Ecology, Next-Generation Products & Solutions, Kindness, and Integrity. The company has declared a commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieve carbon net zero by 2050.

All four SATMC members are taking steps to invest in renewable energy, which reduces reliance on fossil fuels.

They are also identifying manufacturing processes that have a higher impact on emissions and exploring innovative ways of doing things differently across their value chains.

Responding to consumer needs’ for more environmentally friendly products, the manufacturers are rolling out tyres with low rolling resistance and less weight, so that vehicles consume less energy and emit fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Reducing the negative environmental impacts of waste tyres is also high on the agenda for the SATMC and its members. The industry body is collaborating with the Tyre Importers Association of South Africa (TIASA), the Tyre Equipment Parts Association (TEPA) and the government to ensure that steps are taken to drive improvements and sustainability in both collection and processing of tyre waste.

Chala adds, “As we inch closer to 2050, we know that only a collective and collaborative spirit will enable us to see a healthy future for us all. The four local tyre manufacturers in South Africa will continue working on reducing the impact of their operations on the environment.”