Bridgestone and Michelin to Jointly Discuss Recovered Carbon Black’s Role in Building a More Sustainable Mobility Ecosystem
- Michelin and Bridgestone will deliver a joint perspective on advancing sustainability in the tyre industry at the Smithers Recovered Carbon Black Conference on November 22.
- The presentation will focus on increasing utilisation of recovered carbon black in tyres and the environmental benefits of this more sustainable material.
- Bridgestone and Michelin are inviting stakeholders across the tyre and rubber value chain to participate in the journey toward material circularity.
Bridgestone Corporation and Michelin Group will deliver a shared perspective regarding material circularity and the ambition to increase the utilisation of recovered carbon black material in tyres. The joint presentation will take place at the Smithers Recovered Carbon Black Conference in Amsterdam on November 22, 2021.
An estimated one billion tyres around the world reach the end of their useful service life every year. Many of the technical challenges surrounding the use of recycled and recovered materials from end-of-life tyres are understood, but barriers remain towards achieving material circularity at the scale necessary to realise a more sustainable mobility ecosystem. Today, less than one percent of all carbon black material used globally in new tyre production comes from recycled end-of-life tyres due to a weak supply pipeline for the recovery and reuse of carbon black.
Recovered carbon black presents the opportunity to reduce the tire industry’s reliance on petrochemicals by replacing a portion of traditional carbon black with a sustainable and circular alterative without introducing performance trade-offs. Additionally, using recovered carbon black in new tyre production reduces CO2 emissions by up to 85% compared to virgin materials.
At the conference, the two companies will outline a path aimed at promoting and increasing the utilisation of recovered carbon black in new tyres and other rubber products. Collaboration with stakeholders across all aspects of the tyre and rubber industry value chain will be needed to deliver this goal. As such, Michelin and Bridgestone seek to establish a coalition of a diverse group of stakeholders, including tyre manufacturers, carbon black suppliers, pyrolysis partners and emerging technology start-ups to accelerate progress and increase supply of recovered carbon black.
“Increasing use of recovered carbon black in tyres is critical to achieving Bridgestone’s vision for sustainable mobility,” said Jake Rønsholt, vice president of strategy and transformation, Bridgestone Europe, Middle East, India and Africa. “Together with Michelin and other stakeholders, we can generate critical momentum on this important initiative and advance our efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and manufacture products from fully renewable and sustainable materials.”
“For years discussions have been ongoing about the different constraints and hurdles that were preventing the rubber industry to adopt recycled and or recovered raw materials in significant quantities,” said Sander Vermeulen, vice president, end-of-life rubber products recycling business, Michelin. “We felt it was the time to stop discussing and actively contribute to finding solutions that would enable the rubber industry as a whole to become more circular by increasing its ability to adopt recycled and or recovered materials from end-of-life tyres. I am delighted that we found a partner in Bridgestone that shares our vision, and together we invite stakeholders across the tyre and rubber value chain to participate in the journey toward material circularity.”
As part of the joint initiative, Bridgestone and Michelin will lead the development of a position paper that will outline the tire industry’s role in achieving a circular economy. Later in 2022, the companies will release a white paper to outline the technical requirements, characteristics and proposed solutions to increase the utilisation of recovered carbon black in new tyres.
Bridgestone is a global leader in tires and rubber, building on its expertise to provide solutions for safe and sustainable mobility. Headquartered in Tokyo, the company employs approximately 140,000 people globally and conducts business in more than 150 countries and territories worldwide. Bridgestone offers a diverse product portfolio of premium tires and advanced solutions backed by innovative technologies, improving the way people around the world move, live, work and play.
About Michelin Group: Michelin, the leading mobility company, is dedicated to enhancing its clients’ mobility, sustainably; designing and distributing the most suitable tires, services and solutions for its clients’ needs; providing digital services, maps and guides to help enrich trips and travels and make them unique experiences; and developing high-technology materials that serve a variety of industries. Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin is present in 170 countries, has 123,600 employees and operates 71 tire production facilities which together produced around 170 million tires in 2020.