JLR and Pirelli team up to roll out FSC-certified rubber tyres

Image: JLR

The commitment will amount to over 250,000 FSC-certified tyres per year. Initially, the tyres will be added to new Range Rover Electric vehicles. Over time, the switch will be made across Pirelli’s entire portfolio.

FSC’s sustainability label is the most widely used of its kind in the world. Polling last year found that 77% of Brits have seen the label.

It demonstrates that commodities, including wood and rubber, have been harvested from projects with no net deforestation and with robust consideration for nature preservation and conservation. Rubber plantation expansion is estimated to have resulted in the loss of four million hectares of tropical forests in south-east Asia over the past 30 years.

The FSC label also verifies that workers receive fair wages, good safety protocols and proper training. An additional dimension relates to the rights of forest communities to be consulted on the use of local lands.

FSC’s chain of custody certification process verifies that FSC-certified material is separated from non-certified material as it makes its way along the supply chain, from the plantations to the tyre manufacturer. There is no use of mass balance approaches or offsetting using certificates.

JLR is making the transition to FSC-certified natural rubber tyres for luxury vehicles as it strives to enhance responsible sourcing practices in line with its ‘Reimagine’ strategy for sustainability and business transformation.

Launched last year, ‘Reimagine’ centres the company’s vision for leading modern luxury around electric vehicles, and sets a 2039 net-zero emissions goal for the value chain.

‘Reimagine’ also includes a commitment to full traceability of key materials including rubber. The automaker is eyeing recycled content as well as more sustainably sourced feedstocks for its components.

“We’re looking at every aspect of our vehicles to find solutions that enable us to redefine luxury in a way that’s better for people and planet,” said JLR’s sustainability director Andrea Debbane.

“This is an exciting point in our sustainable luxury journey, as we partner with Pirelli, a company that shares JLR’s sustainability ambition and is at the forefront of sustainable tyre production.”

Pirelli’s head of sustainability and new mobility Matteo Battaini added: “Innovation in materials and reliability on our products sustainability features are a must for us… We are pleased that JLR has chosen to join our Pirelli journey as the first carmaker to use Pirelli tyres with this certification across a wide range of vehicles.”

Michelin fleet in transition

In other sustainability-related news in tyre industry, Michelin is swapping diesel for hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) fuel for its radial logistics fleet based out of Stoke-On-Trent.

The fleet consists of 50 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) which will collectively use around 400,000 litres of HVO annually.

Michelin expects the switch to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle operations within the fleet by 30%.

Michelin’s managing director John Howe said: “We held a series of think tanks looking at ways to reduce CO2 emissions from our radial distribution fleet, and HVO came out on top. From a practical perspective, the fact it can be used as a drop-in fuel, and was available immediately, made this an easy decision to make.”

HVO is already in use in Michelin’s overland fleet of HGVs – those delivering products from factories to distribution centres. It is also used to power terminal tractors in Stoke, which are bunkered and move trailers between Michelin’s two facilities there.

For lighter vehicles, electric cars and vans are Michelin’s technology of choice for decarbonisation.  The firm began the first phase of its EV transition programme for the Services and Solutions fleet earlier this year, with the delivery of 17 Vauxhall Combo vans. All 54 of the division’s fleet vans will be pure-electric by 2026.

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