Birla plants in US, Korea gain ISCC+ certification... YRC commits to science-based targets initiative... Pirelli gains ‘highest level recognition’ by S&P Global... Momentive certifies renewable carbon silane... Nokian acquires “leadership-level score” from CDP
Birla Carbon’s carbon black production facilities in Hickok, Kansas, and Yeosu, South Korea have gained the ISCC+ certification. In addition to the two facilities, Birla’s production facility in Novara, Italy achieved the certification in May last year. The Indian carbon black supplier said certification process for two units in Brazil and other units in India, Spain, Egypt, and Hungary is underway. ISCC is a voluntary scheme that is applicable for the bioeconomy and circular economy for various sectors. All kinds of biomass, waste and residues, non-biological renewables, and recycled carbon materials can be certified under ISCC+.
Yokohama Rubber Co. has submitted a commitment letter to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), the first step in gaining validation of science-based targets (SBTs) for greenhouse gas emission reductions. The 9 Feb commitment letter pledges to set and submit targets that are aligned with the SBTi’s target-setting criteria within two years. The targets cover all business activities of a company, including direct emissions from their own operations as well as indirect emissions caused by other companies and customers.
Pirelli has achieved the qualification of “Top 1%” in the sustainability yearbook 2024 by S&P Global. The tire maker is claimed to be “the only one” of the auto components sector at the global level to gain the highest level of recognition in yearbook. The ranking is based on S&P Global’s analysis of the sustainability profiles of 9,400 companies.
Momentive has announced certification of NXT Silane, under a programme to reduce the environmental impact of its materials and processes and help the tire industry to make tires more sustainable. The product already reduces the environmental impact during tire manufacturing and the tire-use phase by reducing the processing time of silica compounds and by reducing the rolling-resistance of tires. Momentive has now certified it for renewable carbon using the ASTM D6866 carbon isotope method. NXT silane produced at Momentive’s site in Leverkusen, Germany, is certified as bio-based material with 50-85% renewable carbon. With use of bio-based raw materials for its production, a test result of 81% renewable carbon in NXT silane was achieved.
Nokian Tyres scored an A- from CDP, formerly known as carbon disclosure programme, for its actions aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change-related risks. According to the Finnish tire maker, scores A and A- represent “leadership level”. This is the fourth consecutive year that Nokian has received an A- for its climate work.
Tire and rubber machinery maker VMI has been awarded a silver EcoVadis medal for its progress towards sustainability under the company’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices. The award puts VMI in the top 15% of all companies worldwide assessed to the global standard in 2023. “Driven by our own ambition and supported by our customers, we strive to be and remain a leader in our industry,” said Harm Voortman, CEO of the VMI Group: “With our high quality and innovative technology, we make a significant contribution to sustainability in the various industries in which we are active.”
All of the Hexpol TPE group’s European companies are now ISCC+ certified with the recent award to the company’s UK site. The certification, announced in January, follows those received in Sweden and Germany under the global certification scheme providing traceability along the supply-chain, said the thermoplastics elastomers specialist.
Scandinavian Enviro System’s CEO, Thomas Soerensson, is representing Enviro at a Sweden-France business seminar on 31 Jan during a state visit by French president Emmanuel Macron. With the aim to ‘accelerate Europe’s competitiveness’, the conference focuses on innovation and sustainability. “One focus area during the conference is how the green transition can be facilitated by innovation and collaborations,” said Soerensson. Enviro’s and partnership with Michelin, he added, is “a shining example” of such collaborations.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) has switched all purchased electricity used at its Kobe headquarters area to electricity derived from renewable energy. The switch was completed in October 2023 across the Kobe offices and while the group’s technical research area, including its ‘tire technical centre’, will move to clean electricity in January. With the switch, SRI expects CO2 emissions at the Kobe HQ to be reduced by 90% compared to 2022.
China’s ministry of industry and information technology has recognised Xingda steel tire cord as a ‘national green factory’. The achievement was linked to the company’s efforts in green manufacturing, low-carbon development, and energy management. Among other measures, Xingda has installed solar panels across its three main production bases in Jiangsu and Shandong in China and Thailand. The solar power stations produce 24.9MV of electricity collectively. Xingda plans to expand its renewable energy capacity to 61MV by the end of 2024, with an annual yield 67 million kWh.
Sailun Group in December became the first Chinese tire & rubber company to join the UN Global Compact (UNGC), a corporate initiative aimed at aligning companies’ strategies with global sustainability goals. Sailun said it had “consistently embraced” the UNGC concepts over recent years, translating them into “meaningful actions and achieving a series of substantial results”. In terms of environmental initiatives, the group said it is “proactively aligning with Chinese government’s dual carbon goal, which aims to see peak CO2 emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.” To that end, Sailun has established a 'green' manufacturing system to enhance both product quality and eco-friendliness.
Asahi Kasei and an affiliated company have acquired ISCC+ certification across a range of polymer products fields. Approved products include styrenic thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs), hydrogenated TPEs and styrene monomers, as well as butadiene and styrene-butadiene rubbers. Furthermore, the certification has been awarded to BR, SBR, crude C4, and TPEs produced by affiliated company Japan Elastomer.
Hexpol Compounding gained ISCC+ for its rubber compounding units in Middlefield, Ohio, and Lichtenfels, Germany in late 2023. In Germany, Hexpol said, ‘mass balance versions’ of its Dryflex thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) - TPS, TPO and TPU materials - will be available for customers. Also in scope are the TPEs designed for food and beverage sealing applications. The mass balance TPEs, it said, offer a drop-in alternative, with technical properties, chemical composition and regulatory status the same as corresponding fossil grades.
In December 2023, Yokohama Rubber Co. (YRC) revised its "biodiversity guidelines" to help accelerate group-wide efforts to be “nature positive”. The new guidelines, upgraded from the 2010 version, aim to “not only reduce the negative impact of business activities on biodiversity, but also increase the positive impact.” In particular, YRC now aims to address biodiversity issues “in an integrated manner with other social issues such as climate change and human rights”. Group initiatives in this arena have so far included tree-planting; water conservation and flora & fauna projects.
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