Akron, Ohio – Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. failed to hit a number of sustainability targets in 2020 due, it said, to complications caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
One particular target was a planned increase in the use of soybean oil in place of petroleum-based products, the Akron-based tire maker noted in its 2020 sustainability report.
Here, the company had increased the use of soybean oil by 90% year-on-year in 2019 – far exceeding a 25% replacement goal set for that year.
In 2020, however, Goodyear fell short of a targeted 100% year-on-year increase, with usage of soybean oil increasing by just 73%, the 24 May report shows.
The tire maker linked the shortfall to Covid-related production issues and reiterated its long-term goal of full petroleum-oil replacement in its products by 2040.
Another problem area for Good year, last year, concerned a planned increase in the use of bio-based replacements for silica in tire compounds.
Goodyear is now using a silica product made from residual rice husk ash (RHA) as a part-replacement for traditional sand-based silica.
Here, the tire maker had set itself a goal to double its use of RHA silica by 2021, compared to a 2018 baseline.
The company had made significant progress toward that goal in 2019 and increased usage by 74% year-on-year.
However, in 2020 use of RHA silica increased only 47% compared to 2018, due mainly to the effects of Covid on production, Goodyear reported.
On the energy front, meanwhile, Goodyear’s manufacturing operations were disrupted by the Covid pandemic, particularly during the second and third quarters of 2020.
This resulted in multiple plants operating at reduced production levels, leading to inefficient use of energy, the company reported.
On the other hand, in 2020, Goodyear posted a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions-intensity, a 19% reduction in energy-intensity and a 55% reduction in water-intensity, compared to a 2010 baseline.