Which tire companies are winning the race for sustainability?

Every year 200,000 tonnes of tiny particles shed by tires are flushed into the sea, says a new study. This is just one of the many sustainability issues facing the global tire industry; from sourcing (natural rubber remains a major ingredient), manufacturing, use (those particles) and the problem of what to do with millions of worn out tires.

In our latest report we set out to find which tire companies have a good sustainability story to tell. And then we measured how well they tell their stories.

Tire companies are well aware of the pressures to improve their sustainability credentials. It’s the reason why The Tire Industry Project (TIP) was set up to analyze and address these issues. TIP is a sector-focused initiative of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) made up of 11 leading tire and rubber companies.

As members, TIP companies are committed to tackling the sustainability issues in the tire industry, and should have good stories to tell. We assessed all 11 TIP members to find out how good their story is and how well they’re telling it.

These are the companies assessed:

  • Bridgestone
  • Continental
  • Cooper Tires
  • Goodyear
  • Hankook Tire
  • Kumho Tire
  • Michelin
  • Pirelli
  • Sumitomo Rubber
  • Toyo Tires
  • Yokohama

This is what we did:

We analyzed and scored the sustainability content on each company website, across six categories:

  • Strategy – is there a strategy covering tire sustainability?
  • Reporting – do they report progress against the strategy?
  • Messaging – are the sustainability messages clear and concise?
  • Liveliness – how regularly do they communicate on sustainability?
  • Multimedia – are infographics and video used?
  • Social media – how regular are posts on Twitter and LinkedIn, at what level of engagement?

Here’s what we found:

Most companies have a good story to tell, but the level of detail they publish varies dramatically. Almost all could be telling their sustainability story better. The graph below shows how the companies scored overall.

A graph of the tire sustainability assessment scores for the 11 companies assessed in the report.

Two well-known companies are undoubtedly leading the way. Both have comprehensive sustainability strategies communicated clearly on multiple channels and use eye-catching videos and infographics to explain the meaning behind their work.

See which companies performed best, download the full report.

Why we published this report:

Context was founded 23 years ago to help companies develop sustainability strategies – their story – and then to tell their stories well. We offer to share our analysis with all the companies assessed for our reports, but only publish the three top performers and examples of best practice among the group. See our previous reports here.

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