German auto maker BMW is to become the first automotive manufacturer to utilize tires produced using certified sustainable natural rubber and rayon, a wood-based material. The German OEM is to source 22in tires from Pirelli for use on the BMW X5 xDrive45e Plug-in Hybrid from August 2021.
“As a premium manufacturer, we aspire to lead the way in sustainability and take responsibility,” commented Andreas Wendt, member of the board of management of BMW responsible for purchasing and supplier network. “We have been committed to improving cultivation of natural rubber and increasing transparency in the supplier network since 2015. The use of tires made of certified natural rubber is a pioneering achievement for our industry. In this way, we are helping preserve biodiversity and forests to counteract climate change.”
At present, tire production uses the largest share of natural rubber grown internationally as its high elasticity and sturdiness make it irreplaceable when producing tires. The FSC has developed an internationally recognized and strict certification standard that in recent years has been used all over the globe to aid in the environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of forests.
Following the introduction of these regulations, the 22in P Zero tire from Pirelli is the world’s first tire to earn the FSC certification. Pirelli’s US plant in Rome, Georgia, was adapted to use the FSC-certified natural rubber and rayon, with the tires produced then delivered to BMW’s Group Plant Spartanburg, where they were mounted on the X5 Plug-in Hybrid.
Giovanni Tronchetti Provera, Pirelli’s senior vice president for sustainability and future mobility, said, “Before even reaching the road, sustainable mobility begins with raw materials. With the world’s first FSC-certified tire, Pirelli once again demonstrates its commitment to pursuing increasingly challenging goals in terms of sustainability, a testament to the constant work on innovative materials and increasingly cutting-edge production processes. We continue to invest in sustainable growth for our planet, aware that this is also essential for the future of our businesses.”
“The new FSC-certified Pirelli tire is a significant milestone in the drive to deliver economic, social and environmental benefits across the natural rubber value chain. This is a major step forward in the journey toward a more sustainable natural rubber value chain, thereby helping to mitigate deforestation and support the fight against climate change,” said Jeremy Harrison, chief markets officer, FSC International.