The Science Based Targets initiative is a global program which enables companies to commit to fully testable emissions reduction measures. Currently, approximately 1,100 firms across the world have signed up to the initiative, with Nokian the first company in the tire industry to receive SBTi approval for its emission reduction targets. The approval was published in May 2020 and the targets were later updated at the SBTi’s request.
Nokian notes that it has been working for over a decade to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. For example, its factory CO2 emissions per tire have been reduced by 44% between 2013 and 2019, though until 2020, it set its own targets before singing up to the SBTi. Significantly, the next stage of its emissions reduction plans will impact not just Nokian, but also its suppliers.
Nokian points out that the production of the raw materials for tires currently generates four times the amount of CO2 emissions per tire than the manufacturing of the tires themselves. The company’s aim is to reduce emissions from tire raw material production by 25% between 2018 and 2030. Achieving this goal will require its raw material producers to implement their own actions in order to reduce emissions; for example, through transitioning to zero- or low-emission energy and improving the energy efficiency of production processes. It will also need to favor raw materials that produce lower emissions when choosing materials and suppliers.
The company also hopes to reduce the logistics-related emissions of tire production by 25% per tire between 2018 and 2030, though it admits this is a challenging target and achieving it requires a steady improvement of 2.4% per year.
Looking to the use phase of its products, its goal is to cut CO2 emissions from tire use by 25% between 2018 and 2030, with the company stating that this improvement will have the largest impact on reducing its global CO2 emissions, due to the volume of tires in use.
Finally, it aims to cut CO2 emissions from the energy its facilities consume by 52% per single tire between 2015 and 2030. It claims to have already achieved a part of this target through recent changes but admits that to reach the full 52% will require an almost complete reliance on renewable sources, with the company highlighting that one of its factories, in Nokia, Finland, is already near-100% renewable based.