The Nokian Tyres Green Step is a “masterpiece of sustainable innovation” with its ambitious design consisting of 93% of the materials either recycled or renewable, says the firm.
At this stage, the tyre is in concept form, but it moves the company closer to its goal: by 2030, 50% of all raw materials used in Nokian Tyres’ tyres will be recycled or renewable.
“Drivers are more and more interested in the sustainability of their tyres, and this creates demand for us to create tyres for these standards,” says Nokian Tyres Development Manager Jouko Ilomäki.
“It also puts pressure on the industry to develop more eco-friendly materials, as well as for tyre manufacturing technology to adapt to these materials. With the Green Step, we can push the limits. It’s a win-win for all, but especially for the environment,”
All rubber used in the Green Step is natural, and renewable oils such as canola oil, is used. Almost all plasticiser, resin and processing aids are from renewable resources. In addition, natural rice husk ash silica works as a main filler for the tread and sidewall, and renewable cord fibre is used to make the tyre tougher.
“We learned new things with every innovation made for the concept tyre. For example, one of the most demanding tasks was to replace the synthetic rubber completely with natural rubber, which we achieved in the end,” Ilomäki says.
The share of recycled materials will increase in the future
Almost every component of the Green Step also includes some recycled materials. For example, the carbon black used in the rubber compounds was derived from end-of-life tyres, and the butyl used in the inner surface as well as the steel in the steel belts and bead wires in the structure are mainly recycled.
“We believe that using recycled rubber and especially recycled carbon black will be a future trend in tyre manufacturing: by 2030, we will have multiple new suppliers and more advanced technology.
“Also, the demand for raw materials with either recycled or renewed components will increase. We are very happy to be able to corporate so many recycled elements in the Green Step already,” Ilomäki says.
Benefitting drivers around the globe
The Nokian Tyres Green Step is a winter tyre. Natural rubber is an important material in all tyres because of its beneficial features. Alternative sources for natural rubber, such as the guyule plant, are also researched. Renewable oils are common in Nokian Tyres’ tyres, as in 2005 it was the first tyre maker in the world to stop using high-aromatic oils .
“Even though the process of designing the Nokian Tyres Green Step started about a year ago, it is actually a result of decades of innovation and accumulated expertise on sustainable tyre design,” says Teemu Soini, Senior Manager, Materials Development from Nokian Tyres.
Concrete actions towards a safer world
Since the day we invented the world’s first winter tyre in 1934, Nokian Tyres’ premium winter tyres have been treasured by generations of drivers who wish to enjoy peace of mind in all conditions. However, Nokian Tyres isn’t just focused on protecting drivers; the company also works relentlessly to help protect the world around us. This is demonstrated in all our actions, from tyre design to production: we were the first tyre company to have our ambitious Science Based Targets for reducing CO2 emissions approved and have lowered the rolling resistance of our tyres by 8.5% on average since 2013, saving fuel and decreasing CO2 emissions. The Nokian Tyres Green Step tyre is yet another demonstration of this passion, and the innovation that went into crafting the tyre will benefit generations to come. It is another step on the journey towards a safer world.
Nokian Tyres Green Step concept tyre:
- 93% of materials recycled or renewable
- Renewable materials include natural rubber, renewable oils and natural rice husk ash silica
- Recycled materials used in almost every component of the tyre
- Recycled materials include recycled steel and carbon black
- Innovations created for the concept tyre will be incorporated in future tyres
- The target is to have 50% of all raw materials used in the Nokian Tyres’ tyres recycled or renewable by the year 2030