At Goodyear, we are committed to caring for the environment, and it’s a commitment we take seriously. Our Environmental, Health, Safety & Sustainability (EHS&S) organization leads a strategy to reduce our environmental impact across our product lifecycle and benefit our associates, customers, communities, and the environment.
We conduct our business in accordance with the highest applicable legal and ethical standards, as well as Goodyear’s global standards for all operations. Our established EHS&S systems, based on recognized standards, set company-wide goals and objectives that seek to continually improve performance, reduce our environmental footprint, and increase the sustainability of our materials, operations, and products.
Environmental, health, safety and sustainability considerations are integrated into all key business decisions, including the design, production, distribution, and support of our products and services. To ensure consistency in environmental practices across our global operations, all of Goodyear’s tire manufacturing facilities are certified to the ISO 14001 environmental management system.
At Goodyear’s new plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, safety and environmental protection is being integrated as a key value into the manufacturing operations. Upon start-up, the plant will not use any solvents or discharge any wastewater directly back to the environment. It is projected that 75% of the wastewater will be recycled and reused with the remaining amount, sanitary wastewater, sent to a treatment facility operated by the industrial park.
Consistent with our EHS&S policy, Goodyear has systems and programs in place to comply with the applicable environmental and safety requirements in the countries and communities in which we operate. The regulatory landscape continues to be demanding and complex, but we monitor existing, new and proposed legislation with the goal of complying with the applicable requirements.
In 2015, there were two releases to the environment in our manufacturing operations. One was quickly controlled with minimal or no impact to the environment. The other, while minor, required us to clean the spill area and surrounding area. We remain committed to achieving our goal of zero releases.
In 2006, Goodyear created the Zero Waste to Landfill initiative to reduce our environmental impact by requiring all manufacturing plants to reduce, reuse and recycle manufacturing waste. We not only work to find the most efficient outlets for reusable scrap material, but also strive to achieve the most beneficial use. As a result of the program, more material is being recycled or used as fuel. The sale of these by-products returns revenue to the manufacturing process, which helps fund further improvements. Goodyear's corporate goal is to maintain our Zero Waste to Landfill policy while continuing to reduce the amount of waste incinerated or used for heat recovery. A global requirement is in place for continual monitoring and auditing to ensure compliance with our Zero Waste to Landfill goal. If any deviation from the program is discovered, Goodyear takes immediate action, up to and including corrective action and the termination of vendor contracts.
Amount of waste any Goodyear manufacturing facility is permitted to send to a landfill. For the past six years, Goodyear has maintained Zero Waste to Landfill, a program that applies to all manufacturing facilities. This corporate initiative reduces our environmental impact by requiring all manufacturing plants to reduce, reuse and recycle waste.
Project Groenspoor, a collaborative effort by Goodyear South Africa, Die Burger newspaper and The Waste Trade Company, was created in 2011 to encourage businesses to donate proceeds from their recyclable waste to schools. The project expanded in 2012 by partnering with Stephen Nkomo School in Kwanobuhle to teach the pupils about the importance of protecting the environment by recycling.
Although most of Goodyear’s waste-elimination initiatives are focused on reducing, reusing and recycling production and facility waste, we also promote the proper management of finished goods, particularly when a tire reaches the end of its useful life, known as an end-of-life tire (ELT). Goodyear has programs in place to ensure that ELTs from our company-owned retail operations are properly managed. In addition, Goodyear’s support of industry-led ELT recovery programs builds on long-term efforts that have been successful in achieving very high recovery rates. According to the respective trade association groups, recovery is at 88% in the United States, 88% in Japan, and 95% in Europe, which includes utilization for energy recovery or other beneficial uses. This recovery rate compares very favorably with recycling rates for other valuable end-of-life products.
For information on the tire industry’s efforts to develop scrap tire initiatives, visit the website of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Tire Industry Project. Additional information can also be found on the website of the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA).
We continue our efforts to eliminate solvent usage and, consequently, solvent emissions. In the past, solvents have been used in our manufacturing process and maintenance activities. Multifunctional teams have developed process changes that eliminate solvents where possible, find material alternatives or implement other shared best practices from plant to plant.
Fifteen Goodyear plants have eliminated solvents entirely while Goodyear has reduced global solvent use by 38% since 2010. Our focus remains on driving solvent use in radial passenger and truck tires to zero, while achieving “best practice” levels in bias tires and other production lines.
Goodyear continues to be an industry leader in efforts to reduce solvents in our manufacturing facilities. Our use rate in 2015 was 0.69, a further reduction from 2014. Our focus remains on the global application of best practices to further reduce this rate.