Moving forward towards a sustainable future in Aviation
How retread aircraft tires are contributing to the circular economy today
As government regulations evolve and as the aviation industry strives to work together to face the global challenges of climate change, OEMs and commercial airlines are continually seeking strategies to offset the impacts of air travel. In addition to conducting operations in compliance with environmental laws, improving environmental management systems and pursuing source reduction strategies, tire retreading is an important sustainability practice that provides numerous environmental benefits to the aviation industry and circular economy.
The use of retread tires is a clear way for commercial airline companies to optimize operational costs by extending the lifetime of tires and lowering their carbon footprint without trading performance or comfort.
Environmental benefits of retread tires
When the tread of an aircraft tire is worn or has reached its maximum number of landings, the tire carcass often has considerable life remaining. Instead of sending a useable carcass to the landfill, the tire is sent to a Goodyear facility where it can be retreaded up to 12 times for certain tires. This process contributes to sustainable transport in many ways.
By retreading tires, Goodyear can provide our transportation partners with the same high level of safety, robustness and performance as a new tire, but with 70% fewer natural resources due to the avoided consumption of steel casings.
When we look for example at retreaded truck tires, there is a 29% reduction in land use and a 19% saving in water consumption by putting less pressure on rubber crops. A retread tire also requires considerably less energy to produce, resulting in 24% fewer CO2 emissions and 21% less air pollution. 1
Supporting the circular economy
Retread aircraft tires are already contributing to the circular economy today by extending the total service life of a usable carcass. This not only significantly reduces the number of carcasses being produced, but it lessens the reliance on natural resource production and decreases the number of carcasses being recycled.
When carcasses do reach the end of service in aviation, they are repurposed in less demanding applications on agriculture and port handling vehicles. Remaining rubber from the retreading process also gains new life by being recycled into non-tire products, such as sports fields and playground floors, or used as an energy source for cement factories.
Meeting the safety and performance needs of today's aircraft
As one of the few manufacturers that serves all four segments of global aviation — including commercial and cargo, general aviation, business jets and military — Goodyear works directly with OEMs, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to address their evolving business needs and support their efforts towards sustainable transport. This means sustainability practices can be established throughout the industry with everyone working as one.
Based on its long-standing expertise, design knowledge and forward-thinking manufacturing processes, Goodyear designs aircraft tires that meet exacting specifications and are qualified to perform safely and economically. Goodyear also strives to continually seek efficiencies in processes, use innovative materials and harness clean energies to minimize its environmental footprint.
Creating a Better Future
With more than 90 years of experience with extending the life cycle of aircraft tires, Goodyear's ongoing commitment to tire retreading is a testament to the company's long-time emphasis on sustainability.
This focus on sustainable transport remains today as part of Goodyear's Better Future corporate responsibility framework, which enhances the governance of high-priority sustainability topics. Areas of focus include four pillars: Sustainable Sourcing, Responsible Operations, Advanced Mobility and Inspiring Culture. The framework works to integrate corporate responsibility into all levels of the organization, promote communication and awareness, and drive alignment with Goodyear's corporate strategy and stakeholder priorities.
A great step forward
Tire retreading is an integral part of Goodyear's business strategy and corporate responsibility along with many other OEM and commercial airline companies seeking ways to drive sustainable business outcomes.
Retreading aviation tires is the best solution from an economic and sustainability point of view. It helps protect the profit of our business partners, while also ensuring that our processes optimize the innovation and consumption of raw materials to protect the environment for the future. This is a great step forward for sustainable transport.
1 Ernst and Young Report: The socio-economic impact of truck tyre retreading in Europe (October 2016) - https://www.etrma.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/201611-ey_retreading_lr.pdf