For decades, Nokian Tyres has been striving to make the world a safer place. The company reaches yet another milestone, as it introduces its most sustainable tyre yet. The Nokian Tyres Green Step concept tyre is a masterpiece of sustainable innovation with its ambitious design consisting of 93% of the materials either recycled or renewable. It moves the company even closer to its goal: by the year 2030, 50% of all raw materials used in Nokian Tyres’ tyres will be recycled or renewable.
Nokian Tyres Green Step leads the way to more sustainable driving
In 2021, Nokian Tyres set an ambitious target: by the year 2030, 50% of all the raw materials used in its tyres will be recycled or renewable. The Nokian Tyres Green Step concept tyre is a testament to the ingenuity of Nokian Tyres R&D as well as its ambition to make driving more sustainable.
“Drivers are more and more interested in the sustainability of their tyres, and this creates demand for us to create tyres for these standards. 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 a concept tyre like the Green Step, we can push the limits. It’s a win-win for all, but especially for the environment,” says Development Manager Jouko Ilomäki from Nokian Tyres.
All rubber used in the Green Step concept tyre 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 the year 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 and it is drivable on snow and ice. Some of the materials used in the concept tyre are familiar from various Nokian Tyres’ previous tyre models. Natural rubber is an important material in all tyres because of its beneficial features. Alternative sources for natural rubber, such as the guayule plant, are also researched. Renewable oils are common in Nokian Tyres’ tyres, as Nokian Tyres stopped using high-aromatic oils as the first tyre manufacturer in the world in 2005.
“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. “Many of the sustainable innovations found in the Green Step are already used in our tyres, and regular drivers have been able to benefit from them for years. We made new innovations during the process of designing the Green Step and they will be incorporated in the future tyres offered to consumers all around the globe. We wanted to explore the limits of our sustainable innovation capabilities and the result was the Green Step. It is a testament to our ambition and knowhow.”
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