Driving Toward Sustainability: 3 Considerations for Sustainable Tires


(BPT) - In today's world, environmental consciousness is a driving force behind consumer purchase decisions for everyday items like clothing, housewares and even tires. With sustainability on the minds of drivers — many considering EVs or hybrid vehicles to reduce their carbon footprint — Hankook Tire recently explored drivers’ preferences when shopping for tires that are also good for the planet. Here's where the rubber meets the road when it comes to eco-friendly tires:

The Road to Sustainable Practices

According to the latest Gauge Index survey, nearly two-thirds of drivers (64%) are likely to purchase tires from a brand known for its sustainability practices. What’s more, nearly half (47%) are willing to pay a premium for tires that are sustainably made.

Generational differences also play a significant role in these preferences, and younger people are driving the demand: 71% of Gen Z respondents are more likely to purchase tires from a brand known for its sustainability practices, compared to 53% of Boomers. Additionally, 58% of Gen Z respondents, compared to 33% of Boomers, stated that it is important for the tires they purchase to be made from recycled or sustainable materials.

Materials Matter

When it comes to the materials used in their tires, 44% of drivers said it was important that their tires were made from recycled or sustainable materials. Of those, over half (58%) were Gen Z compared to 33% of Boomers. Additionally, when considering purchasing sustainable tires, durability matters. The lifespan of the tire led as the most important at 24%, followed by safety ratings (19%), and performance ratings (16%).

Embracing Repurposing

As consumers become more conscious of sustainability, there is also a growing interest in what becomes of tires at the “end of the road” — in other words, what happens when the tire needs to be replaced and how it can be repurposed. Nearly one-quarter (23%) are interested in repurposing used tires for footwear, closely followed by 17% of consumers who would like to see more tires used for garden planters.

This trend extends to educational programs as well. Schools are incorporating used tires into their gardening programs, turning them into planters for various crops. Gardens built at local schools and community centers not only repurpose tires (and keep them out of landfills) but also provide hands-on learning experiences for students. These initiatives help children learn about agriculture, sustainability, and the importance of recycling.

As consumer preferences continue to evolve, drivers are seeking out automotive suppliers that prioritize eco-friendly products and practices that align with their own values. By prioritizing sustainability initiatives, these suppliers not only contribute to a cleaner environment, but also cater to the changing needs and preferences of their customers.