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One of the World's Largest Tire and Rubber Manufacturers Pioneers Emissions Reduction in the Automotive Industry

Service: CleanMile


One of the world's largest tire and rubber manufacturers partnered with Breakthrough in 2022 to explore methods for reducing their transportation emissions over a 7-year period. The tire and rubber manufacturer aimed not only to reduce its carbon footprint but to do so with a strategic and data-driven approach. To kick off the process, they had to begin by measuring the emissions on each load to calculate their total transportation lifecycle emissions — a daunting task considering their global reach and intricate supply chain.

Breakthrough’s CleanMile solution, an end-to-end transportation emissions management service, conducted an in-depth analysis to determine the tire and rubber manufacturer's transportation emissions baseline in alignment with the Smart Freight Centre's (SFC) Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) framework. This made them compliant with the only globally recognized methodology for harmonized calculation and reporting of the logistics GHG footprint across the multi-modal supply chain. By leveraging this data-driven approach, they were able to identify specific emission hotspots and tailor recommendations to target these areas effectively. The implementation of these recommendations would lead to a significant 13.8% to 27% reduction in emissions across their transportation network, showcasing the tangible impact of strategic emissions management.

Establishing an Emissions Baseline in Tire and Rubber Manufacturing

Establishing an emissions baseline for a tire and rubber manufacturer comes with significant challenges, especially given the complex and vast supply chains in this industry. Quantifying scope 3 emissions poses a major obstacle, demanding detailed data collection and analysis involving multiple stakeholders. This meticulous process can be particularly time-consuming and complex for a transportation team focused on streamlining operations.

Breakthrough's white-glove approach involved analyzing load-level transportation data to establish an overall emissions baseline and emissions intensity metrics. Emissions intensity metrics are critically important as this level of specificity is essential for creating actionable strategies that move beyond broad goals to precise, actionable initiatives. In the data collection process, Breakthrough discovered the tire and rubber manufacturer was missing a few data points that would be valuable to calculate a precise emissions baseline. Breakthrough was not only able to share what data they needed to collect, but also provide them greater visibility to their transportation network for continuous improvement opportunities.

Innovative Solutions for Reducing Transportation Emissions

Equipped with a lane-level view of the tire and rubber manufacturer's transportation network, CleanMile created an emissions reduction roadmap and outlined steps to implement recommendations. Collectively, this included a series of stackable initiatives that would help reduce emissions by:

  • Evaluating carrier partnerships by emissions output: 5.2 - 11.7% emissions reduction opportunity
  • Switching to alternative energy on select lanes or regions: 3.6 - 5.6% emissions reduction opportunity
  • Intermodal (IM) conversion: 4.3 - 8% emissions reduction opportunity
  • Freight consolidation: 0.7 - 1.7% emissions reduction opportunity

One notable quick win following the comprehensive data analysis was the tire and rubber manufacturer’s ability to engage their transportation carriers in the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program. By urging their partners to achieve a SmartWay efficiency score of 3 or higher—except for specialized niche carriers—they set a clear benchmark for environmental performance within their logistics operations. This initiative not only spotlighted areas for improvement but also fostered a collaborative effort towards greater efficiency and lower emissions across their transportation network. This strategic move underscored the power of data in driving substantive environmental progress and partnership accountability.

Continuous Evaluation and Adaptive Recommendations for a Sustainable Trajectory

To continue to monitor emissions and progress toward their goal, the tire and rubber manufacturer has access to a dashboard of visualizations. They also collaborate with their Breakthrough support team on specific analyses and projects and hold annual meetings with Breakthrough to review progress against their 2019 baseline. This ongoing evaluation is crucial, especially in the transportation sector where market dynamics are in constant flux, influencing both operational decisions and environmental footprints. In tandem with this analytical review, Breakthrough presents a refreshed set of recommendations each year as part of the CleanMile engagement. These suggestions are designed to address new challenges and opportunities that have emerged, ensuring that the tire and rubber manufacturer remains at the forefront of emissions reduction strategies. This dynamic and proactive approach underscores the importance of adaptability and innovation in achieving long-term sustainability goals within the rapidly evolving transportation industry.

Uncover your transportation network’s opportunity

Interested in learning more about Breakthrough’s strategic transportation solutions? Schedule time with our team to see the impact on your network.