Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Tyre Production - Case Nokian Tyres
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Climate change is a growing concern. The growing concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) are the main cause for climate change. In order to prevent dangerous changes in the climate system the GHG emissions have to be controlled. GHG assessment can be seen as an important tool in controlling GHG emissions as the emissions and their sources have to be known in order to restrain them. The goal of this thesis was to determine all relevant GHG emissions from tyre industry with special focus on indirect GHG emissions. As a case study the GHG emissions of Nokian Tyres’ operations were assessed. In the study GHG emissions from production and transportation of raw materials, manufacturing of the tyres, distribution and sales operations, use of the tyres, and the end-of-life treatment were included. In the manufacturing emissions the indirect emissions from auxiliary operations such as wastes, commuting, and business travel were also included. To calculate the total GHG emissions the non-CO2 gases were converted into CO2 equivalent (CO2e) using their global warming potentials. All GHG emissions were calculated using activity data and emission factors. In addition a calculator was created to enable easy calculation of the annual GHG emissions from the operations based on activity data only. Many studies have shown that the use of the tyres creates most of the GHG emissions during the whole lifecycle. In this study the total GHG emissions from all of the operations were 30 364 kg CO2e/t tyres produced. 87 % of the GHG emissions were formed during the use of the tyres. The manufacturing of the tyres comprised only a small amount of the total GHG emissions (2.1 %). Most of the GHG emissions from manufacturing are caused by energy use. The high usage of carbon neutral energy sources keeps the GHG emissions low however. Emissions from distribution and sales operations mainly comprised of the energy use of the sales facilities. The production of raw materials formed second largest part of all GHG emissions (7.8 %). GHG emissions from end-of-life treatment were insignificant (less than 0.1 %). The largest GHG emission reduction potential is during the use phase. By lowering the rolling resistance of the tyres the fuel consumption and thus GHG emissions can be reduced. GHG emissions from the use of tyres are however also dependent on car and fuel industries. As the impact on the GHG emissions from raw materials is limited energy use has the second best potential for GHG emission reductions. By substituting more energy sources in the factories and sales facilities by renewable or carbon neutral sources GHG emissions could be reduced.