A Dynamic Integrated Analysis of Truck Tires in Western Europe

23 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2011

See all articles by Pieter van Beukering

Pieter van Beukering

VU University Amsterdam - Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)

Marco A. Janssen

Arizona State University (ASU)

Date Written: April 2000


By evaluating tires from a perspective of industrial metabolism, potential novel and practical ways to reduce their environmental impact can be found. This may be achieved by focusing on technological issues such as choosing materials, designing products, and recovering materials, or by looking at institutional and social barriers and incentives such as opening waste markets or changing consumer behavior. A model is presented for the life cycle of truck tires in Western Europe that is dynamic in nature and values both environmental and economic consequences. Various scenarios are simulated including longer tire lifetimes, better maintenance of tire pressure, increased use of less‐expensive Asian tires, and increased use of fuel efficiency‐enhancing tires (“eco‐tires”). Tentative results indicate that, among other things, more than 95% of the overall environmental impact during the life of a tire occurs during the use of the tire, due to the impact of tires on automotive fuel efficiency. Better maintenance of tire pressure and use of eco‐tires produce greater environmental and economics benefits than more‐durable and/or less‐expensive (Asian) tires. These results imply that the emphasis in environmental policies related to tires should shift from the production and the waste stages to the consumption stage. It also suggests that the focus on materials throughput and associated improvements through factor 4 or factor 10 advances in reduction in mass are less important than the quality of the tires and their management.

Keywords: dynamic simulation modeling, industrial metabolism, life‐cycle assessment (LCA), recycling, scenario analysis, tires

Suggested Citation

van Beukering, Pieter and Janssen, Marco A., A Dynamic Integrated Analysis of Truck Tires in Western Europe (April 2000). Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol. 4, Issue 2, pp. 93-115, 2000, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1943944 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/108819800569825

Pieter Van Beukering (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam - Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) ( email )

De Boelelaan 1115
Amsterdam, 1081 HV
+ 31 20 444 9555 (Phone)
+ 31 20 444 9553 (Fax)

Marco A. Janssen

Arizona State University (ASU) ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

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