The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Retreads Are Greener than New Tires; Retreading Produces 30 Percent Less CO2

July 08, 2008

PACIFIC GROVE, CAAn independent analysis conducted to compare the relative carbon footprints of new tires and retreaded tires has concluded that the process required to manufacture and distribute a retreaded tire produces significantly less carbon emissions than that required to produce a new tire. The report, commissioned for the Centre for Remanufacturing and Reuse (embedded within Oakdene Hollins Ltd) and carried out by carbon footprint specialists Best Foot Forward, compares the carbon footprint of a new and a retread 17.5" tire for use by light commercial vehicles.

This study showed that the manufacture of a 17.5" new tire produces 86.9 kg (191.6 lbs.) CO2 emissions compared to 60.5 kg (133.4 lbs.) CO2 for an equivalent retread tire, a savings of 26.4 kg (58.2 lbs.). This equates to a reduction of emissions by 30 percent.

The report breaks down the carbon footprint of the tire comparing the impacts arising from different product stages. It showed that the embodied carbon of materials is the largest component for both new tires and retreads accounting for more than 50 percent of the total impact. It is responsible for 49 kg (108 lbs.) of CO2 in new tires compared to 31 kg (68.3 lbs.) CO2 in retreads.

The second largest impact is attributed to the energy needed in the manufacturing and retreading process. The energy used to manufacture a new tire produces 31 kg (68.3 lbs.) CO2, while retread energy is 22 kg (48.5 lbs.) CO2.

The footprint of transport is roughly the same for both tire types. In total, transport emissions add almost 10 kg (roughly 22 lbs.) CO2 for a new tire and over 8 kg (17.6 lbs.) CO2 for a retread. The higher emissions for transport of new tires come from the long distance import of raw materials from overseas.

Overall, the study found that retreading tires is more environmentally beneficial than buying new, with the retreading of light commercial vehicle tires reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 26.4 kg (58.2 lbs.) and giving material savings of 17.6 kg (38.8 lbs.).

For more information about the environmental and economic benefits of retreaded tires, visit or to receive a Retread Tire Information Packet including a CD & DVD. 

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