Ewan has been editor of Retreading Business since 2006 and of Tyre & Rubber Recycling since the magazine was founded. During this period he has become an expert on the global tyre recycling sector. He has many years' experience as an automotive journalist including a period at Tyres & Accessories.
GRI Highlights Green Tyre Agenda
Sri Lanka’s rubber industry’s global venture Global Rubber Industries (GRI) has moved into the green tyre manufacturing sector, taking the company into a new market space in line
GRI rolls out the green tyre across the globe
Sustainability is ingrained in the company and the technology used to ensure greening the tyres is relevant to the company’s future prospects, GRI CEO Mahesha Ranasoma said in an interview with the Business Times recently at the company’s headquarters in Colombo.
The company has invested in a factory in Badalgama, Gampaha that is manufacturing specialised tyres for the world market.
“We choose to be guided by the global sustainability goals in line with our global reach and global customer base,” Dr. Ranasoma explained.
He noted that the aim of moving into the greening of their tyres is prepare as demand arises.
In this respect, GRI is a step ahead as they are already engaged in carrying out research into the creation of new green tyres.
The company lays claim to being one of the world’s first sustainable tyre series for the agriculture segment under its banner for green agenda “Green XLR Earth”.
The tyre made with an innovative tread design has higher fuel efficiency, lower soil compaction, it helps reduces the carbon footprint.
This green tyre has been developed with 37.5 per cent of sustainable materials and is built to nurture and protect the environment and to deliver high performance and productivity for tractors across global markets.
This green tyre is designed in a novel earthy green colour and produced with a high percentage of recycled carbon black to reduce its carbon footprint. The company states that it incorporates soybean oil, next generation HD Silica that improves tyre performance, and reclaimed rubber used to enhance the tyre’s sustainable attributes and minimise its carbon footprint.
“Getting into this green space is the way we can leapfrog our competitors as we all are at the same starting point,” he noted.
Using the green agenda ensures that GRI is capable of putting the company’s philosophy into practice, Dr. Ranasoma explained.
Commenting on the local constraints, he explained that the availability of natural rubber in their local plantations has decreased over the years from around 150,000 metric tonnes (MT) to 80,000 MT in 2021.
“We need to get on with the Master Plan implementation,” Dr. Ranasoma explained adding that they require government support in this regard.
With corporate offices in about 10 countries and headquarters in Sri Lanka, GRI operates as a multinational organisation with an independent non-executive board and has a business presence in 50 countries marketing products designed for the European market.
GRI has ventured into 77 per cent of the global tyre market industry that covers off road tyres with a focus on three key segments namely agriculture, construction and forklift operations.
GRI has made acquisitions of companies that give it closer access to customers and some of those companies are in the service sector.