Doing Good Things to Sustain Our Environment.
Lehigh Technologies’ dedication to sustainability begins with our mission to develop high value uses for end-of-life tire materials that would otherwise be burned or deposited in landfills. Our commitment continues in our collaboration with our customers to make products with a reduced carbon footprint and ultimately ends with consumers who can contribute to a more sustainable world by buying our customers’ products.
Lehigh Technologies is leading the way in applying technology to reuse engineered materials, such as rubber. Our fact-based, technology driven approach to all aspects of our business has led us to evaluate ways for understanding our role in sustainability leadership. We have found the principles developed by the well known NGO, The Natural Step, to be simple, grounded in science and practical. These four principles describe the ways in which we can become a more sustainable society.
“The Four Principles of Sustainability”:
- Eliminate our contribution to the progressive build-up of substances extracted from the Earth’s crust (for example, heavy metals and fossil fuels)
- Eliminate contribution to the progressive build-up of chemicals and compounds produced by society (for example, dioxins, PCBs, and DDT)
- Eliminate our contribution to the progressive physical degradation and destruction of nature and natural processes (for example, over harvesting forest and paving over critical wildlife habitat)
- Eliminate our contribution to conditions that undermine people’s capacity to meet their basic human needs (for example, unsafe working conditions and not enough pay to live on). In addition, we are creating new, meaningful jobs for our community and educational experience via our manufacturing and technical co-op program with Georgia Tech.
In a carbon-constrained world where demand for fossil based fuels and feed stocks are leading to higher prices and ultimately reduced availability, these four principles can guide and inform the choices made by companies as they develop new products or re-engineer existing ones. Lehigh’s micronized rubber powders address three of these four principles.
Principle #1: Our micronized rubber powders avoid the use of materials extracted from the earth’s crust. This includes oil or gas needed to make synthetic rubber as well as carbon black, silica and the many additives used in a typical tire compound that are derived from oil. Every pound of micronized rubber powder saves nearly a gallon of oil (enough oil to fuel a mid-size passenger car for 11 miles) and approximately 10kWh of electricity (sufficient to run a medium sized window AC unit for 10 hours).
Our manufacturing team continues to find new, innovative methods to drive down the amount of energy needed to produce our products. The majority of our energy in Georgia is derived from coal thus improvements in energy cost/lb of micronized rubber powder support this principle as well as make our products more cost competitive.
Principle #2: Our micronized rubber powders help avoid the increase in the amount of man-made substances in the environment such as industrial and consumer waste as well as carbon dioxide. This begins with developing new uses for end-of-life tires that would otherwise be burned (CO2 and other emissions) or landfilled. This leads us to the next principle.
Principle #3: Our micronized rubber powders, which include our closed-loop services, help eliminate waste that would otherwise go to landfills; therefore, reducing the progressive physical degradation and destruction of nature and natural processes.
Principle #4: Lehigh Technologies employs the highest safety standards, ensuring that our employees have safe working conditions, including safety teams, processes and continuous training.
In addition, we are creating new, meaningful jobs for our community and educational experience via our manufacturing and technical co-op program with Georgia Tech.
According to the US Rubber Manufacturers Association there are approximately 300 million tires discarded each year in the US and 1 billion worldwide according to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. In addition, the CO2 (the major greenhouse gas) released in using one lb of rubber powder is about half of that released from using virgin materials.
Lehigh’s sustainability objectives are clear-by helping our customers develop new uses for micronized rubber powders we can help them be commercially successful and, at the same time, contribute to a more sustainable society.