Just how important are environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues to consumers, companies and investors? Bloomberg estimates that ESG currently fuels a $40 trillion industry. But behind the numbers are companies like Liberty Tire Recycling that are making measurable efforts to orient their core business around ESG principles. Luckily for Liberty, it’s already part of our DNA.
For decades, Liberty Tire has been committed to supporting a more circular economy by finding new and better ways to not only collect and recycle end-of-life tires, but to support innovation and new market development for recycled rubber products.
This year we released our first ESG report, describing initiatives to advance sustainable products, accelerate environmental stewardship, engage people and communities, and operate responsibly in the locations it serves. As the report details [LINK], we are making headway on critical ESG-related issues, and our ongoing focus on sustainable operations positions us well to meet our commitment to driving a greener tomorrow.
In 2020-2021, we collected more than 190 million tires across the U.S. and Canada, creating 3 billion pounds of rubber available for beneficial end-uses. We also partnered with Bolder Industries to convert end-of-life tires into sustainable carbon black, petrochemicals, steel, and power. And these were just the environmental efforts – the “E” in ESG. Our societal initiatives included more than $50,000 raised to support families in need during the 2021 holiday season. We also launched a hiring initiative that provides a second chance opportunity to 171 people with a past criminal record, and reported a workforce representation rate of 62 percent for inclusivity and diversity.
Our governance commitments took the form of green financing for ECP’s acquisition of Liberty Tire in May 2021. The deal involved a green term loan, which has been cited as among the first of its kind in the U.S. outside the renewable energy sector, and the first in the U.S. to back a buyout. Green loans are given exclusively to fund projects in which substantial environmental contributions will be made; the full amount of the loan must be used for sustainability- focused activities, allowing borrowers to convey the companies’ green operations and supply chain. For a loan to be considered green, it must also be structured in accordance with the core components of the Green Loan Principles. These principles refer to the Green Bond Principles of the International Capital Market Association and provide guidance on how to implement the use of proceeds from green loans.
In short, you have to prove that your business is good for the people and the planet. To that end, we were able to quantify how our business lowers greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As detailed in our ESG report, the total amount of GHG emissions reduced through the use of our products avoided nearly 1 million metric tons of CO2-e in 2020 and more than 945,000 metric tons of CO2-e in 2021. That’s a number we can all be proud of, and it reflects our determination to make the world a better planet.
Our long-term strategy for the development and implementation of sustainability initiatives includes a commitment to transparency, so we’ll continue to inform customers, partners and communities about our progress toward the ESG goals of creating sustainable products, engaging communities, and acting as responsible stewards of the environment. It’s at the core of what we do.