Rome, Ga – Pirelli North America announced a new partnership with The Ray, a non-profit based in Atlanta that has helped to develop a net-zero highway testbed on an 18- mile stretch of Interstate 85 in West Georgia, near the Pirelli factory in Rome.
This partnership aims to advance research and solutions in areas such as technology for road safety, circular economy, EV charging infrastructure, renewable energy, and environmental and social impacts of tires and roads. As part of the non-profit’s Advisory Board, Pirelli will contribute to the strategic thinking around roadways of the future.
With multiple studies pointing to the benefits of both rubber-modified asphalt and re-use of tire material, Pirelli is investigating future projects with The Ray to further research the impact of rubber- modified asphalt, as well as the use of tire-derived aggregate for stormwater galleries.
In addition, the brand is joining a multi-tiered partnership focused on tires and the circular economy – driving education, innovation, solutions development and sharing of best practices.
“Being part of sustainability solutions that extend beyond just our product is an important part of our commitment to climate action,” says Maureen Kline, Vice President, Public Affairs and Sustainability, Pirelli North America. “We know that tires are the one thing between the vehicle and the road. By working with The Ray, we can join forces to identify challenges, develop solutions and drive real change.”
Pirelli believes that tire design will have a key role in shaping the future of mobility and this new partnership demonstrates its commitment to pursuing increasingly challenging goals in terms of sustainability. The company has set goals to increase the renewable and recycled content of tires and reduce environmental impacts. In addition, Pirelli is focusing on mitigation strategies for the broader impacts of its products, including end-of-life tires and tire and road wear particles. The partnership with The Ray will look at areas of mitigation as Pirelli seeks to become an even better steward of its products.
“Pirelli leads from Georgia, with an advanced manufacturing facility that was the first FSC-certified tire plant in the world. Likewise, The Ray leads and scales net-zero transportation infrastructure from The Ray Highway in Georgia,’ said Allie Kelly, Executive Director of The Ray. “The alignment between the organizations, focused on safety, circularity and innovation, will power the partnership to produce groundbreaking projects and research in the coming years, and the impact will benefit communities across the country.”
The Ray is a non-profit organization and living innovation lab focused on sustainable highway transportation and setting new standards for the roadways of the future. Current projects include the use of highway rights-of-way for solar arrays, cloud-based data management for connected vehicle safety and efficiency, drones used as first responders, pollinator gardens for endangered species, and further deployment and impact of bioswales. The Ray defines net-zero in transportation as “Zero Deaths, Zero Waste, Zero Carbon and Zero Impact,” and facilitates the building and scaling of clean transportation and energy projects with transportation agencies, including Georgia and other state Departments of Transportation, tollway and turnpike agencies, regional collaboratives, and local governments.
“This partnership with Pirelli will bring The Ray one step closer to achieving the net-zero transportation goals,” said Kelly.