Tossing out an old tire or putting it in a landfill leaves it still look like a tire for over a decade. This is because of the hardening through ‘vulcanization’ process in manufacture, making no room for biological organisms break it down. Talking about sustainable business today does not sound strange to most, if not all business enterprises across the world. The changes that are upcoming on a daily basis with time are making each entrepreneur realize that something is wrong somewhere. The crises of climate change, economic downfalls of countries, accompanied with continuous inflation that finally deny stakeholders the social welfare are issues that have raised alarm across the world business enterprises. Everybody is a stakeholder because of the effects from the crises that everyone feels, either directly or indirectly. Stakeholders are on tireless research and investigations on the best ways possible for ensuring new approaches on world business operations without exhausting the resources, for both current and future needs.
This research paper sought to investigate on the effectiveness of one of the new approaches that are currently in use for sustainable business environment, namely, the EcoBorder. The research paper studied on the problem of the issues that are rising in the struggles for the economic sectors to either adopt or otherwise support the EcoBorder approach to sustainable business enterprise. Therefore, the research predicted that business enterprise of EcoBorder in tire recycling is significantly sustainable. Despite some limitations facing the adoption of EcoBorder approach to sustainable business, activities of the enterprise are promising. A sustainable business enterprise is a corporate operation by entrepreneurs with consideration of sustainable development. The operations utilize the limited available resources for maximum returns in an environmental-friendly manner. The returns could be in terms of quantitative or qualitative measures. The profit making enterprises are for maximizing their profits, while the non-profit making organizations targets on effective improvement of human life directly. Whichever aim, sustainability business is required. Sustainability is a word, which is used in ecology discipline, and it means the capacity of a resource for remaining productive, over time. Sustainability is based on natural resources, which are utilized by humans for their current wellbeing, including future generations’ abilities to meet their needs. For sustainability, the world business enterprises need to adopt approaches at macro levels, in order to address economic needs with efficiency, social equity and environmental accountability, so as to secure the needs of present and future generations.
EcoBorder is a sustainable business approach that is running to reverse the degradation effects of automobile tires for quality and cost effective landscaping. Business enterprises aim at making a profit, and thus, need such an approach that is easily reusable with cheap maintenance while reducing environmental degradation. EcoBorder is a technology developed to save the environment from landfills of tires by recycling them to help keep the planet in its green nature.
Tire waste is one of the environmental problems that states are taking note of in regard to the upcoming crises, especially global warming and climate change. The concern is taking a new course through consumers’ options mobilization for the solution to tire disposal. Most municipalities across the world have tire disposal problem where no policies and charges are levied on tire disposal. The enormity of the issue led to some tire companies offering take-back programs for used tires. For instance, stakeholders came up with technological round up for locating drop-off points. They use of Earth911′s recycling locator, and the EcoBorder is now one of the world’s biggest drop-off points. Difficulty in rubber recycling due to the “vulcanization” process involved in their manufacture leaves only mechanical breakdown as the possible means. The recycling procedure starts with shredding into strips which then grinding machines shred further to remove the steel fibers. Granulators then mill the rubber into granule sizes, which serve as raw materials for industries, such as manufacture of tree swings, planters, rubber belts, and provide street surfacing services.
Some industries, less commonly, use liquid nitrogen freezing process to recycle tires. Crashers then make the frozen tires into mills in the similar manner as the shredder. In addition, researchers are making verifications in recycling tires by ‘pyrolysis’ method where they are heated in an oxygen-free environment so that they decompose into oil, gases and char. These processes are extremely expensive; thus EcoBorder is employing landscaping technology to ensure cheap recycling of tires for sustainable business in the world.
In investigation on the effectiveness of the EcoBorder technology for suitable business activities, this study used secondary data sources approach. Data sources in this study comprised journals, books, newspapers and other, different publications and their reviews. The study relied on concerns of contemporary experiences among stakeholders, such as customers, communities, environmentalist, regulators, unions, employees, media and competitors, as they are all affected by environmental degradation through business activities. The online databases, websites, and publication became the main sources of the stakeholders’ experiences. The diverse investigation was made within the ‘Sustainability Sweet Spot Analysis”. For instance, the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS) has an assignment on probing the business sectors of planning input towards sustainability in their operation. One of directors of NBS, Tim Faveri said that most stakeholders of the business sectors are aware of the importance of sustainability initiatives, but their main worry lies in the long-term viability of practice of the EcoBorder initiatives.
The study used description and explanation designs to analyze findings on the challenges in the efforts for business sectors to operate with a sustainability motive, as it regards to EcoBorder. In addition, historical design with a focus on the previous writings and reviews from various disciplines on sustainability of the global business activities and applicability trends, illustrated the findings. The three research designs helped the study to answer the thesis statement. The study employed both qualitative and quantitative findings to investigate the significance of the contemporary issues rising in adoption of the EcoBorder approach to sustainability business, thus making a concluding remark in the research.
Research and Analysis
EcoBorder is saving the world environmentally, socially and economically. The operations and business activities of EcoBorder are becoming significant in sustainability business. This is through collaborative and collective responsibility that is influencing the whole world sectors. This attributes to the ‘Sustainability Sweet Spot’ engagement in the operations. A wide view on grounds for preserving the natural environment is through seizure of tire landfills and greener environment, aimed at costs reduction in disposal of the scrap tires form a nested circle with common area. Business operations in EcoBorder could enable massive profits, due to low cost for the operations, while addressing the environmental issues, where the scrap tires landfills contributes to climate change. The EcoBorder activities indicate business interest for maximizing marginal rate of returns while, at the same time, it is addressing stakeholders’ interests of issues and impacts concerning the scrap tire disposal. The approach, which employs ‘Sustainability Sweet Spot’ approach in its business activities, is a sustainable business enterprise.
Considering the environmental concern by EcoBorder illustrates the sustainability significance the project is making. Today, millions of vehicles are on the roads, each travelling estimated annual miles between 12,000 and 15,000. The automobile sector has all the vehicles using tires. This implies a large tire ‘heap’ annually. Statistics by the automobile industry shows 290 million tires manufacture in 2005 with a corresponding scrap of 259 million. A decision to dispose these tires through landfills will leave the tires unchanged for hundreds of years. Burning the tire, on the other hand, will produce enormous harmful toxins into the environment, hence degrading it.
Research by the Environmental Protection Act (APA) estimates recycled tires to 35.3 percent of the scrap tires in 2009. The existing environmental and health effects of landfills disposal of tires and tire stockpiles are environmental menace. Between 1990 and 2003, scrap tires rose from 11 million to 233 million. According to the Recycling Times, there is an annual generation of used tire of about 300 million in the United States. Disposing 25 percent of scrap tires each year will bring devastating effects in the future, which will compromise the abilities of the generations to come in meeting their needs. EcoBorder targets to solve these problems for inter-generation equity. Therefore, there a course change in the perception of the scarp tires from its landfill space waste to a viable resource for business enterprises, like EcoBorder. Gerald Harrington, PMGI Managing Director, had noted, “Governments and the Solid Waste Management reports indicating at least one scrap tire corresponding to every three people in the U.S.”.
Environmentally, EcoBorder is a sustainable business enterprise. The operations at EcoBorder are helping in reduction of tire stockpiles burning. The burning of the stockpiles creates heavy smoke that release impurities into the air. The impurities are contents of greenhouse gases that may destroy the ozone layer. This may have devastating disease effects on all living organisms on the earth, affecting both the abilities of the current and the future generations in meeting their needs. The greenhouse gases also cause development of a ‘blanket-like’ layer in the atmosphere, which results in earth’s temperature rise, thus global warming. Global warming influences climate change that negatively impact on availability of resources, like water, which is extremely vital for industrial enterprises. Therefore, continued burning of the tires may compromise production abilities.
The tire piles burn heavily because of the tires’ oil contents. This makes the difficulty in extinguishing its fires, since the oily characteristic in tires make large fires, which are harmful for the environment. This will be degradation of the natural existence of the earth hence killing its productivity power. The oily residue from the burning scrap tires remains on soil, and mixes with water and flows into streams to lake and oceans. Soils loose fertility as water loses its purity. EcoBorder business activities are the solutions to those problems, which lead to killing earth’s productivity.
EcoBorder utilizes the durability nature of tires to recycle and use them in landscape edging. The activities that run with land topology helps in controlling soil erosion. Protecting land form soil erosion keeps its viability for natural growths, hence preserve for the future generations’ utilization. EcoBorder also beautifies the environment through plantation of flowers and gardens arrangements. This restores the green nature of the earth, where air is naturally purified, and water easily infiltrates, when it rains, for restoration of the underground water. This is important for both current and future industrial water needs.
Automobile industry statistics indicates recycled tires having over 75 percent of all the scrap tires. Fuel or other applications use the recycled tires for the economic welfare of the people. EcoBorder uses the scrap tires in its operation with business aims of profit making. The business enterprise is enjoying the cost-effective recycling method of scrap tires. The current economic needs require business operations under minimum possible costs for increasing the returns. The other processes of recycling that involve shredding and granulation are costly expenses facing the tire recycling industries.
The landscape edging activities in EcoBorder does not involve much energy as compared to the other processes of recycling. This saves the energy for other uses, hence operating at a low cost scale. Sustainability business requires operation at a relatively low cost to enable attention to other aspects in the operation. This is of economic value to the enterprise and thus, is sustainable. As much as the other processes realize their energy consumption reduction compared to new tire creations, EcoBorder consumptions are comparatively insignificant. An average of 22 gallons of oil use in creating a new truck tire reduces by about 50 percent in retreading a scrap one, while EcoBorder reduces by less than one percent in use to recycled tire.
The EcoBorder business enterprise is contributing to the economy through the creation of employment. Many people have their employment for EcoBorder, in various sections. EcoBorder uses high level technology; thus, many skilled people are employees at the firm. This enables the people prosper in economic wellbeing, for both their lives and the lives of their children. Through the same effect, EcoBorder is raising the national income through payment of the levied charges like licensing, taxation and other industrial charges. EcoBorder is also contributing to the national income through export of its products. One of the EcoBorder’s customers posted to a friend on how the enterprise works. He said that EcoBorder sells their products in packs of two and six, which are 4-foot-long pieces at about $10 per piece. He also stated that the EcoBorder market covers Lowe, The Home Depot, in the U.S., and Canada. These economic benefits in its operations do not compromise any other abilities in meeting needs of current and future generations.
EcoBorder business enterprise has significant functions in the society in regard to social matters. Tire piles pose two health threats that include pests and fires. EcoBorder reduces the tire stockpiles that accommodate vermin and their breeding nature. The tires collect water within themselves making perfect environment for mosquitoes, which carry encephalitis or dengue fever diseases. Harrington confirms that using the tires in landscape edging is seizure of these problems. The continued adoption and application of this technology will significantly reduce the disease spread, due to restrictions of breeding environment for mosquitoes and rodents. Through this, the society remains healthy and energetic to provide strong human labor. Family expenditures reduce with reduction in health costs enabling budgetary allocations for other pertinent aspects like saving and consumption for the betterment of welfare. The operations are sustainable as the required tires are on daily dispense from the automobile industry and are enhanced by the growing demand for the EcoBorder products.
In addition, EcoBorder, through it activities are reducing the risk of dangerous fires that may rise from the tires in landfills. Fire is a potential threat of scrap tires, which are difficult to extinguish, with considerable periods. This is safety and security issues for society. Their burning also releases heavy black smoke that affects the society. The smoke may cause acid rains, contribute to global warming, and destroy ozone in the atmosphere. All these are safety concerns to society. The smoke also contaminates the soil with oily residues that distract agriculture for food, hence provoking hunger. This inhibits the agriculture sector in food production that lead to malnutrition and other related social mayhems. Customers’ feedbacks recognize the solutions to these social problems through the business enterprise of EcoBorder and term it as sustainability business (Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service).
The EcoBorder activities create room for other wastes for landfills. The example is the electronic disposal problem across the world. Disposal of scrap tires through landfills will take up significant land coverage; this may be inconvenient for the other competing wastes, like electronics. The indirect benefit of the EcoBorder operations under this argument is the contribution to land settlement provision. Using land for tire landfills will reduce the settlement and agricultural land for humanity in the world.
EcoBorder business activities are creating a suitable living environment for societies. Harrington encourages the concept adoption to use old tires in keeping yards clean and tidy. EcoBorder products make landscape flourish with flowers and the greenery nature of the environment. EcoBorder is a gardening purveyor that is turning old tires into gardens’ and landscaping borders. The installation, which involves a combination of used rubber with glue and exterior paint, makes the borders beautiful through coloring the products with green, black, brown and red colors. Customer feedback and discussions on the role of EcoBorder prove these benefits.
People always search the ways to make garden greener. After all, being green is what a garden is all about. However, there are challenges to make this happen. Besides pesticides and fertilizers, keeping grass from encroaching on the garden plots can be a problem. The EcoBorder edging system manages to achieve this, and it is made out of recycled tires. Current estimates say it will take about 1,000 years for a car tire to decompose. The EcoBorder is particularly innovative, as it solves several problems in one fell swoop. The company has only been around since 2009, and already they’ve turned over 200,000 tires into garden edging (“EcoBorder Turns Old Tires into Landscape Edging”).
The EcoBorder website says that the landscaping products are next to indestructible because of the hardened nature of tires through ‘vulcanization’ process in their manufacture. This means long-term products that encourage application and adoption in the society. The EcoBorder environmental beautification of homes, neighborhoods, and cities is of significant social benefit. The human nature requires leisure and pleasure from these products.
Sustainability ‘Sweet Spot’ Analysis
Operations at EcoBorder with the tire recycling objective are similar to aims in other companies. This forms nested circles with sharing of the common goals between EcoBorder and other business enterprises that recycle tires. This is a sustainability business requirement of meeting the stakeholders’ concerns and the main business interest of profit making. In fact, the other stakeholders nested in the profit making interests for EcoBorder operations include the employees, who earn a living from the company; environmentalists concerns for tire disposal; and the tire manufacturers, who can then run their business freely with no worries of disposal problem of their products. The Bridgestone management agrees that they have had the problem play out again and again. They recognize the significance of the EcoBorder business engagement. They are optimistic that the business grows beyond the current jurisdictions, so as to facilitate the tire recycling process in a cost-effective and environmental friendly manner. On Earth Day, one of the tire manufacturers, Bridgestone, introduced plans to facilitate tire recycling in cost-effective approaches to restore the natural existence of the environment.
The sustainability ‘Sweet Spot Analysis’ in EcoBorder business enterprise shows the combined effort and involvement of all stakeholders. The “One Team, One Planet” program supported the EcoBorder activities as the program aims at putting at least one scrap tire to reuse for every tire purchased in the United States. As other methods and ways of tire recycle run concurrently with the EcoBorder operations, the later is the most cost-effective and environmental friendly. Involvement of the climate change concerns and a clean environment prompted for partnerships with Portland-based River Network and Bridgestone, in ensuring dedication to protecting rivers and watersheds.
Bridgestone supports the public in creating community clean-up programs, which end up with a number of scrap tires sold to EcoBorder for its activities in landscape edging products and services. In fact, the partnership came up with a website page for organizing free community events with interests in clearing up the scrap tires form the environment, and always with the presence and support of Bridgestone. The program is a success to Bridgestone as a way to reduce its negative environmental impact. Bridgestone pledged to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent by 2020 for biodiversity protection. The manufacturer has a mission, which aims at helping achieve a healthy environment for both the current and future generations. The objectives coincide the EcoBorder’s, and their involvement of the communities shows involvement of the stakeholders, which is the ‘Sweet Spot Analysis’ concept.
The concept of recycling the tires at EcoBorder is solving the climate change, society safety impacts, and reducing costs while pursuing in their profit making business interests. EcoBorder operations are liaising with enforcement of the anti-littering and anti-dumping laws set across the world for environment conservation. EcoBorder strengthens federal laws and regulations governing scrap tires. The operations solve the costly tire wastes management. Financial assurance requirements have been a problem in the scrap tire handling sectors before the set up of the EcoBorder. The dealers appreciate the idea as they feel the relief impact of the EcoBorder activities. The operations have anti-dumping regulations across the world. This relates to programs like ‘Tire Amnesty Day,’ where the public can take their used tires to a drop-off site at no extra cost. There is a credit the program in the United States, which is of financial help.
Limitations and Recommendations
Despite the benefits of the EcoBorder business activities that are flourishing across the accessible states, there are challenges facing the adoption and spread of the concept. Difficulties for market accessibility and determination are limitations to the growth of EcoBorder. Many people are wondering whether their products and services are beneficial, since EcoBorder is the first enterprise to recycle tires for landscape edging.
The public feels market distortions for the EcoBorder products. EcoBorder is the first and the only company with the technology and the public are suspicious of the accuracy and applicability of the products and services. Some customers feel that EcoBorder is monopolizing its products and services. This is a challenge for the business operations because market confidence plays a vital role in any business enterprise.
EcoBorder enterprise is also facing geographic difficulties in their business operations. This is affecting the growth in other parts of the world. As a business, Ecoborder has expertize about where customers come from, including potential customers’ location, which is valuable in making sales. Expansion at EcoBorder requires research on potential customers worldwide for undertaking the enterprise in the geographical location. This is because it determines the cost of operation and the income. Research of the potential markets on the globe for expansion will cost EcoBorder some extra financial expenditure. The geographic challenge in the EcoBorder business also applies to accessibility to the scrap tires. The idea and operations in EcoBorder is only currently solving the tire problems in its region. For instance, the tires in other continents and states are still on disposal problem because of the longevity in geographical locations.
Competition and political interference through enactment of some policies, like free tire collection, threaten the availability and collection problem to EcoBorder. The idea looks contradicting, since when tire collector take the tires free of charge, the availability of the tires to EcoBorder will shrink, hence affecting its operations. For instance, assuming that each city in the world collects the tires free of charge, EcoBorder will face the unavailability crises of tires, which will, in turn, mean purchasing costs of the scrap tires. Cutting Edge industry in Alberta with offices located in Fort McMurray and Edmonton has a 15-acre yard near Ponoka town for collection of tires. Cutting Edge is partnering with Alberta Recycling, in order to collect tires free of charge.
Criticisms are facing EcoBorder on whether the ‘planting’ of the recycled tires in the soil for landscape edging is still solving the environmental issues rising from piling tires. Despite no current evidence to show that the products are substantially increasing threats to human health and the environment, researchers and environmentalists are still on experiments to verify the allegations. Research, which showed potential effect that the scrap tires have on groundwater quality when used in highway constructions, is the main argument that still posse a ‘not sure’ statement in the operations at EcoBorder. This is a challenge that is limiting the growth and spread of the enterprise.
EcoBorder products and services are facing the adoption limitation especially among the low income earners. The EcoBorder business enterprise has low economic benefit to customers. The customers only buy the products and pay for the EcoBorder services for garden make ups and beautification. Economic analysis to the consumer side shows low economic benefit from the products and services. Making up gardens at home only gives a pleasure to enjoy its natural existence, but do not have any financial benefit in monetary terms. This is difficult for adoption among the low income earners, hence challenging the EcoBorder business enterprise.
This research study has findings and analysis that the EcoBorder operations are crucial to the world, as a whole. These challenges facing the enterprise need combined efforts in their solutions to ensure a restored earth. EcoBorder need to invest in marketing of the products and in mobilizing the non-customers on the beneficial side of the landscape edging. Advertisements and marketing through media across the globe will help a world-wide adoption of the enterprise. This will see the earth restores to its natural form.
Harmonizing with states and other enterprises in regard to tire recycling for the wellbeing of the whole world requires a new approach. States need to cooperate in the adoption of the idea and emulate to ensure success of recycling the scar tires with cost-effectiveness while maintain the environmental conservation.
EcoBorder needs to carry out research on both customer and non-customer locations for expanding their market. Market availability and viability is the only way, whereby the enterprise will gain strength for growth and create entry barrier for any emerging competitor. EcoBorder should also check on their prices, so as to accommodate low income earners who feel that the products are too expensive to afford. Education and advice on the importance of recycling the scrap tires, on a large scale, as well as set up of products for income earning, like tourism or public leasing, will make the adoption of the products economically beneficial.
The concern of the environment lies in the hands of everyone. Everybody is a stakeholder in the matter that EcoBorder is trying to address, while the company maintains its profit making objectives. Every person needs a healthy environment, where he/she utilizes the resource for wellbeing, and yet the tire disposal problem is producing worldwide devastating effects. The effects from the climate change and global warming crises, which everyone feels directly or indirectly, are the impacts that EcoBorder is pursuing to solve under Sustainability ‘Sweet Spot’ analysis. Stakeholders, like government and environmentalists, are researching and investigating the best alternatives for ensuring new approaches on world business operations without exhausting the resources, for both current and future needs.
A sustainable business enterprise is a corporate operation by entrepreneurs with consideration of sustainable development. EcoBorder as a sustainable business approach is reversing the degradation effects of automobile tires for quality and cost effective landscaping. EcoBorder is saving the world environmentally, socially and economically. The operations and business activities of EcoBorder are becoming significant in sustainability business. The EcoBorder website says that the landscaping products are next to indestructible.
Operations at EcoBorder with the tire recycling objective are similar to aims in other companies. This forms nested circles where sharing of the common goals between EcoBorder and other business enterprises, which recycle tires. The limitations facing the EcoBorder enterprise are worth solution to enable the world to engage in sustainable businesses operations. The study answers the research statement that the enterprise operations of EcoBorder are significantly sustainable. Despite the few limitations and challenges in adoption of EcoBorder approach to sustainable business, enterprise is promisingly sustainable.