Second Bridgestone Americas Site Earns LEEDS Certification
The Aiken County, South Carolina passenger car and light commercial vehicle tyre manufacturing plant operated by Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) has earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certification from the US Green Building Council. This certification, explains BATO, recognises outstanding environmental building design and utilisation, and is rarely given to existing manufacturing sites. The Aiken County facility is the second BATO tyre plant to gain LEED certification – the company’s Warren County, Tennessee truck and bus tyre factory earned this distinction in November 2008. The two plants are the first LEED certified tyre manufacturing facilities in the US, and indeed the world.
“Becoming the second tyre plant to ever be LEED-certified is a great achievement for the teammates in Aiken County,” said Aiken County plant manager John Stewart. “I am very proud of how we continue to strive for and meet high environmental standards at the plant and as a company.”
The facility earned LEED certification by accumulating points based on criteria for existing buildings including water efficiency, sustainability and indoor environmental quality. Specifically, the plant reduced emissions from equipment by converting to bio-fuels, replacing paper towel dispensers with air hand dryers, installing waterless urinals, upgrading to more energy-efficient light bulbs, installing negative pressure smoking hoods and establishing high-priority parking zones for carpoolers and hybrid vehicles.
“We really worked hard to find ways to be more environmentally sustainable in our policies and practices,” said Jimmy Vaughn, environmental engineer at the Aiken County plant. “The new, more environmentally friendly ways we conduct ourselves at the plant will have a positive impact on our environment and save money by reducing waste and consumption.”
New policies adopted by the Aiken County facility are intended to help both the environment and the facility’s own bottom line. For instance, 37 new waterless urinals and sensor faucets will cut annual water consumption by 5,602,000 litres — enough water, comments BATO, to supply seven houses for one year. The facility’s new energy-efficient light bulbs increase light levels, lower mercury levels and have almost double the lifespan of previous bulbs. These practices all help the Aiken County plant support the Bridgestone Group’s global “One Team, One Planet” environmental initiative.