Two Bridgestone tyre factories gain environmental accreditation

Bridgestone Americas’ Aiken, South Carolina, passenger and light truck tyre and its Aiken OTR tyre plants have been accepted into the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program (SCEEP) for their recycling, conservation and community support. SCEEP, a programme highlighting outstanding workplace environmental improvement, is implemented through the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. SCEEP was designed to recognize and reward South Carolina facilities that have demonstrated superior environmental performance through pollution prevention, energy and resource conservation, and the use of an environmental management system.

“Both of our Aiken plants are redefining the way the automotive industry looks at environmental sustainability and resource efficiency,” said Greer Tidwell, environmental manager – Bridgestone Americas Manufacturing Group, Bridgestone Americas. “We continually take what we’ve learned at the facilities in Aiken and apply these practices to other plants and sites.”

The Aiken passenger car tyre plant was recognized for a multitude of initiatives. Most notably, this plant’s recycling program has maintained a 100 per cent recycle rate for plant waste, meaning no manufacturing waste was shipped to landfills.

The firm’s OTR plant was recognized for its efforts in rainwater harvesting, in which rainwater from the plant’s roof is collected, cleaned and returned to the plant to use. Since 2015, more than 16 million gallons of rainwater have been harvested by the OTR plant reducing demand on the public water supply system.

Although one plant makes tyres for cars and the other makes tyres as big as cars, they work together on the Bridgestone Environmental Education Program (BEEP) holding classes in the long leaf pine ecology restoration habitats at both plants.  This kid focused program is a partnership with the Aiken Campus of the University of South Carolina to develop environmental curriculum to supplement grade school courses, allowing hundreds of students each year to visit the Bridgestone Environmental Learning Centers at the plants’ wildlife habitats and teach students about the eco-system.

Myra Reece, director of environmental affairs for South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control said, “The Bridgestone Aiken tyre plants are high tech and highly committed to good environmental stewardship within the broader South Carolina manufacturing community. By providing educational resources and learning spaces and leading by example, these two plants exemplify environmental excellence so that other companies and individuals can become environmental leaders themselves.  We are proud to have them in our state and proud to have them in the Environmental Excellence Program.”

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