Nov 8, 2012 Wilson, NC

Bridgestone Wilson Plant Receives First Ever ISO 50001 Certification for Tire Manufacturer

The Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (Bridgestone) Wilson County, N.C. manufacturing facility has become the first tire plant to earn ISO 50001 certification and the first plant, regardless of segment, to reach Superior Energy Performance (SEP) Mature Pathway certification.

ISO 50001:2011 is a new international standard specifying requirements for industrial Energy Management Systems. It is a plan-do-check-act procedural-based standard that calls for actions such as establishing an energy baseline, demonstrating energy reductions, creating energy goals and action plans, and managing significant energy-consuming equipment. SEP is sponsored by the U.S. Council for Energy-Efficient Manufacturing and encourages energy reduction above and beyond the ISO 50001 requirements. The SEP Mature Energy Pathway encourages companies to implement more than 50 “best energy practices” and requires a 15 percent reduction in energy use over the previous 10 years to receive recognition.

Between the years of 2001 and 2011, the Wilson County plant has made verifiable energy savings of 16.8 percent.

“Our company has long been focused on reducing the use of natural resources and instituting sustainable manufacturing practices, so while earning this certification is a great honor, I’m happy to say it’s also business as usual for our plant,” said Gary Williamson, Plant Manager of Bridgestone’s Wilson County manufacturing facility. “Energy savings isn’t just good for our environment, it’s also good for our bottom line, so this is truly a win-win situation.”

The plant cites several recent energy savings projects that helped contribute to the certification, including switching the primary fuel source to natural gas in its boilers, shutting down equipment when not in operation, promptly repairing steam and air leaks, insulating piping and executing several lighting optimization projects.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) develops technical standards that are utilized worldwide by leading companies.  Adherence to ISO standards has long been considered a signal of excellence in operational management. In a far-sighted move, Bridgestone Americas required all manufacturing facilities to obtain ISO 14001 certification, a framework for environmental management implementation, by the year 2000 or within 2 years of ownership of any new facility. Currently, 52 Bridgestone manufacturing facilities, including the Wilson County facility, are ISO 14001 certified.

In accordance with Bridgestone Americas’ environmental policy encouraging involvement in positive environmental and community activities, the Wilson County manufacturing facility also maintains a learning wildlife habitat certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council. The Freedom Wildlife Habitat and Refuge encompasses 350 acres, 150 of which the Environmental Small Group Improvement Team actively manages for wildlife. The habitat includes nesting structures for bats and cavity-nesting birds including eastern bluebirds, tree swallows, wood ducks, screech owls and purple martins. The habitat also maintains three pollinator gardens to provide food and cover to butterflies, bees and other pollinators. Numerous community groups such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, National Wild Turkey Federation and the Wilson County Soil and Water Conservation District assist the team in habitat enhancement and enjoy the land for outdoor educational use.

To learn more about Bridgestone Americas’ environmental activities, visit www.OneTeamOnePlanet.com.