Facility/Site of the Month

Facility of the Month – November 2013
Bridgestone Costa Rica

In 2007, the country of Costa Rica launched an ambitious program to become the world’s first completely carbon neutral country by 2021. To achieve this goal, Costa Rica will have to eliminate or offset emissions from a variety of sectors such as agriculture, transportation, and industry. To encourage local industries to contribute towards the goal, the government has created a National Policy (or Standard) INTE 12-01-06:2011 “Management System to become C.Neutral” for businesses. This standard means that the business is dedicated to the goal of carbon neutrality and that it is capable of offsetting any carbon dioxide emissions that it emits.

In the same year that Costa Rica announced its plans for carbon neutrality, Bridgestone Costa Rica declared the goal of becoming the first carbon-neutral tire company. The company also joined the National Strategy for Climatic Change, which is responsible for guiding Costa Rica towards carbon neutrality

In June of last year, Bridgestone Costa Rica, and its plant in La Ribera de Belén, was recognized by the government for being one of the manufacturer companies to be a pioneer in this theme and address its efforts to become C-Neutral. Bridgestone Costa Rica has taken many steps towards meeting this aggressive goal. The plant has implemented projects to reduce energy consumption, one of which includes acquiring a Biomass Boiler to replace part of the fuel oil N°6 that is used today and to replace wood pellets. This will result in the reduction of 50% of the plant’s CO2 emissions. In addition, the plant has included the use of tires as alternative fuels and is finding new uses of waste or spent tires.

As part of its waste management program, the Bridgestone tire plant in Costa Rica works with small businesses and industries throughout the country in order to find productive uses for waste generated by the plant. One business owner, Francisco Aguilar, uses waste products from the tire plant to make buckets, water pumps, and gaskets at his shop in Pueblo Nuevo, Alajuela.

“We started our relationship with Bridgestone 30 years ago,” says Francisco. “We have attained extensive experience in the field of the rubber industry, and we learned how to achieve minimal pollution levels by means of the standards defined by the company. This has been a leading corporation, not only in the production of tires, but in the education it has provided to the country of Costa Rica as a company concerned about the conservation of the environment. Many national companies have benefited from the support they receive from Bridgestone.”

“Bridgestone works together with our partners and community to continually working toward a sustainable society with integrity, credibility, transparency and giving them all the necessary support to remark social and environmental themes in order to be number one in name and reality with our society,” states Sylvia Alfaro Hernández, Bridgestone’s Regional Manager for Environmental Affairs in Latin America.

Across the Americas, our plants and teammates continue to walk the talk of One Team, One Planet (OTOP). To find out more about our teammates, please visit our Teammate Features on this OTOP site.