Bridgestone’s Wilson County, N.C. manufacturing facility has cut it’s energy use 18.8 percent between 2001 and 2011, and is the first tire plant to earn ISO 50001 certification, according to the company. It’s also become 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 US 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.
Gary Williamson, plant manager of Bridgestone’s Wilson County manufacturing facility, says saving energy helps the environment and is good for the company’s bottom line. He says the plant’s energy-savings projects that contributed to its certification include 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.
Bridgestone Americas required all manufacturing facilities to obtain ISO 14001 certification by the year 2000 or within two years of ownership of any new facility. Currently, 52 Bridgestone manufacturing facilities, including the Wilson County facility, are ISO 14001 certified, the company says.
In September, Bridgestone announced that it had received ISO:14001 certification for all of its European tire plants.
In 2011, after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant crisis and earthquake closed four of Bridgestone’s five Japanese plants, the company implemented strict energy-savings measures, Environmental Leader reported.