Bridgestone’s Technical Center Europe (TCE), based in Rome, has won the special Italian “E.ON Energia Award” for distinguishing itself in energy efficiency during 2012. The award was received by Gianni Lampazzi, Director of Tyre Development Operations on 29 November 2012 at the “Sette Green Awards” event held at the Triennale Design Museum in Milan.
Since 2010, in line with Bridgestone’s policy of improving energy efficiency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Technical Center Europe has implemented an energy management system for its production processes. This system improves process efficiency through the systematic planning of activities aimed at reducing consumption, in order to achieve precise energy efficiency targets. The system is currently certified by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance according to international standard ISO 50001:2011, and the Center is one of the first Italian companies to have obtained this certification. To initiate the improvement programmes, the Center carried out an audit on the efficiency of the plants and began monitoring consumption in detail. Most of the efforts have been concentrated on reducing electricity and methane consumption without affecting productivity.
The initiative by the Technical Center Europe, the cornerstone of all research activities carried out by Bridgestone in Europe during the phases of tyre design, material procurement, prototype production and advanced testing, is linked to the Group’s long-term goal of achieving a 50% reduction in its CO2 emissions by 2050. To meet this target, the Japanese company has adapted its activities according to the forecasts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and international scholars. Bridgestone has also set itself two medium-term targets for 2020: a 35% cut in total CO2 emissions, and a 25% improvement in the rolling resistance of its tyres.
“This award represents a further recognition of Bridgestone’s contribution to sustainable development and a healthy society. These are fundamental values for the Group, which are reflected in our support for CSR activities and in the development of our products”, said Gianni Lampazzi, Director of Tyre Development Operations at Bridgestone’s Technical Center Europe.
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Ecopia tyres and European labelling
The Ecopia range helps to achieve a smaller carbon footprint without compromising on safety and performance standards. Bridgestone tyres sold under the Ecopia brand have been designed to provide low rolling resistance coefficients, contributing to a significant improvement in fuel economy and thus to increased energy efficiency, with lower CO2 emissions.
Officially launched at the Paris Motor Show earlier this year, the EP001S model is the flagship product of the Ecopia family in Europe. This is the first Bridgestone tyre to be rated “A/A” under the new European labelling system, reflecting its parameters for fuel efficiency (RRC=A) and wet grip (WGI=A), according to the recently adopted European Regulation (EC) No 1222/2009 on the labelling of tyres.
The innovative Ecopia EP001S was developed using Bridgestone’s revolutionary NanoPro-Tech™ technology, which reduces the dispersion of energy through rolling resistance, without any compromise in terms of other performance factors. In addition to the extremely high fuel efficiency and wet grip parameters, tests carried out by Bridgestone on the Ecopia EP001S show that the durability and dry braking efficiency are competitive and comparable with those of the Ecopia EP150 tyre.
Prototype tyre produced entirely from sustainable materials
At the Paris Motor Show, Bridgestone also unveiled the prototype of a tyre produced entirely from sustainable materials, an example of Bridgestone’s use of advanced technologies to prove its commitment to using only completely sustainable materials in the production of its tyres by 2050.
To obtain the “100% sustainable materials” level, Bridgestone is engaged in a process of diversifying the regions in which it produces natural rubber and expanding the range of plant fibres used. In addition, traditional fossil materials such as synthetic rubber, carbon black and rubber compounding agents, have been synthesised from biomass. The next step for the Bridgestone Group will be to pursue R&D activities and formulate the key technologies for moving to mass production