Yokohama Rubber Group’s greenhouse gas emissions at operations in Japan were 13.4 percent lower in fiscal year (FY) 2008 than in the base year (1990), marking the third year in a row that the company has exceeded the target reduction in emissions set for Japan under the Kyoto Protocol, according to the company’s CSR Report 2009. The company also met its own voluntary target of a 12 percent reduction compared with the base year by 2010, two years ahead of schedule.
The company attributes the lower GHG emissions to a number of factors including energy conservation measures, changing the types of fuel used, installation of cogeneration systems at its core tire plants, and a decline in output due to the economic recession.
Taking into account the impact of lower output, Yokohama Rubber targets an 18 percent reduction compared with the base year for FY2009.
The specific energy consumption of all production operations in Japan in FY2008 increased by 1.8 percent compared with the previous year due to lower output. In FY2009, Yokohama’s strategy is to adopt renewable energy, and further enhance its energy conservation activities in order to achieve improvements despite anticipated lower output.
In January 2008, five Yokohama Rubber plants in Japan (Hiratsuka, Mie, Ibaraki, Hiratsuka-East, and Nagano) achieved 100 percent recycling of industrial waste two years ahead of schedule. The company aims to achieve 100 percent recycling of industrial waste by the end of FY2010 at all eight plants.
Yokohama Rubber has maintained its complete zero emission record at all eight production operations since March 2006.
In order to reduce the impact of physical distribution on the environment, Yokohama Rubber is pursuing a modal shift in transportation of goods from trucks to rail and sea to reduce CO2 emissions. In the area of physical distribution, Yokogama has reduced CO2 emissions by 12.1 percent and has improved energy efficiency by 4.1 percent in three years.
In FY2008, Yokohama Tire Philippines, the company’s largest plant outside of Japan, reduced emissions of industrial waste (tons) by 4 percent, decreased energy consumption by 1 percent and lowered fuel consumption by 7 percent. On the negative side, electric power use climbed by 9 percent and water use increased by 7 percent.
Yokohama is working to reduce the environmental impact at every stage of the manufacturing process in order to achieve its goal of making its products “environmentally sound” by FY2017. In FY2008, 75 percent of Yokohama’s products and 100 percent of its new products were environmentally sound.
As an example, Yokohama’s new Super E-spec tire, which is made in part from oils extracted from orange peels, is composed of 80 percent non-petroleum materials and has improved rolling resistance, which means its more fuel-efficient.