QCOSTARICA – In 2007, Costa Rica set itself the goal of becoming the world’s first carbon neutral country, a feat it aimed to achieve by 2021. Bridgestone de Costa Rica (BSCR) has supported this ambition and set itself the goal of achieving C-Neutral certification by the Costa Rican government.
The company has worked towards this via a number of projects, including the installation of LED lights and solar lamps, switching to greener chemical products and implementing a carpooling programme. Last year it introduced nitrogen vulcanisation, replacing less energy-efficient hot water. As a result of these and other efforts, CO2 emissions at BSCR sank by 923 tons year-on-year in 2013, a 4.14 per cent reduction.
In 2013, the Bridgestone subsidiary also purchased a biomass furnace that uses 100 per cent carbon neutral waste wood ‘pellets’ as a fuel. The facility holds the potential to halve BSCR’s dependence on fuel oil, and also halve plant boiler CO2 emissions to 11,000 tons.
Modification work to install this furnace began at the end of 2013, and an official opening for the completed facility was held on 1 December 2014. The ceremony was attended by, amongst others, Costa Rica president Luis Guillermo Solí and the Minister of Environment and Energy, Edgar Gutiérrez.
Bridgestone’s La Ribera de Belen facility in Heredia province is the only tyre plant in Central America and the Caribbean, and in 2013 produced 12,500 passenger car radials, radial and cross-ply light commercial vehicles tyres, and cross-ply truck, agricultural and OTR tyres. As of December 2013, BSCR directly employed 911 people.