Bridgestone Firestone plant receives green award

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Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC.'s Warren County, Tenn., plant has earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certification from the United States Green Building Council.

LEED is a recognition of outstanding environmental building design and utilization. The certification was designed by the U.S. Green Building Council to encourage the development of more sustainable buildings.

The Warren County facility is the second manufacturing plant -- and the first tire plant -- to earn LEED certification, according to the company.

As part of its conservation efforts, the facility uses hydrogen fuel cells in its automated-guided vehicles, energy-efficient lighting, high-tech fans and resource-conserving fixtures in restrooms. It has reduced water consumption in the plant by more than eight million gallons a year.

"Existing buildings make up 95% of the buildings, and only about 5% of buildings are replaced each year," says Kim Shinn, director of the U.S. Green Building Council and a principal of TLC Engineering for Architecture, a sustainability consulting firm.

"Building a new facility to green building standards is laudable and good for the earth. However, we have a more immediate challenge. We must reach into our current buildings and raise them to the green operation and maintenance standards of LEED for existing buildings."

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