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CEO Nagumo stresses environmental responsibility

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Global environmental concerns and how Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. is addressing green issues was the focus of CEO Tadanobu Nagumo's keynote address at the Tire Society's 26th annual Conference on Tire Science and Technology in Akron, Ohio.

"Considering all the serious issues that we are now facing, we have to take our own approaches to global warming, depletion of energy resources and environmental issues as sincerely and quickly as possible," Nagumo told the audience. "These are our most important responsibilities to take for the present and most importantly the future.

"By the year 2017, Yokohama's 100th anniversary, we are very eager to minimize the environmental impact made by all of our products. We -- Yokohama -- want to make all our products eco-friendly and keep the Earth forever blue."

Among the Yokohama environmental efforts Nagumo discussed is the company's "Grand Design 100" initiative, which not only celebrates Yokohama's anniversary in 2017, but also focuses on improving the current condition of the environment.

"Our vision is to assert world-class strengths in technologies for protecting the environment," said Nagumo. "This is the most important responsibility for those who are willing to expand in global overseas markets."

Nagumo said Yokohama's plants in Japan have achieved complete zero emissions one year earlier than planned. They also have achieved an 8% reduction in CO2 emissions -- more than the objective for reduction of CO2 emissions in the Kyoto Protocol.

"That helped us obtain a top level Environmental Rating certification from the Development Bank of Japan," he said.

Other elements of Yokohama's "green technologies" include research and development to help the prevention of global warming, resource recycling and a reduction in energy consumption. At the same time, Yokohama is trying to improve product safety and comfort.

"We're continuously developing our manufacturing and technology to help the environment," Nagumo said. "Additionally, we're devoting our wholehearted energies into our R&D activities to provide environmentally friendly products with high added value."

Yokohama's R&D activities have developed various products featuring environmental technologies. For example, the company has created a process that combines citrus oil with natural rubber to form a new compound called Super Nano Power Rubber, or SNPR. (See "Yokohama combines rubber with citrus oil to reduce petroleum usage," Feb. 14, 2007.)

It's part of Yokohama's global ecoMotion environmental program. The first SNPR product is the DNA dB Super E-Spec, an all-new consumer passenger tire.

"Environmental concerns are highly important for all of us who are living on this planet," Nagumo said. "We have to address these issues throughout the entire international community."

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