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Tennessee gives Bridgestone plenty of green

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Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC received a rebate worth more than $350,000 for the green initiatives implemented at its La Vergne, Tenn., tire manufacturing plant.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Nashville Electric Service (NES) presented Bridgestone with the rebate under their EnergyRight Solutions for Industry program, which is designed to "help manufacturers implement energy efficiency and demand-reduction improvements."

The La Vergne plant improvements are the result of an overall plant lighting upgrade that began in 2010 to reduce energy costs and improve the quality of lighting. Nearly 3,900 old, high-intensity lighting fixtures were replaced with new, energy efficient fixtures that typically consume half of the electricity while producing comparable amounts of light.

The upgrades have reduced the plant’s power consumption by more than 3.8 million kilowatt-hours, enough energy to supply nearly 240 homes in the NES service area for a year.

“Identifying ways we can reduce our impact on the environment is ingrained in our culture as part of our 'One Team, One Planet' environmental commitment, and that is clearly evident in our manufacturing facilities,” says Muneer Chowdhury, Bridgestone's TBR facilities manager. “This rebate will be added to the Bridgestone Americas Environmental and Energy Strategic Fund, to be re-invested in more conservation projects, further improving our efficiency and environmental performance.”

The lighting upgrades will help the facility meet Bridgestone’s global goal to reduce the CO2 footprint of the entire company and its products by 35% from 2005-2020. The lighting upgrades are projected to reduce CO2 emission by 4,845 metric tons annually. Additional benefits of the upgrades include reduced mercury in the newer lighting, and an anticipated reduction in La Vergne’s annual power bill of nearly $190,000.

The La Vergne plant, built in 1972, has the capacity to produce 6,200 truck tires per day, according to the 2013 Modern Tire Dealer Facts Book.

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