Nokian Plant Earns LEED Certification
A year after marking the opening of its tire plant in Dayton, Tenn., Nokian Tyres plc is celebrating two milestones that the company says reinforce its commitment to sustainability.
The factory has earned LEED v4 Silver certification, and Nokian says this makes it the first U.S. tire production facility to earn that mark.
Additionally, Nokian is opening its solar-powered administration building on the plant's 135-acre campus.
“Our LEED certification and new administration building showcase our passion for our employees and the environment,” said Nokian Tyres Construction Manager David Korda. “We believe these areas of growth display what Nokian Tyres is all about.”
At full capacity, Nokian's U.S. tire plant will produce 4 million tires a year for the North American market. At the groundbreaking the tiremaker talked about its green-focused initiatives, and the LEED v4 Silver certification is "a testament to its low emissions, energy efficiency and adherence to other strict environmental standards," the company said.
“Ever since we began construction of our Dayton factory, sustainability has been a chief priority,” Korda said. “We’re honored to receive LEED v4 Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, which affirms that passion for sustainability.”
The facility earned LEED v4 Silver certification thanks to a range of sustainable elements, including:
smart building automation designed to save energy;
eco-friendly building materials;
efficient water and waste management systems;
electric vehicle charging stations in the parking lot; and
renewable energy generation via onsite solar panels.
Nokian says it designed the factory to minimize harmful emissions while producing tires with sustainability in mind. The company excludes harmful high-aromatic oils from its tire compounds, and says it has reduced the rolling resistance of its products by an average of 8% since 2013, which is equivalent to the exhaust fumes of 65,000 cars annually.
The tiremaker reduced CO2 emissions at its global production facilities by 44% in the last six years and has been named among the world’s most sustainable publicly traded companies by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
Sustainable Administration Building
The solar-powered administration building will feature amenities that promote employee well-being. The 26,000-square-foot building is designed to serve Nokian's growing workforce at the factory, which ultimately will reach 400 workers.
A bank of solar panels anchored in the parking lot fuels 100% of the building’s power and generates enough energy to hold some in reserve, Nokian says. The three-megawatt panels can generate approximately 4,000 megawatt-hours of solar energy each year, which would be enough to power more than 500 homes.
Employees also enjoy more than two acres of freshly installed greenspace in front of the building. When workers walk to and from work each day, they stroll past trees, plants and a pond. It's designed to be a prime place to spend time with colleagues.
The space will include offices and meeting spaces to accommodate as many as 65 workers, plus a workout area, mothers’ room, canteen and even a sauna. Open-concept work areas inside the building are designed to fuel the company’s collaborative culture, and outdoor courtyards allow office employees to work outside when weather allows.
“We want to empower our employees to succeed, and we think our administration building will help serve their needs,” said Nokian Tyres Human Resources Manager Blake Markham. “Our investment in this facility is part of a larger investment we’re making in their growth.”
The Dayton factory is a cornerstone of Nokian’s goal to double sales in North America.