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Tyre industry leader Bridgestone has further strengthened the environmental commitment of its Australian operations, switching on a major solar panel network that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Two 100 kilowatt solar power systems have been installed at Bridgestone’s Bandag manufacturing facility in Wacol in a project representing six months of planning and a significant investment.
More than 350 peak solar panels have been installed on the factory’s roofing, which is also used to harvest 265,000 litres of rainwater that then cools equipment at the plant. Another 400 panels were fitted to the roof of the Quality Tyre Sales business on the same site.
Bandag, the number one tyre retreading brand in Australasia, retreads more than 550,000 truck casings every year, saving these tyres from entering the waste stream
Bridgestone Australia Managing Director Andrew Moffatt said the project was part of Bridgestone’s ongoing mission to lowering its impact on the environment.
“At Bridgestone, we take our responsibilities very seriously and are extremely conscious of how our operations affect the environment,” Mr Moffatt said.
“Tyre retreading is a highly efficient form of recycling in itself, but every day we strive to ensure our commitment to the environment doesn’t end with our products.”
“This solar panel project is a significant step forward in our quest to lower our impact and will save an estimated 220.8 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each year.”
Bandag General Manager Retread Business Greg Nielsen said installing the new solar power systems was another step towards making the Bandag business carbon neutral.
“The 357 peak solar panels installed at our Bandag processing plant will generate approximately 136.3 megawatt hours per annum. Alongside that, the Quality Tyre Sales site has had a further 400 panels installed, meaning it will become almost self sufficient in daylight hours,” Mr Nielsen said.
“We’re making a concerted effort to be smarter in the way we do things and it’s a great feeling knowing we’re making our own power, instead of just using it. This, paired with our water harvesting system, means that even on our least productive days we’re still being productive.”
The solar panel network will reduce Bandag’s energy costs significantly and there’s an estimated five year return on the investment.
In addition to the environmental initiatives already in place, Bandag has a number of other projects planned for this year.
“We want to lead the way in the industry, and believe all tyre manufacturers should strive to be more environmentally aware,” Mr Nielsen said.
“This year, we are turning our attention to doubling our rainwater harvesting capacity and finalising a plan to recycle 200 tonnes worth of tread scrap annually.”
Bandag Manufacturing Pty Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bridgestone Australia Ltd. Bandag Manufacturing Pty Limited has more than 30 franchised Bandag dealers across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Noumea and Papua New Guinea. Bandag Retread products are serviced and sold by more than 350 specialist truck tyre dealers located around the company’s network.