21 Oktober 2013

Bridgestone Americas Announces Completion Of Agro Operations Guayule Research Farm In Eloy, Ariz

Final building complete at dedicated research farm to explore alternative source of natural rubber for tires

Bridgestone Americas Inc. (BSA) today announced the completion of the Agro Operations Guayule Research Farm in Eloy, Ariz. The research farm will supply guayule biomass for rubber production at the company’s BioRubber Process Research Center, which is currently under construction in Mesa, Ariz. “

At Bridgestone, we are committed to helping ensure a healthy environment for current and future generations. Because the demand for tires is expected to increase in the long term, we are investing in identifying ways not only to diversify our natural rubber source beyond the hevea rubber tree, but also to explore other innovative methods to make our products more sustainable,” said Bill Niaura, director of new business development, BSA. “Guayule fits the profile perfectly – as it’s both domestic and renewable – and the completed Agro Operations site is a critical piece to delivering on our commitment.”

Agro Operations includes a dedicated 281-acre research farm, two greenhouses, an equipment storage building, and a main research and laboratory building, which are all now completed. Teammates working onsite will research genetic improvement and optimized agronomic practices, scale-up seed availability for additional farming and biomass production, and build relationships with independent producers.

The farm started growing guayule for research use in spring of 2013. The team has completed the fall planting, which will provide the first biomass to the BioRubber Process Research Center for tire evaluation in mid-2015.

The center was designed by Hollon Design Associates LLC, a Tempe-based architectural firm, while BSI Construction LLC managed the construction.

Bridgestone Group has established the usage of “100 percent sustainable materials” as an initiative to make full use of its technological and product development capabilities. Accomplishing this will require progress specifically in the areas of expanding or diversifying renewable resources. Through efforts such as guayule research, the Bridgestone Group will be able to offer its customers high quality products on a perpetual basis, since the products will be sustainable from a business and environmental standpoint. The project aligns with the Bridgestone Group’s company-wide dedication to sustainability, One Team One Planet.

About Bridgestone Corporation:

Bridgestone Corporation (BSJ), headquartered in Tokyo, is the world’s largest tire and rubber company. In addition to tires for use in a wide variety of applications, it also manufactures a broad range of diversified products, which include industrial rubber and chemical products and sporting goods. Its products are sold in over 150 nations and territories around the world.

About Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations:

Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) is a business unit of Bridgestone Americas, Inc., whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world’s largest tire and rubber company. Reporting into the BATO business unit are the company’s Latin American tire operations; the U.S. and Canadian consumer tire businesses; the U.S. and Canadian commercial tire businesses; and Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC, which operates the largest network of company-owned automotive service providers in the world. BATO develops, manufactures and markets Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires. The business unit is focused on retail, wholesale and original equipment markets, supplying passenger, light truck, commercial vehicle, off road, motorcycle, agricultural and other tires, as well as retreads, to its customers in the Americas.

Source: Bridgestone Americas Inc., press release, 2013-10-09.

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