Environment | Value natural resources
Action2: Recycle resources & use effectively Value natural resources

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Our approach

The materials we currently use in our products can be classified into three categories: renewable materials; non-renewable materials; and recycled materials. In addition to reducing the use of raw materials, we are promoting the use of recycled or reused materials.

As a specific example of this activity, we are working on expanding retread tires globally. A retread tire is one that can be reused by applying a new tread to the existing casing. Using less than one-third of the raw materials needed for a new one, it can help reduce the number of spent or discarded tires by reusing used tires.

We are also promoting the use of recycled rubber in our existing tire products and the development of new technologies like our Air-free Concept, a non-pneumatic tire that is made from recyclable materials.

Not only are Firestone Building Products metal roofing systems 100 percent recyclable at end-of-life, they also include significant amounts of recycled aluminum, copper, steel and zinc. In addition, The Bridgestone Group uses micronized rubber powder as a raw material in producing new, high-performance tires, tires for agriculture and off-road applications, and pre-cured tread for tire retread.

Embracing circular economy

In the circular economy that is rapidly gaining traction, society works collaboratively to keep resources in use as long as possible before recovering materials and regenerating them into new products. Like many others, the Bridgestone Group envisions a robust circular economy and we are assessing the role of our products in this new paradigm.

The Group joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Circular Economy 100 (CE100) program with the aim of learning, building capacity, networking and collaborating with other corporations, governments and academia, in a unique forum to drive sustainable economic, natural and social capital. The knowledge gained through this initial undertaking within the CE100 program will be utilized to integrate the concept of a circular economy into the Group's broader business model so that it can provide new value to customers and society across all stages of tire lifecycle, including recycling, smarter use of materials, energy and information.

The Group recently participated in the U.S. with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and CoreCentric in a dialogue and subsequent white paper around the impact of remanufactured/refurbished product sales, and in Europe on the #BetterThanNew project to promote tire retreading. Bridgestone Europe, Russia, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) is also working with R2Pi consortium to explore circular economy opportunities within our business model.

Retread tires

Retread tires

* Source: Japan Retreaders' Association

Retread tires reuse tire casings by replacing worn tire tread rubber (areas that come into contact with the road surface). Compared to new tires, less than one-third amount of raw material is used, as well as enabling the reuse of components other than tread rubber (casing). The solution significantly contributes to the reduction of discarded tires.

Longer life with improved durability

Longer operating life with improved durability

Carrying cargo or passengers, trucks and buses are the lifeblood of the world’s economy. Bridgestone is continually developing new innovative technology for truck and bus tires. With a full line-up of tires tailored to nearly every commercial-use application, we provide high levels of safety, reliability, and cost-effectiveness for highway, city, on and off-road, and winter driving conditions. The M800 series of truck and bus tires is designed to maintain a high durability in casing and can be retreaded twice *.

*Applicable to the following product sizes: 11R22.5 14PR/16PR and 275/80R22.5. The usage or management conditions of the tire and condition of components other than the tread (e.g. casing), may impact the ability for a tire to be retreaded.

Air Free Concept (non-pneumatic) tire

Air Free Concept (Non-Pneumatic) Tire Air Free Concept (Non-Pneumatic) Tire

The Air Free Concept is a technology that eliminates the need for tires to be inflated with air to support the weight, using a unique structure of spokes stretching along the inner sides of tires. With this technology, there is no need to periodically refill the tires with air, resulting in less tire maintenance, improved safety and eliminating the worry of tire punctures.

The spoke structure is made from resin* and, along with the rubber in the tread portion, the materials used in the tires are recyclable, contributing to the efficient use of resources. Further, by pursuing extremely low rolling resistance and contributing to reductions in CO2 emissions through proprietary technologies, we believe it is possible to achieve even higher levels of environmental performance. We are pursuing this technological development, aiming to achieve a “cradle to cradle” process that proactively maximizes the cyclic use of resources from worn tires into new tires and the use of recyclable resources.

Bridgestone Corporation announced that it has developed a next-generation bicycle tire together with Bridgestone Cycle, as an effort to realize practical application of the Air Free Concept technology. We will advance feasibility studies seeking to make this new tire available in market by 2020.

*A synthetic resin that becomes flexible when heated, can be processed into a variety of shapes, and becomes hard when cooled. The changes from heating and cooling can generally be repeated, making it easy to both mold and recycle the material.

Recycled rubber

The Bridgestone Group actively uses recycled rubber products such as tires, while ensuring safety and quality.

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