HUNAN, China—Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. has introduced a novel way of minimizing the environmental impact of its tire plant in Hunan—sending new employees out to clean up a local park.
The initiative was introduced under a progressive environmental plan at the Hunan factory, where tire production volume is scheduled to double by year-end 2016 to 30,000 tires a day.
Opened in July 2012, the Hunan facility—SRI's second factory in China—follows a concept of operating an environmentally friendly factory operating in harmony with its locale, according to an item on the project in SRI's 2014 CSR report.
The Hunan operation was certified for ISO14001 in December 2013 and, according to SRI, is equipped with the latest non-polluting machinery, while also maintaining high levels of environmental awareness among employees.
With the workforce now being expanded, the company is striving to ensure all new employees grasp its environmentally friendly factory concept and acquire a high level of environmental awareness.
Part of this is having new recruits volunteer for clean-up activities in neighboring Xingsha Park as part of their initial training. SRI said it plans eventually to have all employees take part in such local cleanup efforts.
In fiscal 2013, the plant reduced CO2 emissions per unit of production by 29.2 percent from the previous year. This resulted from measures including reducing the amount of heavy oil consumed by adopting low-combustion burners for the boilers, and improving the thermal insulation of all pipes in the factory.
The Chinese unit also reduced waste by reducing the amount of tire scrap, resulting in the achievement of zero emissions as of February 2014.