Our efforts to fulfill our corporate social responsibility begin with our core business: developing products that minimize environmental impact and designing and operating our plants to minimize environmentally-burdensome output.
In our Tire Group and in our Multiple Business Group, we develop products with an eye to reducing the output of greenhouse gases and other environmentally-burdensome substances and to conserving material and energy. We evaluate products in regard to four environmental criteria: prevention of global warming, resource recycling, resource saving, and safety and comfort.
Our guidelines mandate that all new products achieve an aggregate improvement of at least 5% over existing products and that they at least match existing products in regard to all four criteria. By the end of 2013, 93% of our products fulfilled our criteria for minimizing environmental impact, and we aim to increase that percentage to 100% by the end of 2017.
Reducing output of greenhouse gases
Taking part in efforts to forestall global warming is an important part of fulfilling our corporate social responsibility. We have therefore established a panel of experts to oversee such initiatives as installing cogeneration systems, shifting to cleaner fuels, and conserving energy throughout our operations. Our medium-term target in Japan is to reduce our annual greenhouse emissions 25% by 2020, compared with 1990. In 2013, our overall reduction reached 16%. Our long-term target worldwide is to reduce our output of carbon dioxide more than 50% across our entire value chain by 2050, compared with 2005.
Reducing output of landfill waste
Our Grand Design 100 medium-term management plan includes targets for reducing landfill waste at our plants. The principal targets in Phase III of that plan—2012 to 2014—are to reduce annual landfill waste at our Japanese plants 35%, compared with 2006, and to reduce landfill waste per unit of production (by value) at least 1% annually at our plants worldwide. We achieved our year-on-year reduction targets for 2013 in Japan, reducing our landfill waste 11%, to 15,134 tons, and reducing landfill waste per unit of production 13%. Our efforts to achieve further reductions in 2014 center on reducing interim-product and product scrap.
In the United States, at our Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Virginia (YTMV) plant, YTMV has been focused on reducing the amount of waste that is sent to the landfill. Sending zero percent of waste to the landfill is the ultimate goal at Yokohama and tremendous strides have been taken in 2014 to help make this a realization. Some activities that have influenced the drop in landfill percentages this year include a recycling program in the offices and plant floor and sending non-recyclable trash to an incinerator which is converted from waste into an energy recovery resource.
In 2014 additionally, YTMV was inducted into the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program (VEEP) under an E4 status. The “E4” status is the highest status that a facility can achieve in the program. As part of the program, Yokohama will be encouraged to make environmental sustainability part of the culture through leadership, innovation and continual improvement. Areas of continuous improvements will be energy efficiency, water resource management, chemical management and environmental awareness.
In 2015, YTMV received the Environmental Warrior Award presented by the Virginia Water Environment Association (VWEA) as part of WVEA’s 2015 Industrial Waste and Pretreatment Environmental Excellence Awards Program. The Environmental Warrior Award is a new award presented for the first time in 2015 to the company that has made the greatest improvement in their environmental compliance program.
YTMV is ISO 14001-certified, which is an international specification of environmental management system that holds organizations to stringent environmental principles and audits.
It is our expectation that our Mississippi plant will meet or exceed all of the same environmental achievements that YTMV has.