Continuing to fulfill a corporate commitment to environmental protection, Yokohama Tire Corp. announced Thursday (May 28) it has been named a partner in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay program.

SmartWay, an EPA collaboration with the freight industry, is designed to increase energy efficiency while significantly reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution. Yokohama’s new partnership status is in the “shippers” category, which means that the company ships more than 50% of its products on SmartWay-certified transport carriers, according to a news release.

This is the second SmartWay recognition Yokohama has earned this year: in January, the Fullerton, Calif.-based tire manufacturer had three of its commercial truck tires named “verified low rolling resistance tires,” thus paving the way for their use on SmartWay-certified trucks.

According to the EPA, Yokohama’s RY617 steer tire, 703ZL drive tire and RY587MC2 trailer tire met the SmartWay program’s verified low rolling resistance criteria. Low rolling resistance tires run cooler, helping reduce fuel consumption, which in turn cuts costs and benefits the environment.

“Being named a partner in the EPA SmartWay program reinforces our corporate pledge to produce technologically-advanced tires that help save fuel and protect the environment,” said Takao Oishi, Yokohama president and CEO. “It is a great honor to be recognized by the EPA for our environmental initiatives and we will continue to support the SmartWay program in every possible way.”

According to the EPA, Yokohama’s freight efforts will contribute to the goal of eliminating 33 million to 66 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and up to 200,000 tons of nitrogen oxide per year by 2012.  Carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas, and nitrogen oxide is an air pollutant that contributes to smog.

Launched in 2004, the EPA’s SmartWay program identifies products and services that reduce transportation-related emissions, resulting in
significant, measurable air quality and/or greenhouse gas improvements while maintaining or improving current levels of other emissions and/or pollutants. 

For information about the SmartWay program, visit www.epa.gov/smartway.

Yokohama Tire Corp. is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd., a global producer and distributor of premium tires since 1917. Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corp. offers a complete line of tires, including high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, as well as off-the-road mining and construction applications. 

Yokohama is a strong supporter of the tire care and safety guidelines established by the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. Details can be found at the “Tire Safety” section at www.yokohamatire.com.