Constanza Pasqual del Pobil: “Sustainability is not an option; it is an obligation”

The impact of transport on the environment is very important, especially that of road traffic. The Ministry of Transport and Sustainable Mobility warns that 116 tons of C02 were emitted by this sector in 2021 (accounting for 23% of greenhouse gas emissions), with road transport being the one that generated the most emissions, with more than 79 million.

In the specific case of tires, TNU (Used Tire Treatment) estimates that About 2 billion tires are manufactured and another 1,000 million are thrown away. This carries a significant environmental hazard, but very hard work is being done to address it. According to this non-profit company, 295,000 tons of tires are being recycled per year in Spain alone. Signus (Integrated Used Tire Management System) states that, in 2023, 25,478 tons of rubber were intended for artificial grass (equivalent to 255 football fields), 1,708 tons were used in bituminous mixtures (equivalent to 160 kilometers of highway) and about 21,000 tons to safety flooring (equivalent to 4,100 playgrounds).

Bridgestone, a global leader in premium tires and safe and sustainable mobility solutions, is aware of the importance of changing gears in the transportation sector and has already begun to step on the accelerator. “Sustainability is not an option, it is a duty and an obligation. We know that we play a fundamental role in sustainable transformation and we are making enormous efforts. In addition to the data that supports the advances, there is an ethical and moral part of responsibility to try to preserve the planet for future generations,” he maintains. Constanza Pasqual del Pobilthe company’s communications director for the southwest region.

What is your philosophy in terms of sustainability?

It is transversal to everything that is done in the company. For this reason, in 2022 we launched our “E8 Commitment”, made up of 8 values ​​that begin with the letter “E” (Energy, Ecology, Efficiency, Extension, Economy, Emotion, Ergonomics and Empowerment), which underpin the company’s entire global strategy. hand of employees, partners, customers and society as a whole in order to achieve a sustainable environment.

“We have developed tires using guayule, a desert shrub that needs little water and is an alternative source to natural rubber”

What initiatives have you implemented to reduce environmental impact?

We constantly innovate to offer better and more environmentally friendly solutions. Our sustainability strategy takes into account the entire tire life cycle: sources and raw materials, R&D, manufacturing, useful life, recycling and reuse. Our main objective is to reach the production of tires made with 100% renewable materials by 2050. In this sense, and to give a tangible example, we have managed to successfully develop tires using guayule, a desert shrub that grows in arid regions. In addition to needing very little water, it is an alternative source of natural rubber.

Likewise, Bridgestone is working on the development of virtual tires, some digital twins that can reproduce actual use conditions, allowing testing and adjustments, as well as accurately predicting their performance without having to physically produce and drive them. This technology reduces tire development time by up to 50% and to give more data we are talking about a saving of around 200 physical tire prototypes, 40,000 km of physical tests, up to 60% savings in raw materials and CO2 emissions. .

We also have Enliten, a combination of technologies that allows us to manufacture tires using less material, lightening them and reducing rolling resistance and energy consumption. This way we ensure maximum safety, good performance and improved sustainability features, while ensuring that our tires are ready for electric vehicles.

What efforts do you make to recycle tires?

We are multiplying our efforts to achieve a circular economy throughout the value chain with a regenerative business model. Signus (Integrated Used Tire Management System), made up of the tire manufacturers themselves, collects tires that have ended their useful life to evaluate and separate their materials and recycle them. Furthermore, at Bridgestone we are committed to retreading to give tires a second life, contributing to the circular economy by guaranteeing performance. We are conducting multifaceted research into innovative technologies that will enable the reprocessing of tire rubber through the application of heat and other methods, so that this recycled material can be widely used for new tires.

“Virtual prototypes reproduce real conditions of use, allowing tests to be carried out without having to physically produce and drive them”

How do you ensure that your suppliers meet sustainability standards?

We have a global Sustainable Procurement policy that helps us ensure our suppliers meet requirements. Our partnership with EcoVadis, the sustainability ratings provider, allows us to ensure robust, third-party assessment of the suppliers we work with. In 2022, 91% of our tier one suppliers were assessed by EcoVadis for sustainability and ESG risks. And this 2024 we have received the Platinum rating for the third consecutive year.

We have also launched the Sustainable Supply Chain Financing (SCSS) programme, the first global initiative to provide suppliers with financing based on their sustainability rating. The better the ESG score, the more favorable the conditions.

Do you promote sustainable driving practices?

Apart from the periodic recommendations that we always offer, we try to promote and above all disseminate about some practices that favor more sustainable driving, such as turning off the engine during long stops; use the engine brake whenever feasible; maintain the revolutions, without accelerations; respect the speed limits; do not unnecessarily overload the vehicle; and, in the case of electric vehicles, use regenerative braking if possible.

Other commitments put in place by the company are the sponsorship of the Bridgestone FIA ​​ecoRally Cup, a collaboration with the International Automobile Federation in which we name the categories of regularity and energy consumption, aimed entirely at electric vehicles; and the Greenpower-Bridgestone electric vehicle circuitwith which we inspire new generations to contribute to safe, fun driving and promoting ingenuity, creativity, teamwork and collaboration.

And among your employees?

Our employees are also consumers and in this area we have developed a pilot project for sustainable driving. About twenty colleagues with company vehicles voluntarily participate in a challenge that will have three phases in which driving efficiency and responsible mobility of our fleet will be pursued. And it is not the only action we have implemented. We also carry out environmental initiatives aimed at respect for biodiversity and environmental conservation: we plant trees around our factories to regenerate ecosystems; We reduce daily water consumption in some of our plants by more than 60%; we have activated the “In Harmony with Nature – Promoting Biodiversity” program, which encourages all facilities to dedicate time and resources to biodiversity activities; and we celebrate Sustainability Week, with a multitude of initiatives and volunteer programs aimed at raising awareness and actively participating in our E8 commitment.

“Our sustainability strategy takes into account the entire life cycle of tires”

What objectives does the company have in the long term?

We have taken enormous steps, but we must continue working; This is a long journey. As on any journey, challenges and difficulties will arise, but we increasingly have more tools to face them and ensure that sustainability is present throughout the process. We aim to shape sustainable mobility of the future by sharing the global challenges of the climate emergency. We have the goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 50% and ensuring that 40% of the products manufactured are made with recycled materials and renewable energy in 2030. In the long term, by 2050, achieve carbon neutrality and 100% of sustainable materials. And I am sure that it will be achieved, the effort, perseverance and work of enormous professionals will make it possible.

Constanza Pasqual del Pobil, communications director at BridgestoneBridgestone

From the world of entertainment to the motor sector

Graduated in Information Sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid, Constanza has an extensive career in the world of communication. After 15 years in the audiovisual industry, she landed in the motor sector in 2016, a world with an increasingly female presence. “A huge change because they are very different sectors, but an exciting adventure in a fundamentally masculine world where there is an increasing presence of women,” explains Bridgestone’s communications director.