Bridgestone Awarded $35 Million USDA Local weather-Sensible Grant to Advance Guayule Pure Rubber Manufacturing



The US Division of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) a $35 million climate-smart grant to spend money on the desert shrub guayule so as to improve pure rubber manufacturing in the US and supply growers with a crop that’s extra environmentally pleasant whereas additionally tackling the continued water disaster within the Southwest.

The $35 million funding in guayule will allow Bridgestone to extend pure rubber manufacturing within the Southwestern US with diminished greenhouse gasoline emissions and create jobs within the space for native US farmers and Native American tribes to construct a rubber bio-economy primarily based on climate-smart and sustainable practices. This undertaking is a part of the USDA Partnerships for Local weather-Sensible Commodities Initiative.

“At Bridgestone, we’ve got been dedicated to guayule as a home supply of pure rubber since our analysis initiative on this desert shrub started in 2012 to supply a extra sustainable resolution for each the environment and economic system,” mentioned William Niaura, Director of Sustainable Supplies and Round Financial system, Bridgestone Americas. “By taking part on this bigger industry-wide initiative led by the USDA, we are able to proceed our dedication to establishing a pure rubber {industry} domestically in a climate-smart means alongside different {industry} thought leaders who’re equally devoted to sustainable commodity manufacturing that can present significant advantages for home growers.”

The USDA Partnerships for Local weather-Sensible Commodities was established to reinforce markets for American climate-smart commodities, leverage the greenhouse gasoline reductions from climate-smart commodity manufacturing, and supply direct, important advantages to manufacturing agriculture, together with to small and underserved producers. Within the first spherical of funding for the partnership for climate-smart commodities, Bridgestone acquired the $35 million grant.

Within the Southwest of the US, Bridgestone will use grant cash to extend the variety of guayule producers amongst native farmers and Native American tribes. To assist a home pure rubber {industry} within the US with the climate-appropriate crop in a area of the US that’s affected by drought, Bridgestone goals to coach regional growers on easy methods to implement climate-smart practices for rising guayule. With the assist of the grant, growers will probably be educated on the most effective agricultural strategies for guayule’s ecological benefits, carbon sequestration in arid soils, water use, soil well being, and nutrient supply.

The $35 million award is meant to decrease general bills for guayule growers and will probably be distributed over a five-year interval from 2023 to 2027. By making use of important agricultural practices and utilizing guayule as a approach to scale back agriculture’s carbon influence to 0%. Bridgestone additionally hopes to optimize water use in guayule manufacturing in order that it matches growers’ water allotments and encourages producers to undertake sustainable practices.

Together with Bridgestone, the College of Arizona, Colorado State College, OpenET, Environmental Protection Fund, Tohono O’odham Nation, Colorado River Indian Tribes, and eight native growers are all companions within the $35 guayule climate-smart grant.

In 2012, Bridgestone broke floor on a guayule processing and analysis heart in Mesa, Arizona, kicking off its guayule analysis effort. The corporate nonetheless runs a 281-acre guayule farm close to Eloy, Arizona, along with the Mesa operation. Bridgestone has up to now spent greater than $100 million on its guayule commercialization efforts.

Moreover, Bridgestone has acquired quite a few analysis funding from the US authorities for the event of guayule, together with ones from the US Division of Agriculture (July 2017) and the US Division of Vitality (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (September 2021).

Current bulletins by Bridgestone embrace plans to work with extra native farmers in Central Arizona and 350 further acres of guayule to be planted in 2023. Bridgestone mentioned in August 2022 that it’ll make investments an extra $42 million to begin up industrial operations, with additional enlargement and funding deliberate for 2030. By making this funding, native American farmers and Native American tribes can have entry to as much as 25,000 extra acres of farmland, rising their potential to plant and harvest guayule at a big scale.

Guayule is part of Bridgestone’s technique to provide tires completely out of sustainable supplies by 2050 and grow to be carbon impartial. By the top of the last decade, the corporate hopes to start industrial manufacturing of pure rubber constructed from guayule

The guayule initiative aligns with the Bridgestone E8 Dedication which consists of 8 Bridgestone-like values beginning with the letter “E” (Vitality, Ecology, Effectivity, Extension, Financial system, Emotion, Ease, and Empowerment) to understand a sustainable society. This initiative aligns with the corporate’s “Ecology” and “Vitality” commitments.

Supply: Bridgestone Americas




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