The journey to a greener world: How the Dayton Factory is a sustainability leader

From Finland to North America, Nokian Tyres has proven our commitment to the environment. Sustainability has long been at the heart of who we are, and we’re happy to bring that passion to our award-winning campus in Dayton, Tennessee.

It’s a tire factory unlike any other, advancing the industry’s commitment to protecting the environment. We understand the weight of our current actions. Sustainability isn’t another corporate promise. As Health and Safety Manager, this duty is always in the back of Darren Bakkestuen’s mind.

“We at Nokian Tyres embrace sustainability,” said Bakkestuen. “It's something we view as a responsibility to our employees and our communities at large to do. So we've got a lot of ongoing efforts to meet some aggressive sustainability targets.”

Nokian Tyres' North American Factory - Dayton, Tennessee
Solar panels stand above the parking lot of the Nokian Tyres Dayton Factory.

Bakkestuen said that, despite being relatively young, the Dayton Factory has made significant strides in the journey to sustainability. With on-site solar panels and zero landfill waste from production, Nokian Tyres is proud to introduce eco-friendly practices to the industry.

And our efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. The Dayton Factory has received global recognition for its accomplishments. In 2021, it won the Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award for Excellence in Sustainable Performance in the state of Tennessee. And it was the first tire factory to receive LEED v4 Silver Certification. As the world looks to Nokian Tyres as a leader in sustainability, Bakkestuen hopes other companies do, too.

“I definitely want to see us continue to lead the way,” said Bakkestuen, “and I want other people to get on board…because, like I said, at the end of the day, it's for the betterment of everybody.”

Nokian Tyres is passionate about serving as a global sustainability leader, too. Among our goals is cutting CO2 emissions in half by 2030. To achieve this, we’re giving every aspect of production a make-over – starting at the source. We were the first tire manufacturer to eliminate the use of high-aromatic oils.

And that’s only the beginning. In the next seven years, 50% of raw materials in Nokian Tyres products will be recyclable or renewable. Our Green Step Concept Tire is just one example of our eco-friendly innovation, made with 93 percent recycled or renewable materials. It’s the first of its kind, and only a glimpse of what’s to come.

Bakkestuen said there’s something special about seeing the Nokian Tyres Sustainability Roadmap in action. Every day, he walks into the solar-powered administration building with a smile, knowing his work is making a difference.

Nokian Tyres Dayton Factory Administration Building
The Dayton Factory's administration building earned LEED v4 Gold certification in 2021.

“I don't imagine a world where anybody else comes close to what we're doing,” he said. “It's a very rewarding experience. And by far, this company cares and invests more in sustainability than anywhere else I've worked.”

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