Design Award 2011

The YOKOHAMA Rubber Co., Ltd., announced today that its new eco tyre concept BluEarth and its new studless tyre for trucks and buses, the ZEN 903ZW, each received on October 3 the Good Design Award 2011.

BluEarth is YOKOHAMA Rubber's concept for new eco tyres with good environmental performance combined with the universal design of "being environmentally, human and socially friendly," based on which YOKOHAMA Rubber develops replacement tyres and tires fitted as original equipment (OE).

While achieving high levels of fuel efficiency and safety, specific burdens on users while driving and tire maintenance have both been reduced with various new technologies. Surrounding living environments also benefit from the noticeably quieter ride. The company's development attitude arising from this new stance, as well as innovative technologies and elegant design, have all been highly evaluated, as evidenced by this award.

In addition to delivering the improved performance on ice and snow expected of studless tyres, the ZEN 903ZW was developed and embodies the three themes of environmental performance common to all tyres in the ZEN series: (1) promotion of recycling via retreading through improved casings (basic structure) (circulation and regeneration of natural resources); (2) long life through improved wear resistance (resource conservation); and (3) fuel efficiency through reduced rolling resistance (resource conservation plus preventing the worsening of global warming). The award recognizes this development attitude as well as product performance contributing to realizing the "3 R's" - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle - essential to achieving a sustainable society.

Beginning with the Ecology Design Prize awarded to the Eco Tyre DNA series in 2002, the first in the tire industry, YOKOHAMA has received the Good Design Award for its premium comfort tyre, the ADVAN dB, in 2009, and for the BluEarth AE-01, the first tire incorporating BluEarth concept, in 2010. The company has received the award on multiple occasions in the past for a range of other products as well, including golf clubs, tire pressure monitoring systems, and nursing-care and social-welfare products.

Replacing the "Good Design Product Selection Program" instituted in 1957 by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) (predecessor of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)), the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (predecessor of the Japan Institute of Design Promotion) launched the Good Design Award in 1998. It is a uniquely comprehensive program of evaluating and advocating design. Many overseas as well as domestic companies and organizations now participate in the program. This year, there were 3,162 entries. The award-winning products are entitled to bear the "G Mark" as a symbol of excellent design.

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