Bridgestone Continues Advancement of a Sustainable Global Tire and Rubber Supply Chain

Bridgestone Continues Advancement of a Sustainable Global Tire and Rubber Supply Chain
Christine Karbowiak, Executive Vice President and Executive Officer of Bridgestone Corporation, asserts that real improvements in sustainability come when the company is able to work with collaborative partners across the supply chain. (Photo: Bridgestone)

Bridgestone Group recently announced that it has been making steady progress in implementing its Global Sustainable Procurement Policy.

With this policy, the company intends to create thriving and sustainable supply chains. The policy is aligned with the company’s aim to use “100 percent sustainable materials” by 2050 and beyond.

Bridgestone has entered into a partnership with EcoVadis, an organization known for providing sustainability, risk and performance ratings for global supply chains. Through this partnership, the company is able to constantly assess its suppliers’ current sustainability and figure out any additional support needed to improve performance. Monitoring and rating the environmental, social and ethical performance of its suppliers, Bridgestone seeks to identify and evaluate qualified suppliers and enable best practices. The constant assessment additionally helps in serving as a communication and improvement tool for the industry overall.

“We stand behind our commitment to sustainable procurement practices and have reinforced our efforts over the past year to understand how our suppliers are performing against our expectations for ethical, environmental, social and quality standards,” explained Christine Karbowiak, Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Risk Officer, and Executive Vice President, Bridgestone Americas, and Executive Vice President and Executive Officer, Bridgestone Corporation. “Real improvements in sustainability come when we work with collaborative partners across the supply chain. In addition to our work with EcoVadis, another great example is our participation as a founding member of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) – an independent platform that will lead improvements in the socio-economic and environmental performance of the natural rubber value chain”

Ever since the policy was adopted in February 2018, Bridgestone has amped up its efforts across the globe. The policy has been acknowledged by 98 percent (~1,600) of the company’s Tier 1 tire material suppliers as of March 2019. Majority of them are already in the process of finishing third-party assessments with EcoVadis. To keep up with its commitment, Bridgestone has trained several procurement, legal, technical and customer-facing personnel, among others across the company.

“Bridgestone is a great example of an organization that is leading in sustainability by increasing their focus on responsible procurement practices,” said Pierre-Francois Thaler, Co-CEO of EcoVadis. “Proactive collaboration with suppliers is the best way to improve performance across all corporate social responsibility indicators and drive positive change in the communities from which they source. This partnership will help Bridgestone build on their existing efforts and make a real, lasting impact.”

Implementing its Global Sustainable Procurement Policy is proof of Bridgestone’s commitment to fostering a thriving and sustainable supply chain, including natural rubber.

Aligned with the Group’s corporate social responsibility commitment “Our Way to Serve”, the policy sets down expectations for business partners and suppliers to operate with Respect of Human Rights, Environmental Standards and Product Quality. It also includes additional requirements for Land Conservation and Rights, Point of Origin Traceability and Resilience under its umbrella.

Bridgestone intends to focus on reviewing assessment findings, addressing immediate concerns and coming up with the go-forward strategy towards industry best practices for supply chain sustainability and transparency, this year.

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