Bridgestone Corporation (Bridgestone), the world’s largest tire and rubber company, today announced a new Global Sustainable Procurement Policy to help identify and evaluate qualified suppliers, promote best practices, and serve as a communication and improvement tool for the industry. The policy reflects a company commitment to procurement programming that drives action to realize long-term environmental, social and economic benefits. The policy is applicable to all purchased materials and services, as well as all suppliers globally.
“Our new policy is a critical step in realizing the Bridgestone Group’s global corporate social responsibility commitment, “Our Way to Serve,” which provides a framework for how we do business, develop products, and interact with customers and communities,” said Masaaki Tsuya, CEO and Representative Executive Officer, Bridgestone Corporation. “We recognize our ability and responsibility to drive change and improvements in the ways that industry interacts with the environment and communities around the world. We expect our suppliers and partners to work with us in pursuit of sustainable supply chains, efforts which are never-ending and which require collaborations with all industry players, including communicating with the various audiences in order to generate broader public awareness.”
Guided by Bridgestone’s “Our Way to Serve,” the new policy aligns with Bridgestone’s goal of using “100% sustainable materials*” in our products as the long-term vision by 2050 and beyond. It combines previous company guidelines into a single document that sets minimum requirements to conduct business with Bridgestone, as well as preferred practices that can contribute to faster realization of sustainable supply chains. As a large user of natural rubber, the policy describes Bridgestone’s expectations with respect to critical issues within the complex global natural rubber supply chain. An extensive document, the policy addresses four major areas of focus:
Transparency – including traceability and good governance;
Compliance – adhering to laws and regulations in the countries and regions in which Bridgestone conducts business;
Quality, Cost and Delivery (QCD) & Innovation – ensuring high quality materials and services are delivered on time and at reasonable costs, while also pursuing innovative technologies that support improvements across global communities;
Sustainable Procurement Practices – incorporating environmentally responsible procurement, such as compliance with environmental laws and regulations, respect for human rights, water use, land use and conservation, health, safety, disaster prevention and resilience.
During the development of the final policy, Bridgestone gained insights from external stakeholders, including international consultants, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), materials suppliers, natural rubber farmers, and key customers to ensure the policy is thorough, reflects industry standards and best practices, and is supported by an effective implementation and communication plan.
The policy will be implemented, governed and enforced regionally. As an immediate first step, Bridgestone will prioritize working closely with its employees, suppliers and customers and other industry experts to implement the policy. Over the next 18 months, Bridgestone will work with its suppliers and partners to ensure that they have received the policy and understand it. Following acknowledgment of the policy, suppliers will then receive a self assessment questionnaire. Bridgestone is currently developing an additional supplier assessment for the traceability of natural rubber and will be working to partner with the industry and other qualified experts to help support ongoing monitoring of supplier compliance.
Bridgestone is committed to working with additional external stakeholders, including universities, industry associations and NGOs, to continually review feedback which will be valuable for subsequent enhancements and revisions to the policy.