Bridgestone promotes sustainability and transparency across global tire and rubber supply chain

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Bridgestone has made steady progress in implementing its Global Sustainable Procurement Policy, which outlines the company’s path to achieving the ambitious goal of using only sustainable materials in all of its products by 2050.

Through its partnership with EcoVadis, a provider of sustainability, risk and performance ratings for global supply chains, the tire maker assesses suppliers’ current sustainability practices, and looks at what support is needed to improve on this.

Bridgestone and EcoVadis are working together to monitor and rate the environmental, social and ethical performance of Bridgestone’s suppliers to help identify and evaluate qualified suppliers, promote best practices, and serve 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,” said Christine Karbowiak, chief administrative officer, chief risk officer, and executive VP, Bridgestone Americas, and executive VP 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 – an independent platform that will lead improvements in the socio-economic and environmental performance of the natural rubber value chain.”

Since the release of Bridgestone’s Global Sustainable Procurement Policy in February 2018, the tire maker has made progress in several markets. As of March 2019, 98% (~1,600) of the company’s Tier 1 material suppliers have acknowledged the movement, and the majority are in the process of completing third-party assessments with EcoVadis. Additionally, the company has trained hundreds of procurement, legal, technical and customer-facing team mates, among others across the enterprise.

“Bridgestone is a great example of an organization that is leading in sustainability by increasing its 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.”

Bridgestone’s Global Sustainable Procurement Policy reflects the company’s commitment to creating a thriving and sustainable supply chain, including for natural rubber.

Guided by the group’s global commitment to corporate social responsibility, Our Way to Serve, the policy sets expectations for business partners and suppliers on human rights, environmental standards and product quality while including additional requirements for land conservation and rights, point of origin traceability and resilience.

In 2019, Bridgestone is focusing on reviewing assessment findings, addressing immediate concerns and developing the go-forward strategy toward industry best practices for supply chain sustainability and transparency.

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Rachel's career in journalism began around five years ago when she started working for UKi Media & Events, having recently graduated from Coventry University where she studied the subject. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the ground-breaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of the automotive and tire industries.

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