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Ensuring a thorough understanding of and adherence to compliance

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Ensure excellence through compliance and integrity
We build trust with all stakeholders by ensuring that ethical decision-making guides responsible business practices across our operations.

Compliance Structure

Bridgestone Group companies have continued developing compliance structures and programs to meet society's changing expectations. These programs are designed around both the Bridgestone Essence and the core elements of effective compliance programs as recognized by many governments and compliance specialists. Company leaders are committed to building a culture of compliance throughout the enterprise. Dedicated compliance teams in Group companies are committed to educating and empowering teammates to do the right thing. And each employee is encouraged to live and work in the Bridgestone Way.

For instance, in 2003, Bridgestone Corporation appointed the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) as the individual with ultimate responsibility for compliance. We also have established a department specializing in compliance support and have worked to strengthen and ensure the effectiveness of our compliance structure. The head of each business division is named a compliance activity chief with responsibility for their division's compliance. These people appoint a compliance activity leader and work together to enhance training, awareness and compliance structures within their division.

Bridgestone Corporation established the Compliance Subcommittee to deliberate on policies and other important related issues. This subcommittee regularly reports on the status of compliance activities and consults on compliance matters with the Integrated CSR Enhancement Committee and the Board of Directors.

Bridgestone Group companies' Ethics and Compliance program activities have also continued to develop through local training, help lines, and other initiatives.

Compliance Training

One of Bridgestone Corporation's compliance promotion efforts involves training for all employees as well as targeted training for specific levels and positions, depending on the purpose.

Training for All Employees

Bridgestone Corporation administers e-learning each year with the aim of introducing and instilling basic knowledge with respect to compliance in an attempt to improve compliance knowledge and awareness in line with the job duties of each employee. Discussion-based training focused on compliance issues is also conducted on an annual basis in each workplace.

Level-Based Training

To foster a sense of ownership among managing directors, general managers, and plant managers as leaders of their operations and instill a strong recognition of their roles in terms of establishing a compliance culture throughout their operations, Bridgestone Corporation has been conducting manager and senior manager training since 2013. In 2015, these training activities were expanded to include plant managers.

In addition to the above, Bridgestone Corporation also conducts training regularly for newly hired employees, mid-career hires and newly appointed managers.

Compliance Helplines

Bridgestone Corporation has created two compliance helplines-one internal and one external-to bring compliance-related issues to light and respond to issues as quickly as possible through internal investigations. The compliance helplines ensure the confidentiality of consultations in accordance with the provisions of in-house helpline procedures. The helplines provide the consulting employees with feedback in terms of the results of investigations and the nature of responses while attempting to prevent any adverse consequences for raising a concern. In addition, reports of consultations are regularly submitted to the CCO, who provides advice and takes appropriate measures to ensure the seriousness of responses in the event problems arise.

To encourage employees to use the helpline, we offer helpline contact information during compliance training, use posters to spread compliance awareness, provide helpline contact information on the corporate intranet, and share data on the number and types of cases received. The compliance helplines also accept anonymous inquiries.

In 2015, the Bridgestone Corporation helplines received 98 cases, of which 69% of calls related to understanding Bridgestone policies and 19% were reported concerns.

Compliance Activities for Group Companies

The Bridgestone Group promotes compliance activities globally. In addition to local compliance initiatives, global compliance support teams are sharing best practices and coordinating efforts to promote a common compliance culture.

Compliance Activities for Overseas Group Companies

In 2015, personnel in positions of responsibility in Legal Affairs and Compliance at Bridgestone's major overseas tire business-related SBUs conducted a global meeting aimed at discussing the status of initiatives and issues at each company. In addition to ascertaining the level and details of initiatives at major SBUs, a foundation for initiatives going beyond the SBU was created. Also, a meeting was held for personnel responsible for compliance at non-tire subsidiaries in Europe and the Americas. One initiative that resulted from these efforts was the introduction of an e-learning system at Group companies throughout the Americas in 2015. This progress was the result of sharing best practices from the U.S. tire subsidiary with other Bridgestone Group companies.

Compliance Activities for Domestic Group Companies

Compliance activities are also being promoted at domestic Group companies. For example, in 2015, employees responsible for compliance consultations received training on effective ethics and compliance consulting.

Furthermore, Bridgestone updated regular information exchange meetings and launched a new initiative in the form of an inaugural domestic compliance meeting. At this meeting, information was exchanged regarding compliance initiatives and the communication of Bridgestone compliance-related policies to Group companies.

Compliance Initiatives Involving Imports and Exports

Export and import compliance is just one example of an area in which Bridgestone Group companies have pursued continuous improvement. The Bridgestone Group is vigilant on export developments which may affect its business around the globe.

In Japan, Bridgestone Corporation complies with foreign exchange and foreign trade laws, as well as other customs-related laws and regulations. We are making efforts to enhance our internal management structure to ensure import and export of products and materials using the appropriate procedures.

In addition to e-learning for employees directly involved in import/export operations, various training opportunities presenting a wealth of case studies were made available to general employees as well as directors in an effort to foster awareness and enhance expertise related to imports and exports. We also promoted the maintenance and strengthening of our Group-wide import and export compliance structure through the provision of training opportunities to Group companies.