Bridgestone’s Sustainability Journey

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Continue “Serving Society with Superior Quality”

The Bridgestone Group is committed to the global realization of a sustainable society. By evolving into a sustainable solutions company and through all its corporate activities, the Group is taking steps to positively impact the journeys of its customers and society at-large.

Shojiro Ishibashi, founder of the Bridgestone Group, believed a business that contributes to society will be forever profitable. This belief directly links to the concept of sustainability. As the current business environment and society’s and customers’ needs rapidly change, this belief is becoming more important than ever.

Serving society with superior quality. This statement was formalized as the Bridgestone Group’s mission in 1968 based on the philosophy of its founder, and has remained unchanged throughout the Group’s history. The Group’s mission and the Sustainability Framework, articulate the Group’s approach to sustainability, and are guiding principles as it strives to achieve sustainable growth with society, customers and partners by creating social and customer value.

Contributing to the SDGs to solve global challenges

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlines a global agenda to tackle the world’s most pressing social, environmental and economic challenges by 2030 to realize a sustainable society. As society continues to transform itself in pursuit of these common global goals, the Group will further its contributions to society as a sustainable company in line with the SDGs. It will leverage its strengths and competencies to help address the challenges facing the world.

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerability of society and forced everyone to reconsider almost every aspect of daily life. It reminds people of the challenges to achieving the SDGs, and also represents a turning point in the transformation of society to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

Striving toward living well within planetary boundaries, the Group contributes to the achievement of 13 of the 17 SDGs through all corporate activities and across its entire value chain.

Major contributions of the Bridgestone Group

    • Offer tire safety checks and education around the world (3.6)
    • Support the provision of health services and health check-ups for communities (3.8)
    • Provide school facilities to children with limited educational opportunities and vocational training programs (4.1, 4.4, 4.5)
    • Promote diversity and inclusion in line with the Group’s Global Human Rights Policy (5.5)
    • Execute water stewardship plan, reducing water withdrawal per unit at manufacturing facilities (6.4)
    • Enhance renewable electricity ratio (7.2)
    • Introduce lower rolling resistance tires for better fuel economy (7.3)
    • Improve energy efficiency in manufacturing processes (7.3)
    • Increase resource productivity (8.4)
    • Promote natural rubber sustainability (8.4, 8.6, 8.7, 8.8)
    • Explore recycle business, and expand programs towards circular economy (9.4)
    • Provide tire-centric solutions and mobility solutions (9.5)
    • Improve accessibility through the development of tires and curbs that contribute to barrier-free bus transport (11.2)
    • Provide a resilient infrastructure through seismic isolation bearings (11.5)
    • Improve resource productivity and waste reduction throughout total tire life by increasing the use of retread tires (12.2, 12.4, 12.5)
    • Expand and diversify use of renewable materials (12.2)
    • Disclose sustainability related information (12.6, 12.8)
    • Expand programs towards carbon neutrality (13.1, 13.2, 13.3)
    • Support disaster management initiatives of communities against natural disasters (13.1)
    • Continue drive toward zero-deforestation in supply chain and forest restoration initiatives (15.2, 15.5)
    • Strengthen biodiversity conservation efforts (15.1, 15.5)
    • Execute Code of Conduct that covers a broad range of ethics and compliance topics, including anti-corruption and anti-bribery (16.5)
    • Promote open innovation to address social issues (17.6)

The SDGs identified by the Group are also aligned with the Tire Sector SDG Roadmap developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) Tire Industry Project (TIP). The Roadmap offers a framework for action that outlines impactful pathways for the entire sector to contribute to the ambitions of SDGs. It also aims to guide, inform and support decision-making along the value chain, encourage stakeholder dialogue and inspire action-oriented initiatives among industry peers and beyond. As co-chair of the TIP Working Group, the Bridgestone Group was an active contributor to the development of the Roadmap and participated in the consultation process with a range of global stakeholders from industry associations, NGOs and subject matter experts.

For the details of TIP, see “Partnerships and Collaboration with External Organizations.

Sustainability Framework

In 2020, the Group identified a new vision of “Toward 2050, Bridgestone continues to provide social value and customer value as a sustainable solutions company.” As a result, the Group’s Mid-Long Term Business Strategy places sustainability at its core.

To understand where it can impact society and customers through its business and value co-creation with partners, the Group introduced its Sustainability Framework that explains how it will become a sustainable solutions company. The Sustainability Framework identifies the main themes and activities of focus over the coming years.

The area in the red arrow extending to the left, Sustainability Business, indicates the Group’s intention to promote and expand its business models to develop the competitive advantage detailed in its Mid-Long Term Business Strategy. This includes continued efforts to advance the tire and rubber, solutions and recycle businesses, and to contribute to a circular economy and carbon neutrality across the Group. In doing so, the Group will create social and customer value.

The second layer, Build trust to propagate value co-creation, represents the importance of fostering trust with customers and partners. These relationships establish the Group as a preferred partner to co-create innovations that will contribute to its Mid-Long Term Business Strategy. The wider and deeper this trust, the greater the opportunities for the Sustainability Business that provides social and customer value.

Finally, the third layer, Management Fundamentals for value creation, reminds the Bridgestone Group of the indispensable foundation of corporate governance and Management Fundamentals as it accelerates its sustainability journey. These efforts go beyond risk avoidance to finding innovative ways to transform risk to opportunity.

Process of prioritizing sustainability focus items

To develop the Sustainability Framework, the Group conducted a materiality assessment in 2020, gathering input from internal and external stakeholders via surveys and interviews, which provided the Group a comprehensive look at material issues to clarify social expectations and sustainability priority items. Based on the assessment, the Group identified the following 26 material issues.

Environmental Social Workforce Product and solutions Governance
  • ・Air quality
  • ・Biodiversity
  • ・Circular economy and end-of-life tires
  • ・Climate change
  • ・GHG emissions
  • ・Operational waste and hazardous substances
  • ・Sustainable sourcing
  • ・Water
  • ・Community engagement and support
  • ・Local jobs and infrastructure
  • ・Mobility revolution
  • ・Road safety and consumer education
  • ・Social supply chain and human rights
  • ・Attracting, developing and retaining talent
  • ・Diverse and inclusive culture
  • ・Labor practices
  • ・Safety, health and wellness
  • ・Natural rubber and materials
  • ・Product impact and efficiency
  • ・Product safety, quality and reliability
  • ・Product and solution innovation
  • ・Corporate governance
  • ・Ethics and compliance
  • ・Global uncertainty and business resilience
  • ・Government relations and public policy
  • ・Technology and cybersecurity

The Group categorized these material issues into following focus items based on the Sustainability Framework to align them with the Group’s broader business strategy and business needs. To operationalize the Sustainability Framework, the Group is developing the targets, KPIs and metrics it needs to track.

Integrating sustainability across the Bridgestone Group

The Bridgestone Group continues to integrate sustainability culturally, strategically and operationally across the organization as part of its Mid-Long Term Business Strategy.

Cultural integration

The Group incorporates the Bridgestone Group’s mission, the Corporate Commitment and the Sustainability Framework into its business, values and brand every day to ensure that it becomes an integral part of teammates’ lives, in all that they do.

Strategic integration

With sustainability as its core, the Group is working toward its Mid-Long Term Business Strategy and Mid Term Business Plan, aligned with its Sustainability Framework.

For the detail of Mid-Long Term Business Strategy and Mid Term Business Plan, see “IR Library.”

Operational integration

The Global Sustainability Committee (GSC) that reports to the Global Executive Committee (Global EXCO), the highest level committee overseeing the Bridgestone Group’s business strategy and execution, is responsible for holistically leading the Bridgestone Group’s Sustainability Framework. The Committee includes working groups of cross-functional, cross-regional leaders from throughout the Group.

The Global COO, who sits as chair of the GSC, directs the Group’s sustainability strategy and advances the GSC’s recommendations to the Global EXCO. The Group's sustainability initiatives are reported to the Board of Directors.

  1. Strategic Business Unit
  2. Bridgestone Japan including Japan Tire, Diversified Products Solutions Business, G-MAA Solutions Business (Mining, Aircraft, Agriculture) and Sports/Cycles Business
  3. Bridgestone Americas including the United States, Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean and Liberia;
  4. Bridgestone Europe, Russia, Middle East, India, and Africa
  5. Bridgestone China Asia Pacific
  6. Global Business Support

Sustainability policies and guidelines