Environmental management

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Total Environmental Advanced Management System (TEAMS)

At the Bridgestone Group, the Total Environmental Advanced Management System (TEAMS) serves as the foundation for the Group's environmental activities. In acquiring and maintaining ISO 14001 certifications at the manufacturing sites, the Group has implemented Environmental Management System (EMS) framework across the Group. TEAMS was developed by adding the following two concepts to EMS:

Total: the participation of all business units, facility functions and employees throughout the Group
Advanced: the commitment to active disclosure and advanced, world-class activities

Under the TEAMS concept, each strategic business unit (SBU) and facility in the Group prepares and adopts an EMS using methodologies employed by ISO 14001. Environmental activities are then improved through the use of the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle at three levels: individual facilities, SBUs, and globally.

To support TEAMS activities, the Group is also working to provide and consolidate shared global information systems, for use in improvements through the Group’s PDCA cycle by analyzing each SBUs’ environmental activities and data. It is reinforcing various infrastructure and human resource development to ensure environmental management at SBUs and business locations.

For example, all non-production sites including distribution centers and retail shops conduct environmental self-assessments, grading each location’s environmental management with one of three levels (I, II, or III), which are used for further improvement using the PDCA cycle.

Also, the Group holds conferences for environmental managers to enhance environmental education and cooperation across the entire Group. The trainings include on-site lectures and group discussions aimed at enhancing the capabilities of environmental managers and strengthening regional cooperation.

Bridgestone Environmental Management Policy

The Group also has the Bridgestone Environmental Management Policy (Guideline of Environmental Activities in the Group), which is approved by the Global Sustainability Committee (GSC) chaired by the Joint Global COO. The policy summarizes its environmental commitments based on the Environmental Mission Statement in order to inform our decision-making when implementing Bridgestone’s environmental management system. The policy covers the management of waste and other environmental risks, monitoring environmental impact, assessing the Group’s environmental performance, disclosing the performance regularly, and conducting due diligence in mergers and acquisitions, as well as activities for “in harmony with nature”, “value natural resources” and “reduce CO2 emissions.” The policy applies to all Bridgestone employees, contractors, businesses, products and services, including manufacturing.

Management Policy (Guideline of Environmental Activities in the Group)

Internal environmental audit

The TEAMS serves to enhance the environmental audit system of the Group’s manufacturing facilities by regularly conducting system audits (mainly organizational audits), and performance audits (mainly performance data audits). The Group also conducts internal audits based on ISO 14001 standard and undergoes external audits, as well as regularly training of internal environmental auditors.

ISO 14001 certification demonstrates the environmental commitment

The Group requires all manufacturing locations with 50 employees or more to acquire ISO 14001: 2015 environmental management certification. Achieving this certification shows that operations are continuously working to minimize their impacts and comply with applicable environmental laws and regulations. At the end of 2022, 113 manufacturing locations (100%) were ISO 14001 certified.

Bridgestone’s ratio of sites with ISO 140001 certification is verified by SOCOTEC Certification Japan, a third-party institution promoting transparency of information.

Independent Assurance Report (2.2MB)

For details of ISO 50001, please see CO2 reduction across our operations.

Global environmental management structure

The Group has an organization structure with three meeting bodies: Global Sustainability Committee, Global Environment Working Group (WG) and strategic business units (SBUs), coordinating and cooperating to enhance TEAMS activities in line with the mid-term plan. The Global Environment WG and Global Sustainability Committee are supervised by the Global Executive Committee (G-EXCO) to develop global environment strategies and policies for the entire Group. Once strategies and policies are approved, the SBUs implement them through their EMS.

The Group established the Global Environment WG, which consists of members representing the environmental departments from each region, to strengthen coordination of global and regional environmental activities.

Global management structure (as of June 2023)

Environmental education program

Training for environmental
managers at plants around the world

In Japan, Bridgestone classifies environmental education into general and specialized education, and conducts employee training according to each employee’s position and job responsibilities. The Group globally provides training as general education to enhance understanding of the Group's environmental activities and develop human resources as future leaders in the environmental activities. In specialized education, the Group conducts training for specialized employees involved in the environmental activities, including new environmental manager training and internal environmental auditor training. It also conducts a survey after each training to continuously improve the contents of the training courses and enhance the environmental education program.

Factory production qualification system

The Group has adopted a proprietary factory production qualification system based on ISO 14001 standard to rapidly identify and minimize environmental risks at new factories and production lines.

It is a four-stage system for checking and certifying the environmental management systems at new factories: make an environmental plan, perform preliminary environmental review when building new factory or production lines, prepare environmental policies, ensure legal compliance, and conduct environmental training programs.

Production qualification at a tire factory in Turkey

Environmental risk management

Each manufacturing facility in the Group carries out environmental activities based on ISO 14001 standard and using the PDCA cycle under the leadership of top management. The Group also works to reduce the environmental footprint of the entire facility by reducing and controlling environmental pollutant emissions into the water and air, by designing processes to minimize waste generation and properly managing the wastes that are generated, by securing the necessary number of personnel tasked with reducing these environmental risks, and by properly managing the relevant facilities. As one of the measures, the Group establishes Global Environmental Standards which state minimum requirements for facilities to minimize environmental impacts.

In addition, the Group prepared an emergency response procedure based on ISO 14001 standard and conducts scheduled drills to verify its effectiveness. It reviews this procedure to make sure that plant production can be stopped and restarted without causing environmental problems in the event of disasters such as a major earthquake.

The Group established a Global Environmental Standard for EMS which stipulates the minimum EMS elements that should be followed to achieve the intended outcome. The Group will apply this standard to all Bridgestone Group sites that have not obtained ISO 14001 certification.

The Group's main environmental risk reduction initiatives

Environmental risks Main risk reduction initiatives
Air pollution Step up efforts to prevent air pollution and reduce the environmental impact of combustion gases from boilers, incinerators and drying ovens, and of exhaust gases from dust collectors and local exhaust devices. In particular, continuously monitor outlets using the Group's own select monitoring device and conduct environmental impact assessments to prevent air pollution due to the scattering of carbon and other dust particles.
Odors Efforts to reduce the odor of rubber, which is the Group's major raw material, include targeting both the source and the outlet: selecting raw materials with the use of highly sensitive odor component analysis, optimizing the manufacturing process, developing deodorizing technology and installing deodorizing devices at outlets. Also, carry out odor reduction initiatives such as conducting environmental impact assessment using odor diffusion simulation technology and optimizing emission conditions. For reducing odors other than rubber, such as solvent odors, other deodorizing technologies (e.g. catalytic combustion) with high odor removal efficiency are promoted to install.
Wastewater Established a Global Environmental Standard for Wastewater to apply to all production sites. In order to comply with wastewater regulations and to prevent any spills being discharged externally, it requires pollution reduction efforts at the source, installation of measures to contain any spills at the source, installation of capable wastewater treatment system, or installation of monitoring and shut-off system.
Noise Measure noise generated in the production process and within the plant boundaries and carry out noise reduction measures through dialogues with the local community, including properly operating facilities, lowering noise and installing soundproof walls.
Soil and groundwater pollution Work to ensure proper management of chemical substances at all business sites and to prevent spillage at storage facilities, and regularly conduct emergency drills. Before conducting large-scale land modifications or purchases, perform studies to comply with national and local laws and regulations of each country and region.
If pollution is identified by the study, promptly report to the government and take necessary measures.
Waste Established a Global Environmental Standard for Waste Management Environmental Operation Requirement and deploying to apply to all Bridgestone operations excluding office locations. In order to comply with waste regulations and to prevent any spills being discharged externally, it requires proper management of waste (hazardous waste / non-hazardous waste) from the point of generation through final disposition. The Requirements include identification and characterization/classification of each waste, compliance obligations determination, waste accumulation and storage area management, vetting waste management facilities, emergency actions, training, and recordkeeping.

For the details of the Group's efforts to minimize environmental footprint, see:  “Minimizing footprint.”

Environmental responsibility throughout the supply chain

Working together with suppliers, the Group developed the Global Sustainable Procurement Policy to promote environmentally responsible business throughout the supply chain.

The Group is monitoring and rating the environmental and social performance and governance (ESG) of the suppliers using third-party assessments as a tool to encourage suppliers to enhance their ESG commitment. The ESG issues, which is assessed and linked to the Sustainable Procurement Policy, include environmental aspects such as energy consumption, water, biodiversity, pollution, and waste. The Group holds sustainable procurement seminars and provides on-site support based on the assessment results and are working together with suppliers in their environmental activities.

Bridgestone is an engaged member of the Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity to promote environmental conservation. As a member of the working group consisting of various businesses, the Company is involved in researching effective ways to implement business-led policy measures to conserve biodiversity by reducing impacts of the supply chain and to visualize environmental impacts.

For more information on the Group’s commitment to sustainable supply chain procurement, see “Procurement.”

Procurement with low environmental footprint

The Group requires all its raw materials and component suppliers to comply with their national and regional regulations on the use of hazardous substances and materials. The Group also requires suppliers to eliminate the use of chemical products from the early stages if any hazardous substances are suspected in such products.

Prior to purchasing major components from suppliers, the Group conducts an environmental management review of suppliers based on its outsourcing authorization system. In this review, the Group examines the suppliers’ overall environmental management and programs. In addition to checking suppliers’ management systems for chemical products, the Group also checks their systems for managing air, water, noise, vibration, odor and industrial waste. If any item requiring improvement is identified, it notifies the supplier of the issue and ask them to make the needed improvements. Additionally, prior to purchasing new production equipment, the Group requests suppliers to include in the quotation information on the use of any hazardous substances in the equipment.

Read more on the Group's Global Sustainable Procurement Policy

Relevant Information

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