Environment | In harmony with nature
Minimizing footprint In harmony with nature

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Bridgestone’s environmental mission is to help ensure a healthy environment for current and future generations.... The environmental mission includes three focal points: existing in harmony with nature, valuing natural resources, and reducing CO2 emissions. The mission’s “In harmony with nature” refers to biodiversity and the Group’s efforts to minimize the impact of our operations on the overall ecosystem.

The Group is engaged in various activities to help minimize the impact of our business activities on wildlife and natural habitats, while also engaging in numerous activities to help improve ecology in our production sites and the communities we call home. These include reducing emissions, conserving water and other important natural resources, and implementing ecological improvement and education-related projects at our locations and in our local communities.

Our approach to sustainable natural rubber

Consumption of natural rubber is forecast to increase in relative proportion with rising global demand for tires. It is imperative for our business to foster a sustainable natural rubber supply chain. We embrace and recognize sustainable natural rubber as a key issue for both the general tire industry and for our own Bridgestone Group sustainable growth.

In 2018, the Bridgestone Group introduced a new Global Sustainable Procurement Policy, which reflects our commitment to creating a thriving and sustainable supply chain for all materials, including natural rubber. As a large user of natural rubber, the policy describes our expectations with respect to critical issues within the complex global natural rubber supply chain.

Reducing the impact of water withdrawal

Target and actual figures of water withdrawal at manufacturing facilities (per unit)

The Bridgestone Group employs cooling water and steam in the production process. Continued use of such water resources is a current production requirement that cannot be separated from continuation of business for the Group. The Bridgestone Group has set a target to reduce water withdrawal by 35 percent by 2020 (per unit from a 2005 baseline*1). In 2018, the Group exceeded our goal, reducing water withdrawal by 37 percent, reflecting significant improvements over the prior year.

To achieve this progress, the Bridgestone Group reuses/recycles water at many manufacturing facilities, especially operations where there are serious concerns about water shortages, such as China and Mexico. We are also using water resources more efficiently by improving production processes and using rainwater where possible.

For example, at the Izmit, Turkey facility operated by the Bridgestone Group, employees identified ways to reduce the site’s dependence on groundwater by recovering, treating and reusing rainwater and waste water. Through these steps – and an education campaign on the importance of using water wisely – the facility nearly halved its water withdrawal in 10 years. This work was recognized with a Bridgestone Group Award in early 2019.

To be in compliance with relevant laws, all of our manufacturing facilities have water management plans of waste water such as maintaining a water treatment system or oil water separator.

  1. Bridgestone manages water withdrawal by unit of production volume and net sales for each business. A weighted average efficiency of the reduction is used as an index. The water withdrawal does not include the recycled water from third-parties and rainwater.

Independent Verification Report (303KB)

Utilizing Rainwater

Rainwater reservoir at Bridgestone Carbon Black (Thailand) Co., Ltd.

Rainwater is utilized in some plants of the Bridgestone Group. At these plants, rainwater is collected and used in operations or for watering plants on the site.

Recycled water project

The Sao Paulo plant of Bridgestone Americas launched a joint initiative with the local city in 2016 designed to promote water recycling in order to help reduce the consumption of deep well water. Since the project was launched, over 50% of water used for cooling system and boilers in the facility is recycled water supplied from a wastewater treatment company.

Risk assessment for water resources during new plant design

When building new tire manufacturing facilities, the Bridgestone Group conducts a risk assessment for water quality and volume to ensure that we take efficient use of water resources and waste water into consideration. We also use the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Global Water Tool and World Resources Institute (WRI) Aqueduct to assess water risks at existing facilities and identify improvement opportunities for each location.

Assessment of drainage system at Bridgestone Americas (BSAM)

In order to minimize the potential risk of business operations on water resources, before constructing our Aiken Off Road Radial Plant, which began operations in 2014 as the production base of large and ultra-large radial tires for construction and mining vehicles in the U.S., we created a drainage basin map so that we could conduct a preliminary assessment of the potential impact of the plant’s construction on the river basin. The risk assessment findings for water resources on and near the site were reflected in the plant’s design. As a result, we were careful to install appropriate drainage treatment and water storage facilities by specifying a drainage system to best suit the natural drainage properties. We also built drainage ditches to prevent seepage of facility wastewater into surrounding onsite wetlands even during heavy rainfall in order to preserve the area’s biodiversity.

Our response to the CDP Questionnaire “Water” 2017 (542KB)

Our response to the CDP Questionnaire “Water Security” 2018 (176KB)

(The CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, is a charitable organization that runs a global disclosure system for cities and companies to measure and manage their environmental impact)

Reducing volatile organic compounds in manufacturing processes

Change in the Amount of Chlorine VOC Use for Bridgestone’sIndustrial Chemical Products

Changing Volumes of Chlorine VOC Used in Bridgestone’s Industrial Chemical Products

The Bridgestone Group is striving to substitute chemical substances with a potential negative environmental impact such as volatile organic compound (VOC) solvents, so we can reduce the amount of total chemical substances used.

We have a VOC reduction target in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region to improve solvent consumption per production volume to be 2.12 kg/tonne in 2021, and the actual result of 2018 was 1.92 kg/tonne. After almost 20 years of research, and in collaboration with the Bridgestone Technical Center in Europe, tire manufacturing facilities operated by Bridgestone in Bilbao and Burgos, Spain; Bari, Italy; Bethune, France and Poznan, Poland succeeded in drastically reducing (by approximately 83 percent overall) volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions related to the use of solvent in the production process by reducing solvent use. In particular, the Burgos plant eliminated all cement adhesives in the production process, contributing to an approximately 95 percent reduction in VOC emissions from the use of solvents since 1998, while enhancing the quality of the final products.

Another reduction example, our efforts to proactively reduce the amount of chlorinated VOC solvent used at production bases in the Group’s industrial chemical operation dramatically reduced VOC solvent use by approximately 99% over the eight-year period from 2010 to 2018. We also progressively switched completely from VOC solvent-based adhesive to water-based adhesive when manufacturing automobile seats at the Bridgestone APM’s Upper Sandusky Plant and Dickson Plant in the U.S. We are determined to continue reducing VOC use across all our global operations.

Fuel conversion reduces sulfur and nitrogen oxide atmospheric emissions

Bridgestone is working to reduce emissions of sulfur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) at our manufacturing facilities by shifting from heavy fuel oil to natural gas.

Habitat reconstruction at new plant site

Longleaf Pine planting

Bird nesting box made by employees

Bridgestone’s Aiken Off Road Radial Plant was built in Aiken County, South Carolina to produce large and ultra-large off-road radial tires for construction and mining vehicles. Bridgestone took steps to reconstruct the site’s original natural habitat by planting indigenous species of vegetation, such as the Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris), which plays a vital part in supporting the lifecycles of various local wildlife and other organisms. In the southern United States, people have persistently eroded this tree’s habitat over the past 150 years. To help replenish this precious tree stock, Bridgestone Americas (BSAM) has committed to the planting of 30,000 Longleaf Pine trees under the guidance of the Wildlife Habitat Council.

BSAM also uses the Aiken site as a place for employees and local residents to learn about biodiversity conservation. Onsite educational initiatives include installing bird nesting boxes and observing their inhabitants using fixed-point cameras, rainwater harvesting, and new employee orientation using onsite promenades and pavilions.

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