One natural resource obviously critical to the Bridgestone Group, and one the world recognizes as potentially stressed in future years, is natural rubber. The Group continues to actively participate in addressing this challenge in a number of ways.
Merely reducing the use of raw materials (Action 1) and promoting the use of recycled resources (Action 2) will not be enough to ensure a reliable supply of the products and services needed to meet continuously increasing global demand. In addition to that, by expanding and diversifying the renewable resources (Action 3) we use to make our products, we can contribute to building a truly sustainable society.
Our approach to sustainable materials, or materials that help strike a balance with the earth’s resource capacity, is based on the notion that it is not enough merely to switch from non-renewable materials to plant-derived renewable resources, but to promote Action 1, 2 and 3.
Taking the renewable material of natural rubber as an example, we are working to diversify raw material supply sources, such as developing guayule and other new natural rubber resources, while promoting improved productivity of the rubber trees, which is currently the primary source for the natural rubber used for tires. By both diversifying and improving our current supply sources, we are ensuring our sources will be more sustainable in the future.