Human Rights, Labor Practices

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Advancing fundamental human rights and
responsible labor practices
We will foster an inclusive culture in which all Bridgestone entities and locations adopt and apply ethical labor practices, build trust with our teammates, and model our respect for diversity and for fundamental human rights.

The Bridgestone Group continues to embed its Global Human Rights Policy it launched in 2018. The Policy addresses the standards and behaviors that all Bridgestone Group employees around the globe can and should expect from the Group, their managers and fellow employees. It outlines respect for diversity and inclusion, prohibits discrimination and harassment, focuses on workplace safety and health, reinforces commitment to responsible labor practices, and supports protection of free speech and association. These expectations are closely aligned with the Group’s Code of Conduct and Global Sustainable Procurement Policy, and are embedded into the Group’s day-to-day operations, including its due diligence assessments of potential new operations and projects.

Bridgestone Group Global Human Rights Policy

As part of our commitment to be a true global leader in all that we do, the Bridgestone Group is committed to advancing fundamental human rights and responsible labor practices throughout our worldwide operations. We believe this commitment is not only the right thing to do, but also foundational to enhanced job satisfaction and pride for our employees, which is in turn critical to sustainable success for our business. We strive to uphold fundamental human rights principles in all the ways that we interact with people as employees, consumers, customers, suppliers, contractors, and community members wherever we conduct business. To ensure that we are living up to our commitments, we will conduct appropriate training on this policy and due diligence to identify and remediate any adverse impact that any of our operations may have.

Bridgestone respects international norms for human rights, such as the fundamental principles generally reflected in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, various International Labor Organization (ILO) Conventions, and other globally recognized standards. These standards help inform Bridgestone's principles and approach on human rights issues.

Our human rights policy applies to all employees and locations in the companies of the Bridgestone Group. We expect all of our employees to uphold this policy, and we expect our vendors and suppliers to do the same.

Respect for Diversity and Inclusion

As an organization, we believe that all people have the right to participate in the labor force to the full extent of their individual desire and capability. We further believe that bringing together individuals who have diverse backgrounds, experiences, skills, and perspectives adds value to our business, and even more so when we all integrate into a cohesive team. Accordingly, we value diversity and expect all employees to support an inclusive environment founded on teamwork and respect. We are convinced that doing so will help us to attract, develop, and retain the best talent in the market for the greater good of our company.

Prohibition of Discrimination and Harassment

We affirm the fundamental principle that everyone is entitled to fair treatment and equal opportunity without discrimination on the basis of any characteristic such as race, ethnicity, color, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, language, religion, creed, social status, or disability. We do not tolerate behavior that is discriminatory, harassing, disrespectful, or otherwise degrading to individual dignity. We are committed to protecting the rights of individuals in traditionally under-privileged groups and expanding their employment opportunities.

Focus on Workplace Safety and Health

At Bridgestone, we live by the principle of "Safety First, Always." Creating a safe workplace for all is one of our core business values and is everyone's shared responsibility. For more information on our occupational safety and health programs, please see: Safety, Industrial Hygiene.

Commitment to Responsible Labor Practices

As a global leader, Bridgestone is committed to ensuring our compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and other employment standards. We believe in doing our part to abolish the unacceptable practices of child labor and forced or compulsory labor throughout the world. We prohibit child and forced/compulsory labor in our organization and in our supply chain. Beyond our commitment to compliance, we strive to provide quality job opportunities for residents of our local communities, with reasonable working hours, clean and safe working conditions, and fair, market-competitive pay and benefits.

Protection of Free Speech and Association

We believe that all people have the right to have their voices heard by raising their good faith concerns, either openly or anonymously, without any negative consequence. To that end, we respect the right of all employees to choose, voluntarily and free from coercion, whether to bargain collectively and seek representation by third parties, including trade unions, or to refrain from doing so. We also believe that employees should be fully and accurately informed when making the important decision of whether to elect a third party to represent them. In any event, at Bridgestone we are committed to creating a culture of openness and employee involvement in all of the locations in which we operate.

Management structure

The Group adheres firmly to its Global Human Rights Policy on respecting human rights. Under the Global Sustainability Committee, the Human Rights, Labor Practices Working Group (WG) verifies the progress of the group-wide efforts on human rights, labor practices, diversity and inclusion, and reports to the Global Sustainability Committee and top management in each Strategic Business Unit (SBU) and regional office. The human resource department at each SBU, each of which is a member of the WG, helps ensure that employees understand the importance of the Policy and follow it in day-to-day operations.

Human rights training for all employees

In 2019 and 2020, the Bridgestone Group conducted regular education on its Human Rights Policy and Code of Conduct, reaching more than 84,000 employees, 92.9% of its target audience. All managers are trained regularly on the Group's Code of Conduct, including the topics of harassment and bullying.

Human rights due diligence

The Bridgestone Group’s cross-regional Human Rights and Labor Practices Working Group is collaborating with the Sustainable Procurement Working Group and the global sustainability team to develop human rights-specific content as part of a holistic global due-diligence and risk-assessment process. The process is being designed to help build awareness of specific contexts and causes of human rights concerns, to understand the relationship between business activities and human rights implications, and to forge a deeper understanding of the importance of human rights across the value chain.

In 2020, as part of its exploration of a comprehensive due-diligence program, the Group conducted an exploratory human rights assessment at the P.T. Bridgestone Sumatra Rubber Estate in Indonesia with Caux Round Table, an independent third-party organization, to evaluate potential assessment methodologies. These pilot learnings are informing and accelerating efforts to develop optimal human rights content to be included in the Group’s holistic due-diligence approach.

In Japan, the Company conducted a stakeholder engagement through a series of dialogues with companies, NGOs/NPOs, and academic experts, deepening the Group’s understanding of human rights issues in this region.
As part of its due diligence, the Bridgestone Group also assesses the human rights and labor practices of potential new operations and projects.

Whistle-blowing system

To help ensure compliance with the Global Human Rights Policy, the BridgeLine whistle-blowing web-based reporting system and phone hotlines are available worldwide to encourage employees and its stakeholders, which include contractors, suppliers, customers and anyone else, who have questions about the Policy and the Code of Conduct or want to confidentially and anonymously report human rights concerns, to submit an inquiry. The Group encourages speaking up and prohibits retaliation for reporting concerns.

Preventing overwork

In Japan, Bridgestone recognizes the need to avoid long working hours and unusual amounts of overtime or late-night work to prevent health risks caused by overwork. The Company complies with the Labor Standards Act by working to reduce overtime and encouraging employees to take their annual holiday leave, and in 2019, it reviewed its policy on appropriate management of working hours.

In Japan in 2020, the rate of employees taking annual paid leave was 74.0 percent, with an average of 14.8 days.

Bridgestone also has a program requiring employees working more than a fixed number of hours to consult with industrial physicians to help maintain good health.

Total annual hours worked*1 1,835 hours (FY 2020)
Annual overtime hours worked 146 hours (FY 2020)

  1. Total annual hours worked = (Annual regular hours worked) + (Annual overtime hours worked) - (Annual paid holidays taken) - (Other holidays taken)

Bridgestone also takes measures to prevent excessive working hours:
• The Labor Union through the activities of the Working Hours Committee and other committees shares with the Labor Department the existing issues and activities done to improve the situation.
• Bridgestone sets targets for annual leave days taken and results monitoring.
• Bridgestone holds seminars about work-life balance.
• Bridgestone sets leave-on-time days.
• Fixed-schedule workers day was reduced from 8 hours to 7.5 hours as a measure to reduce the total work time since April 2017.

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