Although the Bridgestone Group’s commitments are significant, we cannot address supply chain improvements alone. That is why we are working collaboratively with 10 other leading tire companies that represent 65 percent of the world’s tire manufacturing capacity through the global Tire Industry Project (TIP) operated under the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. TIP members are using a scientific approach to continue to improve the sustainability effort of the industry. We are also building on our existing body of knowledge to address the life-cycle impact of tires. Together with other stakeholders, TIP members recently launched the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) to transform the natural rubber supply chain for the better. Through the GPSNR, TIP companies, including Bridgestone and other stakeholder members, will work to harmonize standards to improve respect for human rights, prevent land-grabbing and deforestation, protect biodiversity and water resources, improve yields and increase supply chain transparency and traceability.
Partnerships and collaboration with external organizations
Tire Industry Project
The Tire Industry Project (TIP) has launched research and resolution initiatives relating to the impact of tires on the environment and health.
1. Researching the environmental and ecological impacts of tire and road wear particles
Verification tests to date have revealed little risk to the environment or health from tire and road wear particles (TRWP) generated by tire wear during use.
2.Global development of effective end-of-life tire management systems
To address variations in end-of-life tire (ELT) management systems between countries and regions, the TIP published the End-of-Life Tires: A Framework for Effective ELT Management Systems in 2010. Bridgestone promotes ongoing activities designed to promote the global deployment of effective ELT management systems.
3.Researching the environmental and ecological impacts of nano-materials
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) publishes reports on its collaborative project with the Bridgestone Group focusing on: the social and environmental contribution of tires using raw materials, such as carbon black and silica, the health and the environmental impact of nano-materials used in tire development and manufacturing, and research into optimal risk assessments and protective measures to minimize any impact on the human body. These raw materials are thought to pose low risk to the health of those working with them.
- World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Tire Industry Project
- Tire Industry Project: Industry Environmental Impact & Measurement
- Tire Industry Project: Material Research
- Tire Industry Project: End-of-Life Tires
- Tire Industry Project: End-of-Life Tires: A framework for effective management systems
Breakthrough Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber
As a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Tire Industry Project (TIP), Bridgestone has been actively involved in the setting up of a new independent platform to improve the socio-economic and environmental performance of the natural rubber chain.
While the tire industry is estimated to consume approximately 70 percent of natural rubber, the new Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR), headquartered in Singapore from March 2019, aims to bring together an unprecedentedly diverse range of stakeholders including tire manufacturers, other rubber users, suppliers and processors, vehicle manufacturers, and NGOs specializing in social aspects relevant to rubber production.
To ensure its independence, wide relevance and broad cooperative reach, the GPSNR will be governed by a representative group of multi-stakeholders that includes a greater voting weight for civil society members, and will proactively seek to enroll smallholder members to help nurture a shared goal of sustainable natural rubber, and accelerate the creation and adoption of sustainable and responsible practices across natural rubber production and supply.
Circular Economy 100 Programme
In 2018, Bridgestone joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Circular Economy 100 (CE100) programme with the aim of learning, building capacity, networking and collaborating with other corporations, governments and academia, in a unique forum for driving sustainable economic, natural and social capital.
A circular economy is different from a traditional linear economy in that it gradually decouples economic activity from the consumption of finite resources. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, the circular model builds economic, natural, and social capital. It is based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems.
The Bridgestone Group also offers solutions combining new tires, retreads,*1 services and IT tools to its fleet customers. Knowledge gained through initial undertakings within the CE100 programme will be used to integrate the concept of a circular economy into the Group's broader business model, enabling us to provide new value to customers and society across all stages of tire lifecycle, including recycling, smarter use of materials, energy and information.
*1 Retreaded tires are made by bonding freshly vulcanized, new treads to tire casings so that the casings can be reused. Retreads have the following environmental benefits compared to new tires:
1. Reduced natural resource usage due to lower required use of natural rubber and other raw materials
2. Lower CO2 emissions compared to new tire manufacturing
3. Reduced tire waste due to extended lifespan of tire casings
The Waseda Bridgestone Initiative for Development of Global Environment (W-BRIDGE) is a collaborative project combining industry, academia and the public. The initiative was established in 2008 by Waseda University and the Bridgestone Corporation to help preserve our global environment. Incorporating local citizens into traditional collaboration between companies and universities strengthens collaborative bridges and provides more effective support for joint research and other activities.
Other partnerships and collaboration with external organizations
Rubber and Tire Industry
- Japan Automobile Tyre Manufactures Association (JATMA)
- The Japan Rubber Manufacturers Association
- U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA)
- European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA)
- Sustainable Natural Rubber Initiatives (SNR-i)