Although its commitments are significant, the Bridgestone Group cannot aim toward sustainable society alone. That is why the Group is working collaboratively with 10 other leading tire companies that represent around 65 percent of the world’s tire manufacturing capacity through the global Tire Industry Project (TIP) is operated under the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). All TIP activities are being reviewed by an independent outside scientists group, called “Assurance Group.”
Partnerships and Collaboration with External Organizations
World Business Council for Sustainable Development
Tire Industry Project (TIP)
TIP members are using a scientific approach to continue to improve the sustainability effort of the industry. The members including Bridgestone are also building on the existing body of knowledge to address the life-cycle impact of tires. Every two years the CEOs of member companies meet to review the progress and set a forward-looking agenda for new and continuing work. The last CEO meeting was held in 2019 in Kyoto, Japan hosted by Bridgestone.
One of the high priority topics of TIP is to accelerate the study for tire and road wear
particles (TRWP) in terms of the recently increasing interests of stakeholders in
relation to ocean microplastics. TIP is studying the effect of TRWP to rivers and oceans
as well by expanding the study scope up to now.
The examples of TIP achievement are;
1. Researching the environmental and ecological impacts of TRWP
Verification tests to date have revealed little risk to the environment or health from tire and road wear particles (TRWP) in airborne.
2. Study of end-of-life tire (ELT) management systems
TIP has been contributing to enhance ELT management in regions all over the world by issuing study reports:
- 2008: “Managing End-of-Life Tires”
- 2010: “End-of-Life Tires: A Framework for effective management systems”
- 2018: “Global ELT Management ― A global state of knowledge on collection rates, recovery routes, and management methods”
- 2019: “Global ELT Management ― A global state of knowledge on regulation, management systems, impacts of recovery and technologies”
3. Researching the environmental and ecological impacts of nano-materials
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) publishes reports in 2014 and 2021 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
Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber
The Bridgestone Group is proud of its sustainability progress but improvements at scale will be achieved through industrywide collaboration. That’s why the Group and other global tire companies launched the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR), to transform the industry for the better. As a member of the GPSNR Executive Committee, the Bridgestone Group actively drives discussions among rubber suppliers, automakers, NGOs, smallholder farmers and tire companies. GPSNR members are working together 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.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Since 2018, the Group has been a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Network 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 Group also offers solutions combining new tires, retreads,*1 services and IT tools to its fleet customers. Knowledge gained through undertakings within the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (the Foundation) 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.
The Group measured its circular economy performance utilizing Circulytics, a company-level circular economy measurement tool developed by the Foundation. The results demonstrate that the Group’s strategy and planning is aligned with circular economy principles, while other areas, such as the use of recycled and renewable materials, have further room for improvement. With Circulytics data alongside the insights and analysis from the Foundation, the Group continues to drive further progress towards a circular economy.
*1 Retreaded tires are made by bonding freshly vulcanized new treads to the tire casings so that the casings can be reused. Retreads have the following environmental benefits when compared to new tires:
1. Reduced natural resource usage due to lower requirement for use of natural rubber and other raw materials
2. Lower CO2 emissions than would result from manufacturing new tires
3. Reduced tire waste due to extended lifespan of tire casings
The Bridgestone Group supports the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure
(TCFD) and its recommendations and participates in the TCFD Consortium in Japan.
Under a climate-related governance framework, the Group formulated a medium- to long-term strategy towards carbon neutral in light of the climate-related risks and opportunities. For strategy, the Group is working to reduce transition risks through climate change mitigation actions, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time working to reduce physical risks through adaptive measures, such as diversifying natural rubber supply sources.
Going forward, the Group intends to expand its disclosure of climate-related actions in line with the TCFD recommendations.
The Valuable 500
The Bridgestone Group has joined The Valuable 500, a global initiative launched at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos in January 2019. The Valuable 500 aims to help business leaders transform their businesses and unlock the social and economic value of people living with disabilities around the world. It gains the endorsement of the CEOs of 500 companies worldwide. The concept of The Valuable 500, which respects diversity and promotes inclusion, has much in common with the Group’s corporate philosophy and is in line with the intended direction of its Global Human Rights Policy and “Our Way to Serve.”
The Group will continue to focus on creating work environments where diversity is embraced and employees with disabilities can easily demonstrate their abilities.
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)