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Procurement

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Mission

Create value to society through
sustainable procurement practices
We are committed to creating procurement programming that drives action to realize long-term environmental, social, and economic benefits by incorporating the following into our entire supply chain:
  1. Transparency
  2. Compliance
  3. QCD & Innovation
  4. Sustainable Procurement Practices

Procurement Policy

In 2018, Bridgestone Group introduced a new Global Sustainable Procurement Policy, which reflects our commitment to creating a thriving and sustainable supply chain including natural rubber.

Guided by the Group's global commitment to corporate social responsibility, “Our Way to Serve,” the policy sets expectations for key business partners and suppliers to operate with Respect of Human Rights, Environmental Standards and Product Quality while including additional requirements for Land Conservation and Rights, Point of Origin Traceability and Resilience, as we work toward realizing Group's goal of using “100% percent sustainable materials*” in our product as the long-term vision by 2050 and beyond.

*The Bridgestone Group defines sustainable materials as materials "1) that come from resources with a guaranteed continual supply, 2) that can be used as part of our business over the long-term, and 3) that have a low environmental and social impact over the lifecycle from procurement to disposal."

The Global Sustainable Procurement Policy will help identify and evaluate qualified suppliers, promote best practices, and serve as a communication and improvement tool for the industry. It applies to all purchased materials, products and services, as well as all suppliers globally.

Development Process

AREAS OF FOCUS

The Bridgestone Sustainable Procurement Policy is organized into four areas, each with both minimum requirements suppliers must meet to do business with Bridgestone, as well as preferred practices that are intended to enhance the company’s various supply chains. The four areas of focus are:

  • Transparency – including traceability and good governance;
  • Compliance – adhering to laws and regulations in the countries and regions in which Bridgestone conducts business;
  • Quality, Cost and Delivery (QCD) & Innovation – ensuring high quality materials, products and services are delivered on time and at reasonable costs, while also pursuing innovative technologies that support improvements across global communities;
  • Sustainable Procurement Practices – incorporating environmentally responsible procurement, such as compliance with environmental laws and regulations, respect for human rights, water use, land use and conservation, health, safety, disaster prevention and resilience.

Engaging with Suppliers to Implement the Policy

We expect our suppliers and partners to work with us in pursuit of sustainable supply chains, efforts which are never-ending and which require collaborations with all industry players, including communicating with the various audiences in order to generate broader public awareness.

As an immediate first step, Bridgestone will prioritize working closely with its employees, suppliers and customers and other industry experts to implement the policy.

Over the next 18 months, Bridgestone will work with its suppliers and partners to ensure that they have received the policy and understand it. Following acknowledgment of the policy, suppliers will then receive a self-assessment questionnaire. Bridgestone Group is currently developing an additional supplier assessment for the traceability of natural rubber and will be working to partner with the industry and other qualified experts to help support ongoing monitoring of supplier compliance.

Further, Bridgestone Group is committed to working with external stakeholders, including universities, industry associations, and NGOs to continually review its sustainability approaches.

Management Structure

To promote Group-wide sustainability activities, Bridgestone created a structure comprising a global CSR management system, a regional CSR management system, and working groups (WGs) for each area of activity.
The global CSR management system prioritizes initiatives in areas pertaining to a variety of global issues, formulates global sustainability strategies, confirms the progress of activities in each area, reports to the Global EXCO,*1 and confirms the in-house penetration of CSR activities conducted by the Global CSR Enhancement Committee (GCEC).

Composed of members from around the world, the Sustainable Procurement Working Group formulates and deploys global sustainable procurement policies and plans and confirms the progress of global initiatives and activities, which is then reported to the GCEC and the Global EXCO.

  1. Global Executive Committee: The highest-level committee associated with Bridgestone Global Group business execution

CSR Procurement Promotion

The Bridgestone Group pursues CSR procurement through a Supply Chain Partnership Development System framework, which improves the overall competitiveness of the Bridgestone Group and its business partners.

The Bridgestone Group holds an annual conference to explain its procurement policies to ensure that business partners understand Bridgestone procurement policies. Information pertaining to the business environment surrounding the industry, as well as the Group’s strategy for mutual improvements in terms of competitiveness, was shared with suppliers. The status of Supply Chain Partnership Development System activities was introduced and business partners were asked to engage in these activities with Bridgestone.

The “Green Partner Award” was established in 2013 to recognize suppliers for their environmental activities. Based on the Environmental Mission Statement of the Bridgestone Group, “In harmony with nature,” “Value natural resources” and “Reduce CO2 emissions,” this award commends activities that help reduce environmental burdens and result in environmental contributions. Two companies won the Green Partner Award in 2017, Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd. and REIDAN CO., LTD.

Monitoring & Supporting Improvement

Since 2009, Bridgestone has offered on-site assistance to business partners whose CSR Self-Check Sheet results indicated environmental initiatives in need of improvement. In 2017, Bridgestone sent employees from environmental-related departments to one business partner’s worksites to review environmental initiatives and offer advice on improvement.

Furthermore, the Company has started regularly visiting business partners considered in need of improvements related to non-environmental initiatives. Bridgestone will continue strengthening efforts aimed at improving the level of CSR activities throughout the supply chain.

In 2017, the Bridgestone Group continued its efforts to promote a better understanding of CSR activities on the part of business partners, distributing CSR Procurement Guidelines and CSR Self-Check Sheets to business partners in Japan as well as in Europe, Southeast Asia and China. These included items related to the issues of human rights, labor practices, health and safety, disaster prevention, the environment, fair business practices and ethics, information security and social contributions. Bridgestone offers proposals for improvement based on Self-Check Sheet responses and visits business partner production sites to provide advice as part of its on-site environmental assistance.

In 2017, 96 percent of all business partners responded that they had initiated CSR activities. Going forward, Bridgestone will continue to work closely with its business partners to improve and increase CSR initiatives through seminars and other methods throughout the supply chain.

In addition, CSR Seminars were held for business partners selected based on the results of their CSR Self-Check Sheet.

Enhancing Fair Procurement Activities

The Bridgestone Group pursues various initiatives in Japan and overseas to further strengthen fair procurement activities.

Bridgestone conducts educational programs on the Subcontract Act of Japan, which is related to the Anti-Monopoly Act, at 12 major Group companies in Japan. Bridgestone also conducts an e-learning program through which participants can gain a better understanding of the law. In 2018, the Group will continue to promote these activities and implement educational programs on the Subcontract Act of Japan.

Since 2012, the Group has conducted education programs at the business site level about purchasing compliance for members of related administration departments. In 2017, 194 employees participated, including one who commented “My overall understanding has deepened, and I understand what actions I must never engage in while doing my job. This was very useful.” In addition, the Bridgestone Group continues to conduct surveys on supplier satisfaction and confirm that fair procurement activities are being undertaken at the Group through the 100 supplier companies that take part.

Results of the 2017 survey showed that while the level of satisfaction generally improved, some suppliers desired more improvements in communication. The Bridgestone Group also worked with an external research firm to conduct interviews through visits to some suppliers to gain a deeper understanding of supplier opinions and thoughts. In light of the survey results, the Group plans to continue training employees in procurement departments to improve efforts in this area.

Participants and graduates of the 2017 Subcontract Act of Japan program

Number of times courses were held in 2017 3
Number of participants 319
Number of graduates 293

Results of the 2017 subcontracted operations audit revealed administrative matters such as errors in documentation requiring improvement at some work sites, which Bridgestone plans to conduct and follow up on going forward. Moving ahead, Bridgestone will continue to enhance and promote fair transactions.

Enhancing Internal Audits

Bridgestone formed an audit team to improve the level of fair procurement activities of each Bridgestone Group company and conducted a general audit on procurement and purchasing operations.

In addition, Bridgestone has been working to enhance the audit program and continued to implement a cross-audit program between work sites in Japan. Fifteen Bridgestone work sites in Japan are engaged in mutual auditing with neighboring work sites, which enhances our auditing capabilities by training internal auditors to adopt the dual perspectives of the entity undergoing the audit as well as the entity conducting it.

Tire Industry Project

CEOs participating in the WBCSD TIP, representing approximately 65 percent of the world’s tire manufacturing capacity, meet every two years to review TIP’s progress and set a forward-looking agenda for new and continuing work. A portion of that work focuses on efforts to bring sustainable natural rubber production closer to reality. Much work has been done to identify best practices for responsible sourcing of natural rubber, and now TIP will endeavor to identify the most effective ways to achieve these common goals, including evaluating sustainability best practices and identifying appropriate governance structures and potential platforms.