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Activities related to education

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Believing that education is essential for improving people’s quality of life and developing their professional skills, the Bridgestone Group supports inclusive and accessible education in the local communities in which it operates. With a particular emphasis on primary education and technical and vocational training, the Group applies its strengths in tire manufacturing and sales to offer a variety of training programs that foster the next generation of automotive maintenance professionals.

In 2022, 182 initiatives*1 related to education were implemented in 22 countries, including 163 initiatives with external partners*2, with the involvement of 18,484 employee volunteers*3, and reached 52,351 people*4 from the community.

  1. Counting of “initiatives” varies by country or region.
  2. Counting of “partners” varies by country or region.
  3. The number of volunteer is the total number, including estimates for some activities.
  4. The number of people who directly benefited from the Group’s activities, which varies by country and region and only includes those activities for which the Group has confirmed the status.

Visiting Classes at Elementary and Junior High Schools (Japan)

In Japan, the Bridgestone Corporation offers the Eco Learning Program since 2004. It was renewed as Environment Hands-On Learning Program in 2011 and continues to provide opportunities for students to learn the difficulties and importance of balancing business and the environment through environmental initiatives in production. Since 2020, it also runs the Global Communication Skill Program which tells the importance and challenges of communicating effectively with people from different backgrounds, cultures and customs.

In 2022, the Environment Hands-On Learning Program was conducted 27 times and the Global Communication Skill Program was held 10 times. A total of 3,261 students from elementary and junior high schools all over the nation participated in these events.

Apprenticeship program Be MANTAP (Indonesia)

At P.T. Bridgestone Tire Indonesia (BSIN), the Vocational Training Center (LLKBS) was transformed with the introduction of an apprenticeship program (Be MANTAP) that looks to provide development opportunities for the community through one-year competency-based manufacturing training and apprenticeships. This is a joint effort by BSIN management and the labor union in support of continued harmonious industrial relations, despite a challenging and competitive environment. Indonesia’s Minister of Manpower Mrs Ida Fauziah, whom BSIN hosted at the signing ceremony, acknowledged the hard work, effective communication, commitment and empathy shown by all parties. She also expressed her appreciation to BSIN for the efforts in contributing to community aid during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Automotive training centers (United States)

Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is addressing the nationwide shortage of automotive technicians in the United States by providing training on the next generation of automotive maintenance technology. Working with community partners and educational leaders, BSAM supports Maplewood High School Automotive Training Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and Bridgestone Academy of Applied Engineering & Technology at East Community Learning Center in Akron, Ohio. Both schools offer a four-year curriculum that includes hands-on learning in facilities that are modeled after Firestone stores and instruction by Group technicians to help students build careers in the auto maintenance industry. In 2022, more than 150 students across BSAM participated in the program. For example, more than 48 graduates from Maplewood High School have found employment in the automotive industry, and more than 50% of program participants of the East Community Learning Center earned Automotive Service Excellence certifications before graduation.

Driving Great Futures campaign (United States)

BSAM’s Driving Great Futures partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) aims to help families overcome the challenge of getting to and from Clubs by providing reliable transportation. Since 2015, BSAM has raised 20 million USD for BGCA, which depends largely on customer donations across the BSAM nationwide network of 2,200+ tire and automotive service centers.

At the core of the program are transportation grants, which are used to purchase BGCA passenger vans equipped with Bridgestone fuel-efficient tires, or for maintenance and repairs of existing Club vehicles. BSAM retail stores also donate company time to service existing BGCA vehicles and volunteer at Clubs in the local community.

In 2022, BSAM’s donations reached nearly 3.6 million USD and were used to:

  • Purchase 12 new club vans
  • Maintain the fleet of vehicles for more than BGCA’s 40 clubs
  • Provide new equipment and technology resources for BGCA’s 24 clubs

In addition, BSAM partnered with Tight End University which provides various training programs, including star NFL players, to help raise even more funds for deserving clubs and their respective communities through BSAM's Driving Great Future. In total, NFL fans donated an additional 131 thousand USD to clubs nationwide in celebration of the Driving Great Futures milestone. BSAM extended its support for Driving Great Futures through 2024, continuing the program’s legacy of bridging critical divides for club kids and families nationwide.

Bridgestone Corporate University Training Center (Argentina)

Established in 2003, Bridgestone Corporate University (BCU) provides education and training opportunities to employees, suppliers, local citizens and other stakeholders. The Center was opened in 2015 to foster specific training and education aligned with the Argentinian curriculum. Since opening, the Center has spent a total of 2,200,000 hours on training, more than 540 people have graduated from BCU and over 17,500 stakeholders have received training.

Featherstone program: Tire technician training for inmates (United Kingdom)

BSEMIA is helping people incarcerated at the Featherstone prison in Staffordshire, U.K. prepare for a successful career as tire technicians when they are released. About 30 inmates are training to receive Institute of the Motor Industry accreditation credentials, leveraging Bridgestone’s well-regarded REACT Roadside Tyre Technician Training.

Traineeship for high-school science students (Italy)

Traineeships for high-school science students were held at the Bridgestone EMIA Technology Center in Rome offering an inside look at careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and confirming its commitment to expand education and training opportunities to develop job and life skills. The initiative is part of path for soft skills and orientation program by Italian ministry of education. In 2022, two sessions were held at the Technology Center with the participation of 30 students and the involvement of 75 employees.

Support for community gardens (South Africa)

Bridgestone South Africa has partnered with Food & Tree’s for Africa with the goal of planting several community gardens aimed at addressing skill shortages and sustainable food production. In November 2021, volunteers from Bridgestone spent the day at Neo Mathabe Special School assisting the intellectually impaired learners with planting vegetables. In March 2022, Bridgestone team supported with planting fruit trees together. The garden was started with the aim of exposing the learners to aspects of agriculture that would empower them with necessary knowledge and skills to make it a viable alternative livelihood after leaving the school. In addition, this garden supports a feeding scheme addressing zero hunger. Through these activities, Bridgestone contributes to inclusive education and healthier communities.

Bridgestone Green Computer Classroom Program Empowers Students and Teachers in Rural School, while Reducing CO2 Emissions (China)

Bridgestone (China) Investment Co., Ltd. collaborated with Zhonggu Gongyi, a local charity organisation, donating laptops for a “Green IT Classroom programme. Employee volunteers assisted staff from the Zhonggu Gongyi in refurbishing these donated “waste” laptops. These refurbished laptops were then donated to a school in rural area of Yunnan province, which were used to set up their school computer lab, to help equip the less well-off students with digital literacy skills. The activity saw a 100% regeneration ratio, past three years, 107 volunteers internally and externally participated, 239 laptops were donated, 135 laptops were recycled, extending their service life by 3-5 years, benefited 531 students and 21 teachers, reducing CO2 emissions by 60.75 tons.

Wings for Children’s Dream (Japan)

Bridgestone employees volunteer with children who lost their parents or guardians in the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. Led by the Ochanomizu Academic Association, volunteers spend quality time building important relationships with these children. Bridgestone also offers its recreational facilities for the association’s camps and other activities. Because face-to-face activities and events were scaled back due to COVID-19, the project has switched to online-based activities. Eight new students have also joined this project, increasing momentum.

Play Green With Us (Poland)

“Play Green With Us” is an educational program that was created especially for the youngest children. The aim is to promote pro-ecological attitudes and environmental protection—this time with a focus on the youngest. The Bridgestone Poznan Plant in Poland focuses on environmental education in a form that is extremely accessible to children, with the use of games, competitions and quizzes. The classes are attended by primary school students from grades 1-4.

Project Unnati (Sustainable natural rubber project in Kerala) (India)

For details of this project, see “Procurement.”

Green Power program (Spain)

In May 2022, GreenPower Bridgestone electrical circuits (tracks) were held in Torrelavega and Laredo. The Bridgestone Puente San Miguel Plant collaborated with the Alfonso Líbano Firestone Foundation in the organization of two circuits in Cantabria where students design electric cars to compete with other students, while promoting team work and innovation.

Swayamsidhha (Empowering rural women to develop as independent enterprises) (India)

Project Swayamsiddha, a flagship program for the empowerment of women, was introduced as one of Bridgestone India Private Ltd.’s CSR initiatives. It aims to promote the self-reliance of women in rural areas by providing them with the opportunity to come forward and participate in community development activities. This platform promotes interaction, understanding and the development of employment opportunities for women in rural areas, as well as other associated issues they are facing.

Initially, this project aims to help women get involved in small-scale sustainable businesses such as making and selling masks. In the future, more options to be explored will be based on interest and available markets. Women from the different groups have taken up training in Diwali diya (lamps) making, stitching, tailoring, making and selling bakery products, menstrual hygiene, and making home-based women’s sanitary products. In the future, these groups hope to work independently as autonomous enterprises, and will work to further such income generating activities.

Partnership with Explore Careers (Australia and New Zealand)

For Bridgestone Australia and New Zealand (BSANZ), attracting the right people to join its business is vital. Through Explore Careers, BSANZ now has the opportunity to connect with millions of high school students across Australia and New Zealand at a key stage in their career planning journeys. Explore Careers is the region’s leading careers and employment program, and is supported by the Australian Government and the New Zealand Government. It offers students, career advisors and parents ongoing and regular communication about career pathways and partnering employers.

BSANZ’s partnership with Explore Careers adds to other important Bridgestone programs that support youth employment and the development of a sustainable, skilled workforce. These programs include its Youth Jobs PaTH program, Bridgestone’s Mechanical Apprenticeship program and tire fitter traineeship. All of these programs not only help the youth in Bridgestone’s community upskill and increase their career opportunities, but also help address its business needs as BSANZ builds up a talent pool that addresses shortages in skilled labor.

Digital marketing training in rural communities (BSCAP) (Indonesia)

The BSIN CSR team collaborated with the Raya School in Bekasi, Indonesia, which specializes in marketing and IT services, to give digital marketing training to five women from the collective that makes Kebaya, a traditional Indonesian costume, and three young male farmers. The two-day session focused on teaching online sales skills for their mangrove products which include syrup, dodol (sticky snack), sticks, crackers, chips, and other local snacks. The skills focus included digital and content marketing, advertising creation and strategy, and seller optimization. The training aimed to expand the market opportunities for the participants—and grow their income—as online sales to that point had been limited to social media such as Facebook and Instagram. Facilitators from the Raya School were joined by BSIN employees, who volunteered their time to support the program.

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