Human Rights, Labor Practices

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Advancing 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 employees, and fulfill our responsibility to respect diversity and human rights.

As part of its dedication to being a true global leader in all that it does, the Group is committed to respecting human rights and advancing responsible labor practices throughout its worldwide operations. This commitment is the right thing to do and consistent with the Group’s vision of providing social and customer value as a sustainable solutions company. It is also fundamental to fulfilling the “Bridgestone E8 Commitment” (one of the values of which is “Empowerment”), by contributing to a society that ensures accessibility and dignity for all. To achieve this aim, the Group is committed to working collaboratively with stakeholders, including affected and potentially affected groups, to address and remedy adverse impacts from its operations, products or services.

The Group continues to embed respect for human rights and the Global Human Rights Policy in its day-to-day operations. The policy articulates the Group’s stance on internationally recognized human rights principles, and outlines the behaviors that all of the Group’s internal and external stakeholders around the globe can expect from the Group and its business partners. The policy clearly states Bridgestone’s respect for diversity, equity and inclusion, prohibition of discrimination and harassment, focus on workplace health and safety, commitment to responsible labor practices, and protection of freedom of association and collective bargaining. The policy also guides the organization as it strives to uphold human rights principles through interactions with employees, consumers, customers, suppliers, contractors and community members wherever it conducts business. In further support of this policy, the Group is committed to respecting and supporting the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) as well as the human rights set out in the International Bill of Human Rights (IBHR) and the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. We also expect our business partners, including our suppliers, contractors, vendors and customers, to uphold the principles set out in this policy. These expectations are aligned with the Group’s Code of Conduct and Global Sustainable Procurement Policy.

The Global Human Rights Policy is endorsed by the Global Executive Committee (Global EXCO) and upheld by the Global CEO, as reflected by his signature on the policy upon its revision in 2022. It demonstrates the Group’s universal and consistent commitment to respecting the internationally recognized human rights principles laid out in the aforementioned international standards.

This mission is important to the Group as stakeholders and society increasingly hold businesses, and especially large global organizations, accountable for their specific human rights commitments and actions. The Group proactively incorporates human rights initiatives into its business models and across its value chains, priorities, management policies, and business strategies. With these actions, the Group is creating social and customer value and building trust with stakeholders.

Global Human Rights Policy

The Group’s Global Human Rights Policy

Group initiatives to address various human rights issues based on the Global Human Rights Policy.

The Bridgestone Group Global Human Rights Policy (77KB)

Management structure

The Group’s commitment to respecting human rights is upheld and led by the Global EXCO, the highest-level committee overseeing its business strategy and execution. This committee is chaired by the Global CEO. Under the direction of the Global EXCO, the Global Sustainability Committee (GSC) organizes the holistic Sustainability Framework, and designs and implements sustainability initiatives, including initiatives related to human rights and labor practices. The chair of the GSC directs the Group’s sustainability strategy and provides regular updates and proposals to the Global EXCO on significant sustainability initiatives.

As a part of the GSC, the Global Human Rights and Labor Practices Working Group (HRLP WG) is responsible for putting the Group’s commitment to upholding the above internationally recognized human rights principles into practice in each Strategic Business Unit (SBU) and regional office. The HRLP WG is composed of senior human resources leaders from each SBU, supported by dedicated human rights functional resources based at the Group’s Tokyo headquarters. The HRLP WG plans and manages human rights initiatives, such as the human rights due diligence process, implementing the Global Human Rights Policy, and assessing, preventing, mitigating and reporting human rights risks related to business conduct. The HRLP WG also collaborates with the Global Procurement Committee and Environment Working Group to holistically address human rights issues across the value chain. The HRLP WG reports on its progress and plans to the GSC at least quarterly to ensure senior management is consistently informed of all significant human rights developments and initiatives.

Goals and KPIs

2023 Performance and 2024 Goals and KPIs

To achieve its human rights and labor practices mission, the Group established the following goals and KPIs in 2022 and 2023:

  • To conduct Human Rights Risk Assessment Surveys (HRRAS) for 80% of the Group’s operational sites by the end of 2022, and, based on the outcome of the assessments, ensure mitigation plans are in place for 100% of any identified risks by the end of 2023.
  • To strengthen the human rights due diligence system and processes throughout its operations. The Group expects this commitment to be reflected in improvements in evaluations by several external indices.

The Group surpassed its 2022 goal by conducting HRRAS at 100% of its operational sites, and no material risks were identified in this process. The Group developed an Implementation Guideline for the Global Human Rights Policy to ensure concrete actions are taken to further strengthen its human rights management system and that the system is embedded in the day-to-day operations of its sites. This Guideline was distributed to 100% of the Group’s operational sites in 2023. The Group also assessed 107 Group companies to verify the implementation status of the Guideline in 2023. The Group aims to achieve full execution of the Guideline at 100% of Group companies by the end of 2024.

The Group’s progress in and improvements to its human rights due diligence processes were recognized in the form of significantly enhanced evaluations from external indices. The Group will continue its efforts to ensure it meets its commitment to respect human rights throughout its operations, and anticipates these efforts will in turn result in higher external evaluations in 2024 and beyond.

Human rights due diligence for our own operations

The Group has established and regularly implements a human rights due diligence process throughout its operations and supply chain. Regarding its operational sites, in partnership with third-party experts and in alignment with the UNGPs, the Group is significantly expanding and accelerating these efforts to ensure it is meeting and exceeding societal expectations, and continually strengthening its overall due diligence process. The process ensures engagement with internal and external stakeholders and that third-party experts are consulted through the following steps.

Human Rights Commitment

* Sites that could be exposed to higher human rights risks due to geographic, political, social, industrial and operational factors.

2021 human rights risk prioritization

In 2021, as a first step in the enhanced and expanded human rights due diligence cycle, the Group partnered with two third-party organizations, Verisk Maplecroft and Business for Social Responsibility™ (BSR), to evaluate global operational risk exposure and identify salient human rights risks throughout its global operations.

Based on the evaluations, the Group has identified its salient human rights issues: working hours, nondiscrimination and equal opportunity, workplace harassment, forced labor, child labor, and occupational health and safety. These are the human rights domains the Group believes, based on a combination of geographical, regulatory, industrial and operational factors, require the highest priority throughout its operations and are the primary focus of the human rights due diligence process at its own operational sites.

The evaluations carried out with Verisk Maplecroft and BSR are described in detail below.

Identification of human rights risk exposure through a holistic, risk-scoping project with third-party risk analytics provider Verisk Maplecroft

A desktop assessment of the human rights risk exposure across a subset of the Group’s owned operational sites was conducted by Verisk Maplecroft. The list of risk indices assessed included: child labor, decent wages, decent working time, discrimination in the workplace, freedom of association and collective bargaining, indigenous peoples’ rights, migrant workers, modern slavery, occupational health and safety, and right to privacy. Additionally, geographic, political, social, industrial and our operational factors were considered in identifying the operational sites that could be exposed to higher human rights risks. This assessment was carried out to prioritize the Group’s due diligence activities based on independently validated risk exposure at its locations around the world.

Evaluation of its human rights risks and management system through a risk assessment conducted by third-party BSR, a leading global organization on sustainability

Internal document reviews and interviews with internal stakeholders were conducted by BSR to evaluate the Group’s global human rights risk management system. The methodology of this assessment was aligned with the UNGPs and entailed:

  1. Desktop review of internal documents and external sources to clarify potential impacts of operations; human rights context in relevant geographies; relevant industry standards; and key rightsholders and stakeholders
  2. Interviews with relevant company staff across functions and a systematic review against the list of human rights risks based on international standards
  3. Assessment of severity and likelihood of impacts
  4. Overall assessment of the management system

2022 human rights risk assessments

Based on the 2021 evaluation results, the Group prioritized locations and developed data-driven plans for human rights risk assessments at its operational sites. In 2022, the Group conducted two types of human rights risk assessments in cooperation with BSR. The first type of assessment was a deep-dive online investigation into salient issues at priority locations based on the outcomes of the 2021 evaluation. Three in-depth assessments at representative sites across the Group’s geographic footprint were conducted to identify the existence of any actual and potential risks, examine the current risk management system, and clarify gaps between the current management system and international standards laid out in the UNGPs. The three representative sites were 1) a diversified products plant in Saitama, Japan, 2) a tire plant in Indore, India, and 3) a natural rubber farm in Harbel, Liberia. These assessments covered holistic human rights domains from diversified perspectives such as gender, religion and culture. In order to take into account the potential vulnerable populations among our rightsholders in the assessments, the interviews were conducted with a diverse representation of employees including but not limited to female employees, employees belonging to known religious minority groups, and migrant employees.

The second type of assessment was a Human Rights Risk Assessment Survey (HRRAS). This survey was utilized to enable the Group to very broadly assess potential risks and management processes throughout the Group’s operations for two highly impactful human rights risk domains: child labor and forced labor. The assessment covered 100% of the Group’s operations around the world. The HRRAS was composed of two different surveys: 1) a survey to identify human rights risk, and 2) a survey to evaluate the human rights risk management system against international human rights standards, with the specific focus on child labor and forced labor.

While the 2022 assessments did not identify any apparent human rights violations, opportunities for further improvement to enhance the robust risk management and its processes were identified. The Group also identified the need to support employees on the ground to raise their awareness for embedding the Group’s human rights commitment in their daily operations.

With the aim of reinforcing human rights management and its processes, the Group developed an Implementation Guideline for the Global Human Rights Policy. The Guideline helps to ensure its Global Human Rights Policy commitments, stance, and standards, including specific and actionable steps that the Group’s operations can implement in day-to-day activities to achieve its goals. Version 1.0 of the Guideline, which focuses on preventing child labor and forced labor, was developed and distributed covering 100% of Group operations in April 2023.

As a global initiative, the Group also conducted multiple types of training for different target employees including 1) human rights training sessions hosted by BSR for human resource management teams from all regional headquarters, 2) orientation for implementing Guideline Ver. 1.0 for human resource teams on the ground, and 3) Global Human Rights Policy training for general employees. These opportunities led to the development and reinforcement of company rules and regulations to prevent child labor and forced labor in compliance with Guideline Ver. 1.0, based on engagement with human resource and labor practice teams at Group operational sites.

2023 human rights risk assessments and 2024 outlook

In 2023, the Group conducted two types of human rights risk assessments throughout its own operations in cooperation with third-party experts.

>>Deep-dive human rights issue- and site-specific assessments
Based on the holistic risk analysis, including discussions among internal and third-party experts, previous assessment results, and human rights risk data provided by Verisk Maplecroft, the Group chose the following three locations for assessment in 2023: a natural rubber farm in Liberia, a tire plant in Indonesia, and the headquarters and its facilities in Japan.

Targets Assessment Items and Standards Type of Assessment Apparent and/or
Potential Risks
Firestone Liberia (FSLB)
Natural Rubber Farm
Holistic social aspect evaluation on human rights and labor practices covered by International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS audit On-site assessment by internal human rights experts •On-site and virtual audit by third-party auditors,*1 including document reviews, site inspections and interviews with employees and community members No apparent nor potential risks identified •FSLB earned ISCC PLUS recognition for efforts on the implementation of good agricultural practices, ensuring proper working conditions, complying with local regulations and fostering efficient resource management. •FSLB commits to continuous adherence to ISCC PLUS standards and further improvements.
[Press Release]
Bridgestone Indonesia
Tire Plant
Holistic human rights items, including the Group’s salient issues assessed against Indonesian laws and ILO standards On-site assessment by internal and third-party*2 human rights experts, including document reviews, site inspections, and group interviews with employees •No human rights violations identified•Some gaps against ILO standards related to harassment, discrimination/DE&I, and Grievance Mechanism, were identified. •arassment: Raising awareness and establishing standard operational procedures and a taskforce for preventing and addressing sexual harassment by July 2024.•Discrimination/DE&I: The following procedures have been implemented.
1) Monitoring and reflecting market practice regarding evaluation & compensation
2) Conduct regular pay gap analysis
3) Consider holidays for known religious minorities
•Grievance Mechanism:
1) Conduct training for employees that are responsible for responding to reports related to sexual harassment by July 2024
2) Communicating with contractors and vendors to ensure their access to a hotline available for all stakeholders by July 2024
Holistic human rights risks management of contractors and dispatched workers •Assessment by third-party human rights experts*2 •Document reviews and online interviews with Human Resource management of Bridgestone Corporation and Tochigi Plant •Document reviews of partner staffing agencies •Assessment by internal human rights experts •On-site visit and interviews with human resource management team at Tochigi Plant •Dialogue with partner staffing agencies •No human rights violations were identified •Some gaps against the guidelines of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry related to working conditions were identified. •Issue reminders regarding the corporate policy for working conditions of contractors to ensure wages are set with reasonable explanation and in compliance with national law at operations in Japan •Establish a system to announce job vacancies among dispatched workers in cooperation with partner staffing agencies
  1. Foxley and SCS
  2. BSR
BSIN Assessment (1)
BSIN Assessment (2)

>>Human Rights Risk Assessment Survey (HRRAS) targeting regional headquarters and subsidiaries around the world
In September 2023, throughout its own operations, the Group conducted its self-assessment questionnaire HRRAS, which was composed in cooperation with a third-party human rights expert based on ILO standards.

Assessment Targets Completion Rate Assessment Items and Standards Type of Assessment Identified Issues and Follow-up Actions
107 Group Companies (domestic & overseas subsidiaries) 100% Child labor and forced labor (Implementation status of the Guideline) Discrimination/DE&I and Harassment based on ILO standardsTotal: 71 questions Self-Assessment Questionnaire •Raising awareness and ensuring full execution of the actions and standards defined by the Guideline to prevent child labor and forced labor by September 2024 •Informing all employees regardless of the type of employment, including but not limited to indirectly hired employees, of the availability and how to use BridgeLine •Updating the Guideline to include standardized procedures with concrete measures to prevent and address discrimination and harassment by the end of 2024

Based on the 2023 assessment, the Group will continue to strengthen the Implementation Guideline for the Global Human Rights Policy and supporting its operations and employees on the ground to further enhance its human rights commitment and risk management in 2024.

Whistleblowing system

To help ensure compliance with the Global Human Rights Policy, BridgeLine, a whistleblowing web-based reporting system, and phone hotlines are available to all Group employees and all stakeholders (including contractors, suppliers, consumers and customers). The Group encourages any stakeholders who has a question about the Global Human Rights Policy or the Code of Conduct, or who want to report a human rights concern, to submit an inquiry.

The Group encourages speaking up and will ensure that anyone can do so safely and securely. The Group protects confidentiality and anonymity to the fullest extent possible for all who submit a report through the BridgeLine. The Group prohibits retaliation and has zero tolerance for acts of reprisal of any kind against anyone who makes a report.

To encourage speaking up, the Group’s whistleblowing reporting channel is explicitly mentioned in the sustainability clauses of supply orders and supplier contracts. It is also reiterated in various Group policies, on the Group website and is prominently displayed at all of our facilities.


Human rights training for all employees

The Group conducts regular education on its Global Human Rights Policy and Code of Conduct. In 2023, the Group conducted human rights education for 30,275 employees (92.1% of the target audiences). All managers are trained regularly on the Code of Conduct, including the topics of harassment and bullying.

The HRLP WG is collaborating with the Global Procurement Committee and the Global Sustainability Function to enhance Bridgestone’s human rights training programs as part of HRLP WG’s global due diligence and risk assessment process. Program content is designed to further build awareness of the specific contexts and causes of human rights impacts, to understand the relationship between business activities and human rights, and to forge a deeper understanding of the importance of human rights throughout the value chain.

Relevant Information