Bridgestone Invites More Partners to Implement Sustainable, Responsible Practices

(Credit: Bridgestone)

by | Oct 16, 2020

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(Credit: Bridgestone)

Bridgestone has launched a campaign that invites its partners to work together to implement sustainable and responsible practices within the natural rubber value chain, the tire company says. The campaign, A Layered Journey, demonstrates how the company is focusing on the sustainable procurement of natural rubber and invites partners to help implement sustainable solutions that have a positive impact on people and nature.

The business of natural rubber is reliant on the health and well-being of the natural environment, as well as the people who live in it, Bridgestone points out. In order to ensure a continued supply of the resource, it must be produced in more sustainable ways. Nearly all of the world’s rubber is derived from a particular type of rubber tree found primarily in the rain forests of South America and Southeast Asia. To offset its footprint in these regions, Bridgestone provides rubber trees to smallholders in key producing countries, along with technical training and productivity-improvement techniques developed for its own rubber farms.

Since Bridgestone launched is Global Sustainable Procurement Policy in 2018, it has been working to hold suppliers accountable for addressing human rights and deforestation-related concerns. In addition to providing capacity building training for farmers within the rubber value chain, it also focuses on “supply chain traceability, deforestation, biodiversity conservation, water management, waste reduction/management, energy use, and pollution,” TJ Higgins, Bridgestone Corporation’s Global Chief Business Strategic Officer told Environment + Energy Leader.

In 2019, Bridgestone said that 98% of the company’s tier 1 tire material suppliers had acknowledged its procurement policy, and that the majority were in the process of completing third-party assessments.

One step in the company’s sustainable sourcing journey has been to help develop and launch the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR), which brings together multiple stakeholders across the value chain, as well as hosting operations improvement workshops for smallholder farmers throughout Asia.

“Additionally, Bridgestone has partnered with leading sustainability ratings provider EcoVadis to identify suppliers that uphold best practices in environmental, social and ethical performance across our supply chain,” Higgins says, adding, “Bridgestone is always open to developing new partnerships to advance social, environmental and customer value within our own sustainability journey and the broader natural rubber industry. Those interested in partnering with Bridgestone’s A Layered Journey campaign should reach out via the contact link on the campaign website.

The campaign micro site travels from the forest where rubber trees are tapped for latex through production where recycled materials are incorporated into new tires, toward innovation that can extend product lifecycles and uncover circular uses for materials.

Natural rubber is a renewable resource that provides livelihood opportunities for millions of people around the world, Bridgestone says.

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