Firestone Liberia Achieves Certification as First ISCC PLUS Certified Natural Rubber Farm

Firestone Liberia farm close-up with workers in field with plants

(Credit: Bridgestone Americas)

by | Mar 13, 2024

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In a significant step forward in sustainable rubber production, Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) has announced that their Firestone Liberia facility has become the first natural rubber growing and processing operation globally to receive the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS honor. This achievement underscores the facility’s commitment to reducing environmental impacts, enhancing resource efficiency, and strengthening its resilience against climate change.

Bridgestone has set ambitious sustainability targets, aiming for carbon neutrality and the use of 100% sustainable materials in tire production by 2050. The certification of the Firestone Liberia facility marks a critical step in this journey, highlighting Bridgestone’s dedication to sustainable manufacturing practices and its efforts towards achieving these sustainability goals.

A Milestone in Sustainable Rubber Farming

The ISCC PLUS certification acknowledges the operation’s dedication to implementing good agricultural practices, maintaining proper working conditions, complying with local regulations, and promoting effective management practices. Rick Burnett, Vice President of the Internal Manufacturing Division at Bridgestone Americas, emphasized the certification’s role in Bridgestone’s transition to a sustainable solutions company, accelerating the use of sustainable materials in their products.

The Largest Natural Rubber Operation

Spanning approximately 118,000 acres, Firestone Liberia is the biggest natural rubber operation in the world and plays a vital role in the Liberian community as the largest private employer. The facility’s commitment extends beyond rubber production, providing free medical care and education for over 7,000 students across 23 schools.

Processed rubber from the Firestone Liberia facility is integral to Bridgestone’s tire manufacturing, including the production of the Bridgestone Turanza EV touring tire, which incorporates 50% ISCC PLUS-certified recycled and renewable materials.

Expanding Sustainable Rubber Sourcing

Bridgestone continues to invest in research and development to diversify the global supply of natural rubber, including the commercialization of guayule natural rubber for tire production. The ISCC PLUS certification of the Firestone Liberia facility makes it the 16th Bridgestone organization to earn this recognition since 2022 and aligns with Bridgestone’s “Ecology” values within the Bridgestone E8 Commitment, furthering their aggressive sustainability commitments.

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