Tokyo – Bridgestone Corp. has unveiled a new Global Sustainable Procurement Policy applicable to all of the tire maker's purchased materials and services, as well as to all suppliers globally.
The company officially announced the new policy from its Tokyo headquarters 5 Feb.
According to Bridgestone, the Global Sustainable Procurement Policy has three main goals:
To help identify and evaluate qualified suppliers;
To promote best practices; and
To serve as a communication and improvement tool for the tire industry.
As the world's largest tire maker, Bridgestone has a responsibility to lead the industry's sustainability efforts, according to Jim DeMouy, Bridgestone Americas vice president, environment, health, safety and sustainability.
"Our goal is to create long-term environmental, social and economic benefits for everybody," DeMouy said in a telephone interview from his office in Nashville, Tenn. "It's a real step forward for the industry and for us."
According to Bridgestone, the Global Sustainable Procurement Policy is guided by "Our Way to Serve," the comprehensive social responsibility program the company announced in March 2017.
The new procurement policy aligns with Bridgestone's goal of using 100-percent sustainable materials by 2050 and beyond, the company said.
It combines previous company guidelines into a single document that sets minimum requirements to conduct business with Bridgestone, as well as preferred practices that can contribute to faster realization of sustainable supply chains, it said.
"The policy describes Bridgestone's expectations with respect to critical issues within the complex global natural rubber supply chain," the company said in a Feb. 6 press release.
The policy document has four main areas of focus, according to Bridgestone:
Transparency, including traceability and good governance;
Compliance, which means strict adherence to laws and regulations wherever Bridgestone conducts business;
Quality, Cost and Delivery (QCD) and Innovation, to ensure high-quality materials and services are delivered on time and at reasonable costs while also pursuing innovative technologies that support improvements across global communities; and
Sustainable Procurement Practices, which incorporate environmentally responsible procurement such as compliance with environmental laws and regulations, respect for human rights, water use, land use and conservation, health, safety, disease prevention and resilience.
The new policy changes the way Bridgestone interacts with its suppliers, as well as with customers, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders, according to DeMouy.
"It is designed to keep sustainable procurement evolving in all areas," he said.
In pursuing innovative technologies, Bridgestone is looking at all the materials it procures and how the company uses them, according to DeMouy.
The company is researching every aspect of natural rubber, including the cultivation of trees, rubber yield, cloning and disease prevention.
It also continues to work on alternative sources of natural rubber, such as guayule and dandelions, as well as the optimization of synthetic rubber, he said.
The policy document is available in 12 languages, and will be implemented, governed and enforced regionally, according to Bridgestone.
Over the next 18 months, Bridgestone will work with its suppliers and partners to ensure they have read and understood the policy.
When they have acknowledged the policy, Bridgestone will give its suppliers a self-assessment questionnaire.
Bridgestone is developing an additional supplier assessment for the traceability of natural rubber, and will work to partner with the industry and other experts to support ongoing monitoring of supplier compliance, the company said.
More about Bridgestone's Global Sustainable Procurement Policy is available at Bridgestone.com.