Bridgestone: 98% of tier 1 suppliers acknowledge procurement policy
The aim at Bridgestone Group is to use “100 per cent sustainable materials” by 2050 and beyond, and last year the tyre and rubber company introduced a new procurement policy to steer it towards this end. Under a partnership it began with CSR evaluation specialist EcoVadis in 2018, Bridgestone is now assessing its suppliers’ current sustainability practices and looking at what support may be needed to improve performance.
Together with EcoVadis, Bridgestone is monitoring and rating the environmental, social and ethical performance of its suppliers to help identify and evaluate qualified suppliers, promote best practices, and serve as a communication and improvement tool for the industry as a whole.
“We stand behind our commitment to sustainable procurement practices and have reinforced our efforts over the past year to understand how our suppliers are performing against our expectations for ethical, environmental, social and quality standards,” said Christine Karbowiak, chief administrative officer, chief risk officer, and executive vice-president, Bridgestone Americas, Inc. and executive vice-president and executive officer, Bridgestone Corporation. “Real improvements in sustainability come when we work with collaborative partners across the supply chain. In addition to our work with EcoVadis, another great example is our participation as a founding member of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) – an independent platform that will lead improvements in the socio-economic and environmental performance of the natural rubber value chain.”
Bridgestone states it has been engaged in “intensive new efforts” in all regions of the world since the release of its new Global Sustainable Procurement Policy in February 2018. As of March this year, acknowledgement of the policy has been completed by 98 per cent (~1,600) of the company’s tier 1 tyre material suppliers, and the majority are in the process of completing third-party assessments with EcoVadis. In addition, the company has trained hundreds of procurement, legal, technical and customer-facing teammates, among others across the enterprise.
“Bridgestone is a great example of an organisation that is leading in sustainability by increasing their focus on responsible procurement practices,” said Pierre-Francois Thaler, co-chief executive officer of EcoVadis. “Proactive collaboration with suppliers is the best way to improve performance across all corporate social responsibility indicators and drive positive change in the communities from which they source. This partnership will help Bridgestone build on their existing efforts and make a real, lasting impact.”
Bridgestone states that its Global Sustainable Procurement Policy reflects the company’s “commitment to creating a thriving and sustainable supply chain, including natural rubber.” Guided by the Bridgestone Group’s global commitment to corporate social responsibility, the 2017-unveiled ‘Our Way to Serve’ commitment, the policy sets expectations for business partners and suppliers to operate with Respect of Human Rights, Environmental Standards and Product Quality while including additional requirements for Land Conservation and Rights, Point of Origin Traceability and Resilience.
In 2019, Bridgestone intends to focus upon reviewing assessment findings, addressing immediate concerns and developing the go-forward strategy toward industry best practices for supply chain sustainability and transparency.