The goal is clear: Bringing aid and resources to improve the lives of people in remote locations, and usually indigenous, communities in Argentina. Bridgestone Social Caravan is way more than just a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. This initiative keeps our founders´ motto alive, who was convinced that "a simple profit-seeking business will never thrive, but a business that contributes to its society and country will be forever profitable." – Shojiro Ishibashi.
The roads to these communities are very rough, leaving these regions without adequate access to basic supplies and resources, including food, medicine, clothing, school supplies, cleaning supplies, kitchen utensils and furniture. As part of the program, employees coordinate the collection of supplies for care packages that are then delivered to these remote communities by volunteers, members of our service centers network in Argentina, customers and suppliers, in a week-long journey. Furthermore, volunteers are also in charge of making improvements, such as the installation of solar panels, a pump for drinking water and an ecological water heater for schools.
During this journey, with our Bridgestone tires ready to beat every road, volunteers had the opportunity to meet teachers like Pablo Claros. Pablo is a teacher in the school #4161, from the department El Bobadal in Chaco, who does much more than teaching. "In raining season, it is very difficult for students to come to the school. They live in huts in the middle of the jungle, with no roads, and sometimes they need to walk up to 4 kilometers with no adequate shoes, or no shoes at all," explains Pablo.
Social Caravan is an example of Our Way to Serve, our commitment to improve the way people move, live work and play, through volunteerism and sustainable projects. In the first phase of this initiative, Bridgestone employees visited the communities to gather information about their needs, the schools, teachers and locals. Next, the internal and external campaign began to collect donations and goods and organize the activities for volunteers to carry out. The final step is sharing the experience with employees and other stakeholders, including suppliers, neighboring companies and local government officials.
"Every volunteer that goes through this experience comes back transformed and says it is more what they get as the experience itself than any good they may have left there. Social Caravan is about our company's commitment to society, but it is also about team building, understanding other realities and how we can contribute to improve other people lives. Bridgestone continues strengthening its image and reputation in the region through its efforts to impact in communities." explains Daniela Teixeira, Bridgestone Latin America South (BS LAS) Corporate Affairs Manager.
Since 2010, the program has received six CSR awards including, the 2012 Premio RSC (Corporate Social Responsibility) Awards, 2014 Mercurio Awards (Argentina Marketing Association), 2016 RSC Awards, 2017 Conciencia Awards (Sustainable Values), 2018 Bridgestone Americas Awards and 2018 Bridgestone Group Awards.
IMPACT BY THE NUMBERS
- 108 tons of donations since 2010 reaching 60 schools across 9 provinces
- Impacting 8,500+ children, teachers and families
- 350+ volunteers traveling more than 20,500 miles across remote areas of Argentina.
- 18 corporate sponsors among clients, suppliers, and neighboring companies such as Toyota, Colgate-Palmolive, Saint Gobain and Aramark.