Feb 18, 2016 TOKYO

Bridgestone Group Strengthens Resolve to Contribute to Sustainable Natural Rubber Economy

Building on its Existing CSR Procurement Guidelines, Bridgestone to Sign SNR-i Pilot Declaration

Bridgestone Corporation (“Bridgestone”) today announced that Bridgestone Singapore PTE LTD. (the Singapore subsidiary of Bridgestone) on behalf of the global Bridgestone Group self-registered to support and abide by worldwide guidelines for responsible procurement of natural rubber. By signing its declaration, Bridgestone Group also commits to maintaining active involvement in the pilot phase of the Sustainable Natural Rubber initiative (SNR-i) – thereby advancing important criteria used to define a sustainable value chain.

Established by the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG), an inter-governmental organization composed of global rubber producing and consuming stakeholders, including Bridgestone, the SNR-i program is aimed creating criteria that balance economic, environmental and societal aspects to secure a global sustainable natural rubber economy benefiting all industry constituents. Namely, the SNR-i is poised to:

  • Support the improvement of natural rubber plantation productivity.
  • Enhance natural rubber quality.
  • Support forest sustainability through the protection/conservation of protected areas.
  • Demonstrate appropriate water management
  • Demonstrate the highest respect for human and labor rights.

Industry experts project tire demand to expand along with global population growth and subsequent motorization. Accordingly, natural rubber consumption also is expected to increase, globally making the realization of a sustainable natural rubber supply chain a business imperative.

Bridgestone is the world’s largest tire and rubber company, and recognizes the massive social impact brought about by its business. Bridgestone has adopted many best practices and accepted industry standards. The company works to manage the environment responsibly – including actively protecting natural forests. And the company respects all human rights and is committed to empowering the communities in which it operates. Bridgestone expects the same principles to guide the actions of its partners and suppliers within the natural rubber industry.

The company’s fundamental stance on procurement is publically available online, but the main elements address the need for open and fair procurement; improved quality, cost, and delivery, the advancement of eco-friendly procurement; lawful and ethical compliance and security protection; and application of the guidelines throughout the entire supply chain. Accordingly, global main suppliers and downstream partners to Bridgestone are regularly assessed according to an auditable self assessment. As the natural rubber supply chain is very large, complex and often fragmented, active participation in SNR-i, allows Bridgestone to reach a broader number of stakeholders and like-minded organizations in pursuit of its long-term vision of 100% sustainable materials.