Tyre and rubber company Bridgestone Corporation has signed up to follow guidelines on procurement of rubber.
The company, via its Singapore subsidiary, registered to support and abide by worldwide guidelines for responsible procurement of natural rubber under the Sustainable Natural Rubber initiative (SNR-i).
By signing the declaration, Bridgestone Group commits to maintaining involvement in the pilot phase of the SNR-i, a move it said would advance important criteria used to define a sustainable value chain.
The SNR-i program was set up by the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG), an inter-governmental organisation composed of global rubber producing and consuming stakeholders, including Bridgestone. It aims to help balance economic, environmental and societal concerns to secure a global and sustainable natural rubber economy benefiting all stakeholders.
Specific aims include supporting the improvement of natural rubber plantation productivity, enhancing natural rubber quality and supporting conservation of protected areas. Supporting appropriate water management, human rights and labour rights are also a priority.
Tyre demand is set to expand as motoring increases with global population growth, the company claimed, making the creation of a sustainable natural rubber supply chain a “business imperative”.
The company stated the main elements of its stance on procurement were the need for open and fair buying process, improved quality, cost and delivery and the advancement of eco-friendly purchasing.
Bridgestone said that its global main suppliers and downstream partners were regularly assessed according to an auditable self-assessment. The SNR-i allows Bridgestone to reach a broader number of stakeholders and like-minded organisations in what is a very large, complex and often fragmented supply chain.
The company, headquartered in Tokyo, also manufactures industrial rubber, chemical products and sporting goods.