BRIDGESTONE EUROPE NV/SA - MODERN SLAVERY STATEMENT 2021
As a global organisation, the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (Act) applies to the following UK entities within the Bridgestone group of companies:
- Bridgestone Europe NV/SA, UK Branch.
- Bulldog Remoulds Limited.
- ETB Tyres Limited and Exhaust Tyres and Batteries (Worcester) Limited.
- Webfleet Solutions sales B.V., UK Branch.
- Bridgestone Aircraft UK Tyres.
2. Bridgestone’s Mission Statement & Global CSR commitment
The Bridgestone Corporation remains one of the largest manufacturers of tyres and rubber products worldwide and continues to be regarded as a mobility solutions provider with the continuing message of “solutions for your journey.”
Bridgestone’s mission statement of "Serving Society with Superior Quality,” is now furthered by our new global sustainability commitment, the “E8 Commitments
The E8 Commitments advance Bridgestone’s mission to ensure that we maintain a sustainable organisation though the following eight core values– Energy, Ecology, Efficiency, Extension, Economy, Emotion, Ease and Empowerment
Through this mission, we strive to be a company trusted by you, our customers and suppliers across the world. Within our commitments it includes our focus on anti-slavery and human trafficking as outlined below.
3. This statement
This statement is made pursuant to section 54 of the Act and relates to the financial year ending December 2021
It sets out the steps that we at Bridgestone Europe NV/SA, Belgium and the UK based subsidiaries listed below have taken and continue to take to ensure that modern slavery and human trafficking is mitigated within our organisation and supply chains.
4. Bridgestone Europe NV,SA business structure
Bridgestone Europe NV/SA is a subsidiary within the Bridgestone Corporation and is the parent company for all subsidiaries belonging to the Bridgestone Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (“BSEMIA”) strategic business unit. Its UK subsidiaries listed here are subject to the Act.
- Bridgestone UK Branch, is a sales branch entity of Bridgestone Europe NV/SA, engaged in the wholesale of tyres produced by Bridgestone to a range of customers for both consumer and commercial vehicles. The UK branch imports tyres from factories in the EU and elsewhere across the world as well as sources retread tyres from the UK based re- tread plants, for sales in the United Kingdom. The UK branch also provides mobility solutions, primarily to fleet customers.
- Bulldog Remoulds Limited is engaged in the business of producing retread tyres, a process which extends the life of tyres by applying new tread to worn tyres. The worn tyres are procured from a variety of sources and new tread materials are supplied by Bandag, the Bridgestone retread organisation, part of the Bridgestone Corporation
- ETB Tyres Limited and Exhaust Tyres and Batteries (Worcester) Limited are our prominent tyre dealer and service provider across the United Kingdom, servicing our retail customers and sourcing Bridgestone tyres from Bridgestone Europe NV/SA as well as sourcing competitor tyres from [xxx].
- Webfleet solutions sales B.V.,UK Branch, a telematics business providing mobility solutions including vehicle tracking services.
5. Other UK Bridgestone entities
As a diverse global organisation, the following UK Bridgestone entity forming part of the Bridgestone Corporation, but not a BSEU subsidiary is also subject to the Act. You can find a copy of their statement on their website and naturally it remains consistent with Bridgestone’s mission statements and compliance commitments.
- Bridgestone Aircraft Tire (UK) Limited a subsidiary within the Bridgestone Corporation selling factory new and re-tread aviation tyres to UK commercial airlines through a site near Heathrow airport, England.
6. Our approach to human trafficking and modern slavery
Bridgestone has a zero-tolerance approach to any form of modern slavery and is committed to acting ethically, with integrity and transparency in all business dealings. Our employees operate under a number of policies to ensure a high standard of social, governance and ethical compliance. These include:
- Group Global Human Rights Policy
Our Bridgestone Group Global Human Rights Policy updated in 2022, remains fundamental to fulfilling our E8 commitment, by contributing to a society that ensures accessibility and dignity for all; prohibits forced/compulsory labour in our organisation and in our supply chain. The Bridgestone Group Global Human Rights Policy can be accessed here: https://www.bridgestone.com/responsibilities/social/human_rights/index.html
- Code of Conduct
The Bridgestone Group Global Human Rights Policy is reflected in our Code of Conduct that explains the manner in which we behave as an organisation and how we expect our employees and suppliers to act.
The Code of Conduct forms part of our mandatory online-learning for new employees and we require all of our employees to undertake annual training on the Bridgestone Code of Conduct and confirm their commitment to it. The Bridgestone Code of Conduct can accessed here:
- Respect, dignity and diversity.
We promote respect, dignity and diversity. In our Code of Conduct we require that Bridgestone and its employees do not discriminate against other employees; differences in opportunities and/or treatment must be based only on elements relating to an employee’s ability, competence, and achievement. We do not allow any discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, birthplace, colour, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, political affiliation, union membership, marital status or any other characteristic that may be protected by law.
- Recruitment policy
We have a robust recruitment policy, including checks of all prospective employees on their eligibility to work in the UK, to safeguard against human trafficking or individuals being forced to work against their will.
7. Our suppliers
Bridgestone recognises that addressing human rights issues is crucial to sustainability.
Bridgestone issued in September 2021 a Global Sustainable Procurement Policy affirming our respect for international norms for human rights, which can be accessed here: https://www.bridgestone.com/responsibilities/procurement/pdf/Policy_English.pdf
Suppliers are required to meet at least certain minimum requirements defined in the policy in order to do business with Bridgestone. In addition, suppliers are required to meet certain Preferred practices.
We require suppliers to comply with all laws and regulations regarding human rights in their country and/or region of operation and to use their best efforts to have full knowledge of the source of the products and services they supply to enhance the traceability of products and services, and to identify potential human rights impacts.
Furthermore, we encourage suppliers to:
- Develop training and enhance their employees’ knowledge on human rights and other social issues;
- Work towards complying with international standards and best practices regarding human rights, working conditions, or other related issues;
- Support their upstream supply chain to learn about and comply with international standards and best practices regarding human rights, working conditions, or other related issues; and
- Verify that they and their upstream supply chain operate in compliance with international standards and best practices relative to human rights, working conditions, or other related issues.
8. Due diligence processes in relation to supplier management
Bridgestone has a very large and complex supply chain. BSEMIA has approximately 18,000 suppliers. While all those suppliers must comply with our Global Sustainable Procurement Policy, we carry out additional due diligence on those suppliers operating in areas of higher risk, such as suppliers of raw materials. Such suppliers are assessed annually and scored by Ecovadis, an independent third party specialised in monitoring sustainability in global supply chains.
The Ecovadis methodology framework assesses companies’ policies and actions as well as their published reporting related to the environment, labour and human rights, ethics and sustainable procurement. Their team of international sustainability experts analyse and crosscheck companies' data in order to create reliable ratings, taking into account each company's industry, size and geographic location.
To date 91% of our suppliers in scope have undertaken a sustainability assessment.
In addition to Ecovadis, BSEMIA also undertakes screening of third party suppliers through a cloud-based platform operated by a third party provider, GAN Integrity. The GAN platform uses RDC, a screening database that contains more than 500 sanctions and watch lists and +200, 000 media sources to screen suppliers for sanctions violations, criminal prosecutions, Bribery and corruption, and more.
As a corner stone to our Code of Conduct, we have adopted a Speak Up policy, encouraging our employees to report their concerns or misconduct they may have observed, including violations of law, Bridgestone’s code of conduct, policies and/or other company guidelines. Pursuant to this Policy, Bridgestone has established its BridgeLine web-based reporting systems and phone hotlines managed by third party specialists to allow reporters to confidentially and anonymously report such concerns and suspected misconduct or raise questions. BridgeLine is a 24/7 hotline available in all regions and in multiple languages. It can be accessed here: Integrity Platform (bridgestone-integrityline.org).
To date, we have received no reports of human trafficking or slavery through Bridgeline.
10. Continuous Improvement
Acting with the support of Bridgestone Europe NV/SA’s Supervisory Board, we will make improvements where needed as we evolve as a Mobility Solutions Provider and further our E8 Commitment.
We remain committed to tracking year on year the improvement areas identified within our statement of FY20 and listed again below.
- Improve our measurable key performance indicators to better monitor our compliance levels.
- A widened working committee that will see further collaboration amongst all of the UK entities within the Bridgestone Corporation that remain subject to the Act.
- Enhancing our due diligence and reporting levels such that the opportunity to identify risks is broadened.
- Improved focus by staff and suppliers throughout the year of the importance of whistleblowing and how to identify human trafficking and slavery.
- Further our cross functional collaboration between legal, procurement, CSR and HR to mitigate against slavery and human trafficking.
This statement is approved by the Supervisory Board of Bridgestone Europe NV/SA
DATE: 30th June, 2022