The Bridgestone Group has clear long-term aspirations through its Environmental Mission Statement, which focus on three important objectives: ecological conservation, resource conservation and reducing carbon emissions. In accordance with this mission, the Group takes part in a wide variety of projects and initiatives that target the realization of a sustainable society on a global scale.
In conjunction with World Environment Day (June 5, 2012), Bridgestone Corporation is highlighting some of the many initiatives in which the Group is taking part in to work towards that goal. Many of these projects and programs are being done in cooperation with universities and research institutions across the globe.
Examples of Initiatives
Activity: Environmental restoration project (W-BRIDGE*)
Bridgestone Corporation is conducting a collaborative environmental project with Waseda University. In order to solve global environmental issues effectively and practically, universities, companies, and communities must work together. The following is an example of one of these projects:
In recent years, Lake Kamo on Sado Island has had a serious environmental problem related to water quality. Pollution and other factors were having a significant negative impact on the waterside environment. In order to address these issues, the Lake Kamo Water Ecosystem Restoration Lab has been working on a W-BRIDGE project geared toward restoring the environment to its former, clean condition. Anyone can join the project, and it has helped raise awareness of the importance of protecting the lakeside environment among members of the community.
The project has provided a forum for researchers and community members to discuss issues important to the preservation of Lake Kamo, such as ecosystem surveys, reed bed restoration and garbage clean-ups. As a result, the lakeside area in which these activities are being conducted has shown a great deal of improvement and is thus expected to be used as a model for larger restoration projects at the lake.
*Foundation established in Waseda University having the Bridgestone Group’s support
Country: the United States
Activity: Educating future developers of sustainable automotive technologies
Bridgestone Americas, INC. (BSAM), has been a supporter of the non-profit organization MINDDRIVE since 2010. MINDDRIVE is an after-school program for at-risk teens in urban areas. The program targets students who have struggled in a traditional classroom setting and inspires them to want to learn by expanding their vision for the future. The program focuses specifically on developing green technologies and the students have built three electric vehicles from the ground up since 2010.
BSAM has provided both technical support from engineers at its Akron Technical Center who help mentor the students on critical questions related to the tire-vehicle relationship; and financial and materials support, ensuring each vehicle is equipped with the best product for high fuel efficiency-performance – ECOPIA tires. BSAM has also supported ongoing testing for the project vehicles at its Texas Proving Grounds. Through its participation, BSAM hopes to inspire the next generation of automotive engineers, and instill in them an understanding of and appreciation for the importance of developing sustainable technologies for our vehicles.
Activity: Youth-oriented environmental education program
Thai Bridgestone CO., LTD., in partnership with the local government and WWF Thailand, is conducting an environmental education program for young people in Thailand. It has been developed to help spread knowledge about the importance of preserving our environment and protecting biodiversity. The program, started in 2009, was crafted with the vision that instilling this essential knowledge and understanding of how our environment is preserved in tomorrow’s leaders will help shape a more sustainable society both now and in the future – the Group’s Environmental Mission.
On May 25, 2012, a total of 384 students from 27 schools across 6 provinces in central Thailand were awarded for their outstanding performance in this program for the past year. Participating students had conducted their research based on their chosen field of study from four themes, namely, “Natural habitats”, “Biodiversity”, “Preservation of species”, or “Climate change”.
Country: South Africa
Activity: Roadkill Research & Mitigation project
Bridgestone South Africa (PTY) LTD. (BSAF), working in partnership with the Endangered Wildlife Trust, a non-profit that contributes to South Africa's wildlife conservation management, is researching the impact of highways and automobile traffic on native wildlife. In order to better understand the potential threat of roads on the local animal population, they are assessing the frequency and amount of carrion, commonly known as “roadkill,” found on area roadsides. As part of the program, BSAF participates in a number of accident prevention activities, including analyzing accidents that have occurred and evaluating the possibility of reoccurrence. Using this data, programs can be developed to help protect both wildlife and motorists. The results of such investigations are reported periodically by Wendy Collinson, a researcher at Rhodes University, and her colleagues, creating awareness for and helping further protect area wildlife.