I am proud to present the Fourth Sustainability Report 2018 for Bridgestone Latin America North (BS-LAN), an action that demonstrates the company’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
In 1930, our founder, Shōjirō Ishibashi, undertook to make Bridgestone a company that can Serve Society with Superior Quality. Since then, we have understood that a sustainable company is one that is committed to creating value that is shared with its stakeholders and with society.
BS-LAN is a region consisting of different realities, where each market has its own peculiarities that together account for a vast array of opportunities. In terms of business, Mexico is our largest market, followed by Costa Rica—which covers all of Central America and the Caribbean—, and finally Colombia, which is experiencing strong development along with Ecuador.
2018 posed many challenges. In the economic realm, the change of government in Mexico and NAFTA negotiations were important developments, and we analyzed their potential impacts to our industry.
Socially and environmentally, we have come to face one of history’s greatest challenges: climate change, a phenomenon that is seriously affecting people's health and safety and causing loss of biodiversity on the planet. In light of this scenario, it is absolutely necessary that all the world's companies actively engage in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. BS-LAN is actively working toward the global corporate target to reduce CO2 emissions by 50% by 2050.
In response to these challenges, in order to continue on the path of building a sustainable company, Bridgestone has a global commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, Our Way to Serve, which across three Priority Areas (Mobility, People, and the Environment) and through six Management Fundamentals, provides guidance on how to improve our economic, social, and environmental performance, to positively impact our stakeholders.
As for Mobility, we have committed to making mobility simpler, safer, more accessible, and more integrated. As such, in 2018 we continued to promote a culture of road safety in this region through our Think Before You Drive program, which reached 16,403 people (including motorists, university students, and children). We also continued to develop new technologies such as Run-Flat, a tire that allows drivers to continue driving safely in case of a flat.
Regarding People, we seek to contribute to solving health, safety, and education problems in our communities. To this end, we have strengthened our corporate volunteering program, which in 2018 called upon 856 volunteers, providing 3,203 hours of charitable work. In addition to other projects, this year, volunteers worked together with Habitat for Humanity to rebuild the homes of 16 families from Tlaquiltenango, Morelos, one of the areas most affected by the 2017 Mexico earthquake.
Finally, as for the Environment, this region works constantly toward achieving a sustainable society. Llantatón is one of our main community programs, and its goal is to promote recycling and reuse of end-of-life tires, thereby eliminating sites for outbreak of infection. 101 tonnes of end-of-life tires were collected in Costa Rica as well as 47 tonnes in Mexico. Waste management has also been a key part of our company's environmental strategy. At our Mexican plants we achieved a beneficial reuse rate of 96% in Cuernavaca and 99% in León, while at the Heredia plant in Costa Rica we achieved a rate of 97%.
One achievement that fills us with pride in our region is the recognition we received for our responsible internal management when we were awarded Great Place to Work certification in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Colombia, standing out as an employer that offers a positive organizational culture, respect for diversity, and benefits for its employees.
As the leader of BS-LAN, I am aware that we must act in congruence with the international agenda through local actions that drive harmonious growth and greater opportunity. For this reason, we incorporate the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an active part of our management, by defining goals and objectives to create a positive impact, as reflected in this report.
The changing reality we face each day requires that we acknowledge that the results obtained would not have been possible without the commitment, experience, and desire for self-improvement of all the people who are part of BS-LAN today. I would like to thank all our employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders for their trust and for helping to ensure that Bridgestone fulfills its mission to Serve Society with Superior Quality.