At Bridgestone, we endorse our commitment to sustainability by publishing the first consolidated report for Bridgestone Latin America North, BS-LAN, which includes the indicators and results achieved in Mexico, Costa Rica and Colombia. Following a regional comparative analysis, this report has been consolidated under the same structure and methodology to set out the main achievements and challenges in the economic, social, environmental and ethical spheres inherent to the business.
At Bridgestone, 2015 has been defined with two words: consolidation and collaboration, due to the adoption of a new internal structure that groups the operations of Mexico, Costa Rica, Central America, the Caribbean, Colombia and Ecuador into a single business unit under the name of Bridgestone Latin America North, BS-LAN.
This regional organizational structure seeks to increase the alignment with the strategic business objectives. It is flexible and expandable, maximizes strengths, allows the identification and use of market opportunities, promotes talent development and career plans, as well as eliminating operating redundancies, thus improving communication with customers and making more efficient use of resources.
The front office and back office areas were identified during the development process of the new business unit. The first area includes the departments that maintain close and daily contact with customers and end-users, whereas the back office encompasses the departments that provide support to the entire structure in terms of finances, human resources, information technology, legal, communications and social responsibility, among others.
This new structure was launched in October 2015, although the achievements in the configuration of synergies and the collaboration generated could be seen throughout the year in all aspects, this report being a perfect example. In terms of governance and business ethics activities, we can emphasize the alignment with the principles that govern the Company's conduct. This is why 100% of the employees in the region were included on the Bridgestone Americas Compliance Center (BACC) training system. This system regulates issues such as conflicts of interest, competition laws, patents and information security, to mention a few. The entire region is also governed under the same Code of Conduct, in which employees receive constant training and is backed by an Ethics Committee and the reporting system that guarantee due compliance.
The way in which this new structure allows for greater export and business possibilities can be emphasized, particularly for the Cuernavaca Plant, which also benefits from Mexico's different Free Trade Agreements and the growth of the country's automotive industry. Also in 2015, the run-flat tire was added to the production line. This product is manufactured using state-of-the-art technology and the highest quality materials.
Regional sales amounted to US$801,831 million, 71% of which were in Mexico, 23% in Costa Rica and 6% in Colombia. Daily tire production is 31,940, of which 20,540 are manufactured at the Cuernavaca Plant in Mexico and 11,400 at the Belen Plant in Costa Rica. Our tires are distributed through 814 points of sale: 598 in Mexico, 161 in Costa Rica and the Caribbean, and 55 between Colombia and Ecuador.
Considering that the economic forecast for 2016 does not predict an easy year due to the fall in gasoline prices and cuts in public spending, at Bridgestone, we will remain cautious in terms of expenditure in order to continue to be the number-one in the production of original equipment and replacement tires.
Among social impact figures to be reported for the region, there is the consolidation of a total of 139,259 hours of training for 2,369 employees. 60% of training time (84,262 hours) was given in Mexico, which has 60% of the regions' labor force; followed by Costa Rica with 39% of the work force and thus, the same percentage of total training time, and lastly Colombia, with its total of 30 employees, who received 237 hours of training.
In each country of the region, recognition can be seen as it demonstrates how the talent of our people is generated and valued, as well as the promotion of social impact initiatives for the benefit of the community.
The Mexican affiliate gained the "Socially Responsible Company" Distinction for the tenth year, granted by the Mexican Philanthropy Center (CEMEFI). Bandag de México was also awarded the distinction for the third year running, while Costa Rica maintained its Social Responsibility Management System certification under the Costa Rican Technical Standards Institute's (INTECO) INTE: 350101 standard, as well as being a company focused towards “Carbon Neutrality”. The operations in Colombia also received the "Social Responsibility" Distinction from Fenalco Solidario and the "Carbon Neutral" seal from Accion Verde. Moreover, Bridgestone remained in the list of companies as a “Great Place to Work” in Mexico and Costa Rica.
As a responsible corporate citizen, Bridgestone promotes environmental care, road safety and mobility through a structured volunteering program, which in 2015, brought together 1,448 employees from the whole region to make a total of 9,420 hours volunteered. 44% of these hours were completed in Mexico, 54% in Costa Rica and 2% in Colombia.
According to environmental measures, we can highlight that CO2e emissions in 2015 decreased compared to 2014, partly due to improvements such as using natural gas for boilers in Mexico and obtaining biomass energy from wooden pellets in Costa Rica.
We invite you to read our regional report and be part of the sustainable commitment in which, as corporate citizens, we have maintained in synergy with the economic, social and environment aspects in each of the countries where we operate.
Dr. Daniel Benvenuti
Bridgestone Latin America North, BS-LAN.