Michelin Leads the Way Towards 2020

Michelin has a long history of attention to and support of the environment.  On the product side, Michelin invented the radial tire in 1946, which led a revolution in the tire industry, resulting in longer-lasting and safer products.  In 1992, Michelin introduced the "green tire," which reduces rolling resistance — and thus increases miles per gallon —while improving safety and longevity.  By 2020, Michelin intends for its tires to reduce fuel consumption by 3 billion liters and to prevent 8 million tons of carbon emissions.

Some of these benefits have been on display at Yellowstone National Park. Michelin has provided more than 1,400 tires to the park vehicle fleet to help Yellowstone achieve its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30 percent by the end of 2016.  Since 2009, the park's fleet managers have reported fuel savings on the first seven vehicles of as much as 20 percent compared to previous tires.  "This translates into emissions savings of more than four tons of CO2 each year per truck,” said Paul Crehan, director of product marketing, Michelin Americas Truck Tires. “In addition, the Michelin tires are lasting twice as long as the previous tires, further reducing the environmental impact."

Environmental goals are prominent in Michelin’s Six Ambitions to 2020, key among the priorities of CEO Jean-Dominique Senard. They include: Setting the industry standard for responsible manufacturing by: (1) Reducing the environmental impact of the company’s sites as measured by the Michelin Environmental Footprint, notably by improving manufacturing energy efficiency by 25 percent; (2) Promoting responsible logistics and reducing supply-chain CO2 emissions by 10 percent; and (3) Evaluating Michelin Group's top 400 suppliers' sustainable development performance, encouraging them to improve, and giving them the support necessary for 70 percent of them to attain the "confirmed" level of the Michelin standard.

In 2001, Edouard Michelin, the great-grandson of the company’s founder and eventually its CEO, said, “Michelin must promote what is now clearly inseparable: mobility and respect for the environment.” This is why the Group’s policy of innovation focuses on the impact of environmental performance and mobility. The next year, to show its commitment to reducing its environmental footprint, Michelin adopted a charter spelling out the Group’s plans in the area of sustainable development.

In 2005, Michelin created the Michelin Environmental Footprint, a standard for managing the performance of the Group’s industrial sites. The MEF measures a number of results, including reductions in scrap volume, water and energy consumption, and emissions of carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds. Since 2005, Michelin has reduced its environmental footprint by 35 percent.

Michelin’s extensive efforts to encourage improvement among its suppliers are not the only way it extends its environmental influence.  In 1998, Michelin organized the Challenge Bibendum, a periodic international event bringing together vehicle manufacturers, transportation experts, government authorities, journalists, NGOs, and decision-makers to brainstorm on the major issues of sustainable mobility and to demonstrate solutions. 

Michelin is taking other actions to improve sustainability. In 2014, the company forged a partnership with a specialized NGO to audit the entire natural rubber supply chain worldwide to help natural rubber suppliers improve their performance in terms of sustainable development.  In addition, in 2015 the company created a four-year partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to protect, preserve, and restore the flora and fauna around rubber concession areas in Sumatra and Borneo.

To learn more about Michelin’s environmental leadership, see: http://www.michelinman.com/US/en/why-michelin/sustainability.html