Committed environmental policy
Limiting the environmental impact of its products and manufacturing operations is a major goal for Michelin. The Group actively combats climate change and is committed to protecting biodiversity around its sites.
Points for improvement
Michelin has established global points for improvement in two areas: products and manufacturing operations. To bring them under the spotlight, the Group made them the environmental pillar of its Ambitions for 2020 in 2013, and reasserted them at the COP 21 in the form of two objectives:
- Product's energy performance: reduce CO2 emissions generated by tires by 20% between 2010 and 2030; reduce CO2 emissions generated by manufacturing operations by 50% between 2010 and 2050.
- Responsible manufacturing: become a standard-setter by promoting responsible logistics and reducing the Group's CO2 emissions by 10%.
Environmental impact of a tire
The bulk of a tire's environmental impact occurs during use and is the result of rolling resistance. Reducing rolling resistance is one of the main objectives of the Group's researchers, since around 20% of fuel consumption can be attributed to the tires, and as much as 30% in the case of trucks. In recent years, steady improvements have led to significant gains, without compromising tire performances.
To improve Group sites' environmental performance, we need to be able to measure it. This is why Michelin defined an environmental performance indicator in 2005.
Called the Michelin Environmental Footprint (MEF), it spans the six most important environmental factors for the Group's medium-term manufacturing operations. This compound indicator comprises:
- resource usage (water, energy and waste generation),
- atmospheric emissions (VOCs and CO2),
- waste sent to landfill.
Training and informing the Group's personnel and partners
When the Michelin Environmental Management System was rolled out, special training courses were made available to ensure everyone working on certified sites was aware of the environmental issues. To date, that represents over 90,000 employees, subcontractors and temporary workers. The courses cover the main impacts of the site's operations and are tailored to the specific workstation.
Michelin is acting to protect the climate by investing in Livelihoods
In 2014, Michelin helped reduce greenhouse gases by investing in the Livelihoods fund, which supports reforestation and agroforestry projects on three continents.
The projects, which are conducted by NGOs, also have a social goal of raising local populations' standard of living.
In 2015, three projects generated 39,000 carbon credits for Michelin, the equivalent of 39,000 metric tons of CO2 avoided. Two of the projects, one in India and the other in Indonesia, are devoted to restoring mangrove trees, which absorb large quantities of CO2. The third project installed 35,000 low-energy ovens in several villages in Kenya.
At end-2015, Michelin held 49,200 carbon credits, which it will use to offset part of its 2016 environmental footprint.
ISO 14001: When caring for the environment becomes the norm
ISO 14001 certification is awarded to companies or organizations that have established an environmental management system. In practice, it involves mapping out, developing and deploying an environmental policy, then checking the results and adjusting it if necessary. ISO 14001 certification also shows that the company complies with the current local and international environmental regulations. In 2015, 300,000 companies and organizations were awarded ISO 14001 certification in over 171 countries.
In 1998, the Michelin Group adopted the ISO 14001 standard as its benchmark. The rule says that any new manufacturing operation must receive certification within five years of starting up. In 2015, 95% of the Group's manufacturing sites and Technology Centers had in fact been certified. More sites are scheduled for certification in 2016. Other sites are currently in the process of certification. In all, 99.5% of Michelin's current tire output is produced in ISO 14001 certified plants.