100% Sustainable
Disruptive innovation in biosourced
and recycled materials



Manufactured from biosourced and recycled materials, VISION leverages the high-tech materials expertise of Michelin and its partners to achieve the objective of 100% sustainable materials by 2050.
This innovative approach minimizes the tire’s environmental footprint and integrates its lifecycle into a circular economy model aligned with Michelin's corporate values.

A 100% sustainable recipe... that’s more complicated than it looks!



Today’s Michelin tires are more high-tech than ever, comprising more than 200 components. These perfectly proportioned ingredients interact to deliver balanced performance in terms of safety, comfort and environmental impact reduction.

A wide variety of different families of materials are used to make the components, including natural rubber, synthetic rubber, metal, textiles, reinforcing agents (carbon black, silica, etc.) and plasticizers, (e.g., resins) as well as elements such as sulfur for vulcanization.

Developing increasingly eco-friendly materials


As illustrated by the VISION concept, Michelin is committed to ensuring that all tire components are ultimately sustainable.
To achieve this, Michelin is leveraging its advanced technological maturity in high-tech materials and its own technology incubator.
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Aware that the speed and nature of innovations in this area require a new level of cooperation to supplement its internal expertise, Michelin has positioned itself as a leader of innovative partners, bringing together a diverse range of technological realms.
The goal is to make materials increasingly sustainable, as seen below.

Some examples



Production of butadiene using biomass such as waste wood, rice husks and corn stover.
This avenue is the focus of a dedicated program, known as the BioButterfly project, which Michelin is conducting in partnership with IFPEN and Axens, and with the support of ADEME (French Agency for Environment and Energy Management).
The aim is to produce butadiene using ethanol derived from biomass to replace petroleum-derived butadiene.
Alongside styrene, butadiene is a key component in the synthetic rubbers used to make tires.
Ultimately, 4.2 million tonnes* of wood chips could be integrated into Michelin tires each year.

*Michelin Internal Calculation : ppt. file ‘Process calculation TMD’, 02/07/2021

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rotten corn plant residues, garden remains, dried corn plant,
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Production of regenerated styrene from waste polystyrene (yogurt pots, food containers, plastic packaging, etc.). In an innovative process developed by partner company Pyrowave, microwaves are used to break down polystyrene objects in order to recover their original building block: styrene.
This regenerated styrene can then be used to remake new packaging or manufacture new products from recycled plastics in the automotive, home appliance and tire industries. Styrene is a key component in the synthetic rubbers used to make tires.
With this technology, the equivalent of 80,000 tons* of polystyrene waste could be recycled into MICHELIN tires each year.

*Michelin Internal Calculation : ppt. file ‘Process calculation TMD’, 02/07/2021



Production of regenerated textiles from PET plastic waste (plastic bottles used for water, juice, cooking oils, dishwashing liquid, etc.).
Via a revolutionary process developed by partner company Carbios, objects made from a certain type of plastic (PET) are broken down by enzymes into their building block monomers, which can then be reused to make new objects, enabling infinite recycling. One of these objects is the polyester yarn used in tire manufacturing.
Close to 4 billion* plastic bottles could be recycled into MICHELIN tires each year.

*Michelin Internal Calculation : ppt. file ‘Process calculation TMD’, 02/07/2021

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Recovery of carbon black from end-of-life tires.
In a unique process developed by partner company Enviro end-of-life tires are decomposed by pyrolysis to recover some of their components, including carbon black and oil. The recovered carbon black can be reused in the production of new tires.
With this technology, 56 million* tires could be recycled each year to make new Michelin tires.

*Michelin Internal Calculation : ppt. file ‘Process calculation TMD’, 02/07/2021

Try out the Michelin Regen'Lab

To achieve its goal of 100% sustainable materials, Michelin is also involved in such areas as:

The high-performance, non-toxic adhesive resin developed by Michelin subsidiary ResiCare. This innovative resin is used to make adhesives for the textiles involved in tire architecture.

Rubber powders recycled from end-of-life tires. In a process developed by Michelin subsidiary Lehigh Technologies, end-of-life tires are ground up to create powders that can be reused by the rubber industry.

To meet Michelin’s goal of producing 100% sustainable tires, natural rubber – which is still the main material used in tire manufacturing – must also be produced responsibly.

Natural rubber is an environmentally sound, infinitely renewable raw material that creates wealth and jobs. Aware that rising global demand may result in poor practices that are harmful to tropical rainforests and biodiversity, Michelin rapidly committed to making the sector environmentally responsible and beneficial to all stakeholders.

Caoutchouc naturel

A global vision that factors in environmental impact

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As part of its commitment to integrating sustainable materials into its tires, Michelin uses ecodesign principles to limit its tires’ environmental impact at every stage in their lifecycle, from the supply of raw materials and production to the use and recycling phases.


With regard to product recycling, the tire industry is now one of the most advanced industries in terms of end-of-life product management. While only 14% of plastic packaging is said to be recovered worldwide, it is estimated that 88%* of end-of-life tires are now collected for recycling or reuse*.
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* Source: Global ELT Management – A global state of knowledge on regulation, management systems, impacts of recovery and technologies – December 2019

 

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To drive further progress in the management of end-of-life tires, Michelin participates in various initiatives aimed at developing recycling solutions.
Michelin is involved, for example, in the collection and recycling of end-of-life tires to help its customers improve their environmental footprint (through Aliapur, TIP…) while also investing in the development of disruptive recycling technologies (Lehigh Technologies).

Michelin also participates in consortiums dedicated to the circular economy, such as the European consortium behind the BlackCycle project. Coordinated by Michelin and funded by the EU, this project brings together 13 public and private organizations with the aim of creating, developing and optimizing a full value chain for end-of-life tires by recycling them into secondary raw materials.
Diverse team joining their hands

News

100% sustainable tires

Michelin is committed to making our tires 100% sustainable by 2050. This is an ambitious but realistic target for the Group, a leader in sustainable mobility.

Michelin’s Recycling Efforts #EP4

Episode 4 - Airless, connected, rechargeable at any time: Michelin’s Vision concept embodies our view of mobility for the future.

Doing business sustainably while protecting biodiversity

In 2018, Michelin was among the companies that made biodiversity commitments through act4nature international. Two years later, Nicolas Beaumont, Michelin's VP of Sustainable Development and Mobility, takes stock.

Documents to download

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