An awareness of how precious water is goes back a long time. Indeed, the availability of water has been one of the most important conditions for human settlement on Earth, and how it is shared has often caused communities to resort to the law. World Water Day raises awareness of the situation of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. It is about taking action and supporting achievement of the UN’s sustainable development goal: clean water and sanitation for all by 2030. […] Moving forward from best practice to better water management is a global as well as a local issue.
Nicolas Beaumont, Senior Vice-President, Sustainable Development and Mobility

Using water resources sustainably

Michelin makes an effort, every day, to use its water resources responsibly.

World Water Day

Since 2005, the Group's renowned environmental footprint indicator I-MEP (Industrial Michelin Environmental Performance) has included water management among its major components, alongside energy consumption, atmospheric emissions and waste management. After 15 years of effort and thanks to both the industry and our teams getting on board, Michelin has cut its water consumption by 43% in 15 years (% amount of water abstracted between 2005 to 2019 as an absolute value).

In 2021, the Group is continuing with its commitment to water by reducing abstraction from all its industrial sites by 33% before 2030 in comparison with 2019. The Group now includes a site-specific water stress coefficient to manage how it reduces its water consumption, which reflects how local water availability issues are being taken into consideration.

All Michelin sites are involved

Today, all the Group's various industrial sites around the world are involved in the “Water” program, with the support of a team of experts made up of specialists in the environment, energy, maintenance and engineering sectors.

A team that also provides support in designing new industrial projects, identifying opportunities and sharing best practice.

Less than half the amount of water used to make a tire

Water is a resource that we use mainly in order to produce steam or hot water, and also to cool our installations.


Since 2005, the Group has succeeded in reducing by 43% the amount of water abstracted as an absolute value when making its tires.  In total, between 2005 and 2019, 178 million fewer cubic meters of water were abstracted by Michelin on its various industrial sites, the equivalent of the annual domestic consumption of 3.3 million people!

Working on waste water to improve water quality while reducing consumption

As a responsible company with a sustainable development approach, in addition to complying with water discharge standards at its factories, Michelin wishes to increase the proportion of water reused or recycled on its sites. To this end, initiatives have been launched on pilot sites to identify additional ways of reusing and recycling waste water.

Michelin’s “water” approach has won recognition

In 2020, Michelin retained its “Leader” position awarded by the CDP for the 2nd consecutive year, for its actions to promote sustainable water management, with a score of “A-”; this reflects its ongoing commitment, its sustained performance in the face of environmental challenges and its transparency.
This international NGO is involved in smoothing the transition to a sustainable economy, notably through an annual questionnaire sent to several thousand companies worldwide, the answers to which are provided to approximately 800 corporate member investors.

Michelin's factory at Chennai in India

Prize for excellence for its sustainable water management by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in December 2020
The factory is equipped with a rainwater harvesting system that covers more than 45% of the factory's water needs. To maintain zero discharge outside the plant, the unit has installed a wastewater treatment plant with an effluent recycling system.
  • Multiple water initiatives on the sites

  • Shenyang 2, China

    Installation of a heat pump upstream of the cooling towers, to reduce evaporation. A saving of 12,000 m3 of water is expected annually, or 1.9% of the site's water consumption.

  • Spartanburg, United States

    At the end of 2020, the site put the finishing touches to a recycling project that will reduce the site's water consumption by 6% a year.

  • Cholet, France

    Change of control valve technology to manage the water supply to the cooling circuit better, according to how needs vary in the factory. This action will reduce the site's water consumption by approximately 3.8% over the course of a year.

  • Rayong, Thailand

    The site has launched several water-saving campaigns based on observation of user consumption. These have reduced the site's annual water consumption by more than 20%.

  • Olsztyn, Poland

    The site is relying on digital processes to monitor its consumption in real time. Importantly, several leaks have been identified thanks to this monitoring, reducing consumption by about 10% in the area studied.

  • China
  • United States
  • France
  • Thailand
  • Poland
  • Did you know?
    • Today, 1 person in 3 – or 2.2 billion human beings – lack access to safe water. Between now and 2050, up to 5.7 billion people could be living in water-scarce areas for at least one month a year.

    • By limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, we could reduce climate-induced water stress by up to 50%.

    • Extreme weather events have caused 90% of major disasters in the past decade.

    Between now and 2040, global energy demand is expected to increase by more than 25% and water demand is expected to increase by more than 50%.


Subscribe to our newsletters