Did you know that in the space of seven months, in 2019, humanity consumed resources equivalent to what the earth can produce in one year, even as the population and its needs continued to expand, and more than 40 billion tonnes* of CO2 were emitted? This fact further corroborates the strategic choices made by the Michelin Group based on its ‘Everything Sustainable’ plan.
Michelin’s main areas of focus in favour of responsible energy management include increasingly energy-efficient manufacturing facilities and products, as well as greater use of renewable energies.
*Le Monde.fr (December 2019)
Making the energy transition to reduce the Group’s production-related carbon footprint
The Group’s ambition is to achieve net-zero emissions at all company sites by 2050. To reduce its worldwide production-related carbon footprint, Michelin has defined two priorities: improved energy efficiency at its manufacturing facilities, plus greater use of renewable energies. This strategy has already translated into tangible actions. Some 85 percent of the Group’s European plants’ electrical supply is guaranteed to be derived from renewable sources and, at the end of 2019, its Gravanches plant, in Clermont-Ferrand, France, inaugurated a heat pump which provides for 100 percent of the site’s heating needs using ‘recycled’ calories. Because the plant's electrical supply is also derived from all-renewable sources, Gravanches is now the Group’s first "carbon neutrality" facility. Over the period from 2010 to 2019, total CO2 emissions from all plants fell by 24.8 percent.
- Accelerating the development of fuel-cell technology
The Michelin Group is working to accelerate the deployment of fuel-cell technology, which can be used to develop not only electric mobility but also renewable energies. “Fuel-cell technology can be used to store renewable energies,” explains Sonia Artinian-Fredou, Director of Business, Services and Solutions for High-Technology Materials and a member of Groupe Michelin’s Executive Committee. “Today, it is difficult to store large quantities of energy produced by a wind turbine or photovoltaic systems for extended periods of time.”
In a further illustration of this strategy, Michelin has set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated by its industrial activities. The recent approval of these targets by the international organisation Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) paves the way for achieving net-zero emissions at all the company’s sites.
Taking action on the value chain
Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) also approved the goals of the Michelin Group to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions generated by activities in its value chain. For Michelin, it requires a long-term commitment with its suppliers and external partners, to facilitate the energy transition and the development of innovative solutions based on a circular economy model.
Michelin commits to reduce absolute emissions from fuel- and energy-related activities; upstream and downstream transportation and distribution; and end-of-life treatment of sold products by 15% by 2030 from a 2018 base year. Michelin also commits that 70% of its suppliers by emissions covering purchased goods and services will have science-based targets by 2024.
Designing energy-saving products
Because using tires accounts for an average 20 percent of the energy consumed by internal combustion-engine vehicles (and as much as 30 percent in the case of electric vehicles and trucks), optimising the energy efficiency of tires has become one of today’s prime challenges. Yet Michelin aims to reduce the energy consumed by its tires by 20 percent compared to 2010 by 2030. Alone, the Group – which is the global gold standard for the production of low rolling resistance energy-saving tires – prevents from 7 and 8 million tonnes of CO2 from being generated every year. With the lowering of CO2 emissions thresholds, the performance of low rolling resistance tires has become a critical priority for vehicle manufacturers and road hauliers. Michelin, a company at the forefront of responsible, sustainable mobility, perceives this an opportunity.
- Did you know? In 1992...
In 1992, Michelin perfected the first ‘Green Tire’ by adding silica to the rubber compound. This technology improved the tire’s energy efficiency while enhancing its safety performance and longevity.