The circular economy is in the Group’s genes. It is a part of the way Michelin designs its products and services, and more broadly understands its environmental responsibility.
The circular economy?
The circular economy aims to create value for everyone while using as few natural resources as possible in order to conserve them, in all industries and across all phases (production, manufacturing, use, etc.). "The circular economy is in the Group's genes," says Florent Menegaux, General Managing Partner of the Michelin group. "Michelin has always designed its products and services with sustainable mobility in mind. That’s part of our reason for being."
Combining sustainable mobility and long-term performance
He goes on to add, "that's why we are now really focusing on what we call long-term performance, as a stand against planned obsolescence. Because not only has it become vital to work on sustainable mobility, it is just as important to guarantee that our customers benefit from all of Michelin's engineering and expertise throughout the life cycle of the products we offer them."
In defense of sustainable mobility
At Michelin, we believe that rather than opposing the expansion of mobility, we should help it move in the right direction. How? By offering products that, from design through the end of their useful life, use fewer resources to minimize their environmental impact while guaranteeing that our customers enjoy top-notch performance until their tires are worn out.
On all our sites, in all our product and service offers
Michelin applies its commitment to the circular economy on all its sites in the shape of the 4Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Renew.
Our 4R strategy
Circular Economy : our 4R strategy
The 4R strategy is applied at all our sites and across all our product and services. The circular economy goes even further to include all operations: from specifications to the choice of materials and the way Michelin manufactures its tires.
of a car tire’s environmental impact is generated during the use phase.
Life Cycle Analysis
Our mantra: Do more with less and achieve better performance with fewer raw materials and less energy — performances we guarantee throughout the tire’s useful life.
Life Cycle Analysis of a car tire assesses its environmental impact on different indicators such as global warming potential, resource consumption, photochemical oxidation, and water acidification and eutrophication. When applied to the European context, this analysis shows that more than 80 percent of a car tire's environmental impact is generated during the use phase. That figure is as high as 95 percent for trucks in Europe.
Making tires more energy efficient (Reduce)
That is why the Group's top priority is to make its tires more energy efficient while simultaneously continuing to improve their other performances, particularly safety, noise and durability. Reducing tires' rolling resistance contributes to decreasing vehicles' fuel consumption, and thus emission of local pollutants (NOx, SO2, etc.) as well as CO2 emissions generated during the use phase.
Guaranteeing long-lasting performance
At the same time, increasing a tire's durability also enables more efficient use of raw materials and amortizes the energy used in manufacturing over longer distances driven. Michelin's approach to designing tires that rise to the challenges of sustainable development can be summed up as guaranteeing long-term performance.
Michelin and the TIP
Michelin is also working with other leading tire manufacturers through the Tire Industry Project (TIP) to draft Product Category Rules (PCR). These rules lay out industry-specific guidelines, in compliance with the ISO 14025 standard, that manufacturers use to determine the environmental impact of their products for Environmental Product Declarations (EPD). The TIP has developed a technically complete PCR which applies worldwide to enable consistent assessments.
The Group also created a circular economy steering committee in 2017.