Preserving resources
Applying circular economy principles to use more sustainable materials

At Michelin, innovation is the key to achieving progress in energy efficiency and more rational use of raw materials, while at the same time improving our products' long-term performances and the safety of people and goods.

 

The Group’s ambition: use 100% sustainable materials by 2050

To reach this major target, the Group is using sustainable materials that come from renewable resources such as natural rubber, several vegetable oils and resins, and recycled materials.

Renewable materials are obtained from natural resources that can be quickly replenished (on a human timeframe), such as biomass. This necessarily excludes fossil resources (oil, natural gas, coal, etc.) and minerals. (Based on to the American Chemical Society’s “12 Principles of Green Chemistry”).

Recycled materials are raw materials generated by any recovery operation that transforms industrial or post-consumer waste into products, materials, or substances. This excludes energy recovery and reprocessed materials used as energy. (As defined by the European Directive on Waste).

The 4R circular economy supporting Michelin’s “All-sustainable” approach

The circular economy aims to create value for the greatest number of people, in all areas and stages (production, manufacturing, use, etc.), while consuming fewer raw materials to preserve natural resources.

Michelin’s “4R” approach

At Michelin, environmental preservation is a major part of the innovative process using the “4R” circular economy approach, which stands for Reduce, Reuse, Renew, and Recycle. We apply this approach to all sites and in all the Group’s products and services.
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To accelerate the development of innovation and boost creativity, Michelin has built partnerships in the circular economy ecosystem to offer products and services that limit environmental impacts throughout their entire lifecycle.


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At Michelin, we strive to make products that are sustainable from design to end-of-life so we can protect the environment all while ensuring performance over time.

 

The “4Rs” in a nutshell

Reduce

We design and produce lighter tires that require fewer raw materials, consume less energy, and have long-lasting performances that allow our consumers to extend the use of their tires while emitting less CO2.

Reuse

Through repairing, regrooving, and retreading tires, fewer raw materials are consumed during the use phase by. For the biggest tires such as truck, civil engineering, agricultural, and aircraft tires, the challenge is to reuse them to the greatest extent possible.

Recycle

All tires have an end of life. Creating technical and economic systems to recycle and process these tires remains challenging. Michelin advocates recovering materials from end-of-life tires so they can be reprocessed into various products, including tires.

BlackCycle

A major European project financed by the European Union and coordinated by Michelin to produce raw materials from used tires. 

Carbios

A pioneering green chemistry company that designs and develops enzymatic biodegradation and biorecycling processes for plastics to create a new lifecycle for polymers. 

Michelin-Enviro partnership 

In 2020, the Group partnered with the Swedish company Enviro to develop and industrialize a large-scale pyrolysis technology to create raw materials from end-of-life tires.

 

Lehigh Technologies

A Group subsidiary that designs and produces micronized rubber powder made by recycling tires and other rubber-based industrial products. 

Michelin and Pyrowave partnership 

The goal is to accelerate the industrialization of innovative technology to recycle plastic waste, particularly polystyrene. 

Renew

Since raw materials are finite and therefore precious, our sustainable approach starts with our tire design. The Group is investing in R&D and new technologies to integrate more and more renewable materials into our products.

Natural rubber

Since rubber is the main component of our tires, Michelin supports the development of a sustainable natural rubber industry founded on the principles of environmental stewardship and human rights that benefits all stakeholders.

 

BioImpulse

This public-private collaborative research project seeks to develop a new adhesive resin made from second-generation biomass** that is less harmful to health and the environment than traditional industrial adhesive resins. 

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**avoiding competition with food crops

Bio-Speed

Michelin is a member of Bio-Speed, a consortium of companies aiming to accelerate the development of bio-based materials, particularly second-generation materials.

 

BioButterfly

Launched in 2012 in partnership with IPFEN and Axens and supported by ADEME, this project aims to develop an innovative process to produce biobutadiene from plant waste, replacing petroleum-based butadiene and reducing environmental impacts.

 

Preserving resources

Michelin is committed to resource preservation and is supporting the sustainable development of the natural rubber industry.

EMPREINTE Project

Developing a tire with low environmental impact made of sustainable, renewable, and recycled materials.
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Michelin is boosting its commitment to sustainable mobility with a major research project, the EMPREINTE project supported by ADEME. This tire of the future made of lower-impact materials is energy-efficient, lightweight, and connected, all at a competitive price.

Designed for passenger cars and trucks, the EMPREINTE tire will be made of materials derived from recovered household, industrial, or agricultural waste. This new product will allow Michelin to reach an initial milestone by 2025–2030, with the establishment of the first complete recycling channels to supply Michelin plants with sustainable materials.

Responsible water management

Through its "All -sustainable" model, the Group reaffirms its commitment to preserving the environment and acts to ensure the sustainable use of water, energy and soil resources. The stakes bound up in water are international, even if the problems are essentially local. In Michelin plants, water is mainly used as a coolant for industrial processes and to produce steam and hot water; water conservation, recycling and reducing wastewater water quality are the Group's key concerns.

New objectives have been set for the five components of the i-MEP indicator (the industrial dimension of Michelin's Environmental Performance), one of which is water withdrawals. They are in line with our determination to keep improving our sustainable management of the environment, including natural resources.

A worldwide water program

To achieve the Group's sustainable commitment to water by 2030, several levers are being activated based on the Group's circular economy approach. Reduce, reuse and recycle.

Objectives 2030 and Beyond

The Group has committed to achieving a 33% reduction in its water withdrawals by 2030. Our goal for 2050 is to have no impact whatsoever on the availability of water for the local authorities.

 

  • March 22 2021

Preserving water : a priority for Michelin

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