Protecting biodiversity
By reducing the environmental impact of products, services and sites

Because Michelin is aware of the need to preserve biodiversity and ecosystems to conduct its business sustainably,we take into account the environmental impacts of products - right from the design phase, as well as operations and its sites.

2020-2030: Ongoing commitments to biodiversity

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Michelin is factoring in the environmental impacts of its products by conducting research and development that shapes its choice of materials, architecture and manufacturing process.

 

The Group is also striving to improve its production sites' environmental performance and is pushing for the development of responsible natural-rubber farming and sustainable raw materials segment.

Evaluating the impact of products and services on biodiversity

Life cycle assessments (LCAs) can measure a product or service's impact on the environment over its full life cycle, from cradle to grave, using a variety of indicators to address for example climate change, resource depletion, changes in land use, water, and human health.

Developing a sustainable natural rubber industry

Natural rubber is a renewable resource that is essential for the tire industry, with properties that synthetic elastomers simply cannot reproduce.
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To protect this resource and control impacts from the industry, the Michelin Group has established a comprehensive sustainable natural rubber approach. While rubber growing provides certain environmental benefits (CO2 sequestration, soil compaction), it requires implementation of protections for reducing environmental impact and protecting human rights. The Group is well aware that the spike in global demand for rubber may lead to practices that are damaging for forests and biodiversity. Accordingly, it is taking action to promote responsible and sustainable management of the natural rubber industry.

It documents its strategy and tracks its progress on its Responsible and Resilient Natural Rubber platform.

As a producer and processor of natural rubber and among the main global buyers, Michelin has cleared a number of key steps to achieve a responsible supply chain. 

 

Its Sustainable Natural Rubber Policy first published in June 2016, was updated in early 2021 to bring it into line with the recommendations of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR). It reasserts the Group's goal of zero deforestation and its commitment to protecting biodiversity by following such principles as protecting High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) areas, peatlands, surface water and groundwater supplies, and the responsible and rational use of pesticides and chemicals.

 

This policy applies to all Group suppliers; it is accompanied by a roadmap for 2025 that sets out the actions and objectives that will guide its implementation.   

  • Evaluating the CSR practices of the Group's suppliers through the EcoVadis platform since 2014. 
  • The Group began mapping its rubber supply chains in 2017 with Rubberway, a mobile app used to collect social and environmental responsibility data from all of the stakeholders along the value chain (smallholders, large plantations, brokers and rubber processing plants) in cooperation with the Group's suppliers, to promote better practices. 

  • Michelin is a founding member of the international multi-stakeholder initiative, the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR)which was formed in October 2018 under the auspices of the Tire Industry Project (TIP) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The GPSNR's mission is to lead all of the stakeholders in the natural rubber industry to adopt environmental and social practices that meet international standards; it is a unique opportunity to encourage the whole natural rubber value chain to become more sustainable. 
  • Develop research and biodiversity protection projects within the framework of its natural rubber plantations or those operated as a joint venture with local partners. 

Ouro Verde Bahia: the Michelin ecological reserve

At the Michelin Ecological Reserve of Ouro Verde Bahia in Brazil - At the same time an ecological reserve, a center for research into new rubber plant varieties and a pilot project for improving smallholder planters' living conditions - the Group is putting its words into action.

The Ouro verde program in figures

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    3,400 ha ecological reserve 

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    107,000 trees of 275 varieties 

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    2,000 species identified, including 20 newly-discovered species.  

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    120 scientific papers 

In Indonesia, a project to plant, protect and restore the fauna and flora

Since mid-2015, the Group has been carrying out an ambitious program in Indonesia on the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan involving forest restoration and rubber tree planting. The aim is to sustainably produce natural rubber on 88,000 hectares of land partially devastated by uncontrolled deforestation, in partnership with an Indonesian industrial company: Barito Pacific Group.

Michelin’s involvement in this project addresses several objectives: implement a responsible land management policy, promote better agricultural, social and environmental practices, and support the local communities' development.

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Our commitment to sustainable natural rubber production in Indonesia

In west Africa, through the Société Internationale de Plantation d'Hévéas (SIPH, International Rubber Plantation Company)

Operated in partnership with the SIFCA group, this Michelin subsidiary is building its name as a global leader in responsible natural rubber and is heavily involved in the GPSNR platform.

Since January 2021, it has been using a satellite-based deforestation monitoring system in the Ivory Coast and Liberia. This is a major step forward that consolidates SIPH's commitment to zero deforestation.

Protecting biodiversity around industrial sites and research facilities

Since 2013, the Group's production sites and research facilities have been conducting inventories of the protected species and areas that surround them. The latest update in 2018 reported 196 protected areas within a five-kilometer radius of the sites.

The results of these inventories were included in each site's environmental risk analysis: the risk control plans were reworked or initiated on eight sites that had identified pollution risks that could impact biodiversity.

France

Country-wide pilot
France is pilot testing a ban on the use of pest-control products for grounds maintenance. Since November 2020, following a study on the subject, pest-control products are no longer used for grounds maintenance at the Group's production and research facilities in France. The Group is examining the possibility of applying the ban at all facilities.

France

Ladoux
Michelin and the Conservatoire d'espaces naturels d'Auvergne signed an agreement to protect a 3.5 ha comprising continental salt meadows, a rare ecosystem in Europe and a priority for conservation. In 2020, the plots of land used as a testing ground for agricultural tires were maintained using mechanical tools rather than pest-control products.

France

Carmes
The Carmes site, which houses the Group's headquarters, carried out a global inventory of its biodiversity to list all of the species. In 2019, the Fédération de Pêche et de Protection du Milieu Aquatique du Puy-de-Dôme made an inventory of the fish species in the Tiretaine river, which crosses the site. Over 350 trouts were counted.

China

Shanghai ans Shenyang
The Shanghai and Shenyang industrial sites organized initiatives to promote biodiversity, such as planting trees at the sites and in the surrounding areas. In 2020, these sites organized their 6th annual tree-planting day, planting 130 trees at Shenyang and 50 at Shanghai.

Russia

Davydovo
For the sixth year running, this site supported the environmental conservation initiatives conducted by the government of the Moscow region. The area had been severely damaged by fires and by an insect invasion, which together had destroyed much of the forest. Michelin's employees took part in the tree-planting program.

Mexico

Querétaro
The Querétaro site is taking part in the conservation program to protect the Beaucarnea Recurvata, or "elephant's foot", a plant species at risk of becoming extinct. The site, which is registered with the SEMARNAT (the federal environment agency), is currently home to three specimens.

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