The Public Affairs direction serves as the interface between the Michelin group and government agencies, NGOs and civil society, both to keep the Group informed of political, regulatory or societal changes that could affect it and to contribute to those changes. It aims to go beyond promoting the company's own interests to lead on public interest issues. The Group's approach to road safety and ending planned obsolescence illustrates this approach. At the same time, policymakers in France and worldwide often consult Michelin on a wide range of issues.
"Interest representation," commonly known as lobbying, consists in a business bringing its message(s) to the attention of the appropriate institutional players and arguing its points in view of public policy decisions. Its goal is to inform policymakers of the challenges or consequences their decisions could generate for the company and its business. Policymakers are generally contacted by all the players affected by the issue at hand, including businesses, local bodies, representatives of civil society, etc.
A major player in sustainable mobility
Michelin is a major player in sustainable mobility, with a commercial presence in 170 countries and industrial operations in close to 20. That footprint makes it a global player with experience in a very wide range of areas, including trade, R&D, labor, employment law, road safety, services and more. Tires are a highly technical product with a major impact on both safety and the environment. Because the Group constantly deals with far-ranging issues — some local and others global — the Public Affairs team's scope extends far beyond France or even Europe.
Maintaining trusted relationships with all stakeholders worldwide
We strive to maintain trusted relationships with all stakeholders, everywhere we operate worldwide: policymakers (international, national and local), government agencies, civil society and NGOs. To do that, we work with dedicated organizations (e.g. the AFEP, the Association Française des Entreprises Privées or France Industrie) in France, as well as industry associations like the SNCP (Syndicat National du caoutchouc et des Polymères) in France, the WDK (Wirtschaftsverband der deutschen Kautschukindustrie e.V.) in Germany, the ETRMA, (European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers' Association) in Europe, the USTMA (U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association) in the U.S., the ANIP (Associaçao Nacional da Industria de Pneumaticos) in Brazil, the ATMA (Automotive Tyre Manufacturers' Association) in India, or the JATMA (Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association) in Japan.
Give everyone a better way forward
No matter where we are worldwide, our goal is always to achieve progress on the standards and regulations that apply to tires, in order to improve user safety and better account for their environmental impact. This approach echoes our purpose: "Offering everyone a better way forward."
We always act in strict compliance with the applicable regulations and our code of ethics, which governs the Group's relationships with the authorities. These principles are defined in detail in the Public Affairs Direction's ethics guidelines.
A heightened demand for transparency
Governments and international organizations are increasingly requiring more transparency on relationships with the public authorities, both to prevent abuses and to encourage responsible lobbying. Michelin complies with these requirements and therefore appears on the lobbying disclosure registries of the countries where it engages in lobbying (in countries that maintain such registries).
Extending French reporting requirements
As a multinational group, Michelin has decided to progressively extend its French reporting requirements — currently the world's most demanding — to the other countries where it operates to ensure that it has global visibility and can monitor all lobbying operations worldwide. The French "Sapin II" act on transparency, anticorruption efforts and economic modernization represents an opportunity to improve our practices and go beyond strict regulatory compliance.
Main lobbying disclosure registries to which Michelin submitted reports in 2017
Resources allocated (for 2017)
HATVP (High Authority for Transparency in Public Life)
€25,000 to €50,000 (corresponds to the second quarter of 2017)
- compensation for individuals tasked with interest representation (prorated based on the percentage of their total activity dedicated to interest representation)
- event-related expenses, expert consulting fees
- benefits granted to public officials
- purchases of services from consulting and law firms, professional organization membership dues
Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives - Lobbying Disclosure Act
$1 023 008,00
In the case of an organization employing in-house lobbyists, the LDA (Lobbying Disclosure Act) requires a good faith estimate of the total expenses of its lobbying activities.
As long as the registrant has a reasonable system in place and complies in good faith with that system, the requirement of reporting expenses or income would be met.
For a lobbying firm, gross income from the client for lobbying activities is reportable, including reimbursable expenses, costs, or disbursements that are in addition to fees and separately invoiced. The quarterly activity report provides boxes for a lobbying firm to report income of less than $5,000, or of $5,000 or more. If lobbying income is $5,000 or more, a lobbying firm must provide a good faith estimate of the actual dollar amount rounded to the nearest $10,000.
€700,000 and < €799,999
- personnel expenses based on full-time equivalents reported
- office and administrative expenses for internal operations
- outsourcing expenses (consulting and subcontracting fees for relevant activities)
- dues and other related expenses (network and organization membership fees)
NGOs and Michelin
Nongovernmental organizations play an increasingly important role in societies across the globe. They bring a fresh, engaged perspective on recurring issues in all areas: new questions, new approaches, new ideas, and new skills ... all good reasons to listen to and partner with them. That is precisely what Michelin does, both nationally and internationally.
How does Michelin see NGOs?
NGOs are increasingly influential structures. In modern societies, people are losing faith in governments, businesses, unions and political parties and are increasingly turning to NGOs to make themselves heard. These groups express specific messages on behalf of society, and it is clear that we must take them seriously and have dialogue with them. NGOs are growing, both in numbers and in terms of the value they create. In India, there are millions of them. In France, they employ tens of thousands of people. In today’s world, they have become essential stakeholders.
What NGOs does Michelin work with?
Internationally, we have been working with the WWF's teams to promote responsible rubber growing in several regions worldwide since April 2015. We also have a regular dialogue with other NGOs including Oxfam, Greenpeace, the International Federation for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch and more. We also have very close ties to NGOs that focus on transportation, road safety and sustainable mobility, such as Transport & Environment in Europe. Locally, we work with hundreds of NGOs on day-to-day issues ranging from road safety to cultural events.
Why is it important for a group like Michelin to work with NGOs?
NGOs are stakeholders, so the question never even comes up: We must work with them, as we do with all our stakeholders. While they are sometimes seen as threats due to misunderstandings, hesitation on both sides, or even mutual distrust, we believe that they represent an opportunity. They bring a fresh perspective and new ideas, they highlight new talents, and they stimulate us and push us to do better.