Michelin Tyres is a world-wide commercial tyre producer that has manufactured over 176 million tyres for cars, trucks, bicycles, farm equipment, aeroplanes – even the space shuttle, since it began in 1889.
Employing 111,090 people, Michelin has production facilities in 18 countries, marketing operations in 170 and had nearly £16 billion (€17.9 billion) in sales last year alone.
Michelin believes in “Respect for Customers, Respect for People, Respect for Shareholders, Respect for the Environment and Respect for Facts” and has been, since 2001, a member of The World Business Council for Sustainable Development which has set seven goals to meet their core values:
- Reduce conventional emissions from transport so that they do not constitute a significant public health concern anywhere in the world;
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport to sustainable levels;
- Reduce significantly the number of transport-related deaths and injuries worldwide;
- Reduce transport-related noise;
- Mitigate traffic congestion;
- Narrow mobility divides that exist within all countries and between the richest and poorest countries;
- Improve mobility opportunities for the general populations in developed and developing societies.
Michelin is also concerned with the sustainability of raw materials used in the production of its tyres. Rubber is a non-renewable resource as is the oil used in making synthetic rubbers. And, with 800 million cars on the road today and growing, the need to maintain a healthy source of rubber is vital to the health of the company. One way in which Michelin is demonstrating this care and improving its business strategy is through innovative recycling schemes.
Organised and managed by the Michelin Environmental Management System (MEMS), Michelin has taken a proactive stance towards environmental sustainability. Renewable energy is utilised, water is recycled (or, where possible, usage reduced) and significant effort is given to recycling both the waste produced through manufacturing as well as used tyres when at the end of their product life. “Michelin has a global strategy for minimising the effect we have on the environment, and although there is no legal need to do it, we see recycling our end of life tyres as a moral obligation” says Michelin’s UK Managing Director Jim Rickard.
Innovative end-of-life recycling schemes include: used truck tyre rubber incorporated in playground surfaces and roads worldwide; nearly 14 million tyres annually used as fuel for cement production in the UK (a process which not only destroys the used tyres without any waste, smell, or smoke, but also eliminates the need for 100,000 tonnes of coal); and ‘dust rubber’ used as shock, noise and vibration absorption material for walls, waterfront jetties, quays and train tracks.
Michelin continues to benefit from increased expansion worldwide, including a six percent increase in sales in high-growth countries. The company can also boast 85% brand recognition in key countries such as Japan, China and Russia and nearly 100% brand recognition in North America and Europe.
Michelin has also been recognised on numerous occasions for its commitment to sustainability and social responsibility programmes. Most recently, the company was named as a ‘Sector Mover in the Automotive and Parts Industry ’ by the Sustainable Asset Management Sustainability Yearbook. The company was also named one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Companies (the only tyre manufacturer to obtain the position).
Why is it CSR?
The key to Michelin’s sustainability success lies in the company’s ability to understand the lifecycle of its tyres. All new tyres manufactured require non-renewable raw materials, placing a high sustainability premium on producing quality, safe tyres with a long life. This understanding continues through to the end of the tyres’ lifecycle because just as the raw rubber used to make them is non-renewable, the processed rubber is non-biodegradable. By acknowledging and understanding this important environmental issue, Michelin has put in place initiatives to guarantee that tyres at the end of their life are then recycled through various methods, benefitting local communities while enhancing the Michelin brand for current and future stakeholders.
For more information on Michelin's CSR strategy and performance, please contact Marissa Gadeley.
© Article 13 – CSR Case Study Series, July 2011
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