Paris – Groupe Michelin has set itself a target of zero CO2 emissions by 2050 as part of its sustainability commitment, the company announced 12 Dec.
The strategy also includes reducing tire-related energy consumption per kilometer traveled by 20% by 2030, the company added.
To lower the carbon footprint of its production globally, Michelin said it had developed an approach based on ‘consuming less’ and ‘an energy transition’.
Already in place at many of its production plant, the tire maker said the strategy helped reduce CO2 emissions by 22% between 2010 and 2018 across the company's European operations, where 85% of factories are powered by electricity from renewable sources.
“In the future, we will pursue these efforts by improving the energy-efficiency of our industrial tools, using more renewable energy, and eliminating coal," Michelin added.
According to the company currently, 5 out of 70 of the group’s sites around the world are still coal-fired.
The French tire maker has launched studies to evaluate the feasibility of replacing coal with another source of primary energy, such as gas or biomass.
The company aims to phase out the use of coal at all of its plants by 2030 “at the latest”.
In logistics, the company said its top priority was to reduce the impact of transportation on the environment.
To achieve this, Michelin said it is implementing a strategy of “transport less, transport better, and transport differently” across its operations as well as extending it to external companies.
To transport less, Michelin restricted its product sales area to the level of the production site, thereby reducing the distance traveled and limiting the number of trips.
Michelin’s commitment to “better transport” entails using increasingly efficient transport such as avoiding empty runs.
As part of this, a train between Poland and Germany is now replacing trucks, cutting 42 tonnes of CO2 per week. In addition, the company now ships some of its products between Canada and the US instead of using the road.
In Europe, the company’s deliveries to customers are now combined with other freight deliveries, to “transport differently”, Michelin added.
To address the energy consumption of its tires, Michelin said it is extending the life of its products so they offer "very high performances until the tread wear indicators appear."
Using tires until the legal tread depth of 1.6 mm, Michelin said, will save 400 million tires each year and prevent 35 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.