At its first Media Day, Michelin highlighted some of the challenges associated with attaining 100% sustainable tires. The event took place this month at the company’s global Research and Development center in Clermont-Ferrand in France.
To tackle some of the challenges, the group is working to improve its innovatory ability and its capacity to come up with new technologies. This is while taking action at every stage of a tire’s lifecycle. The engineers are working together with startups, universities, and laboratories on multiple research projects.
Tires need a huge amount of recycled and bio-sourced materials right from the get-go. This includes materials such as recycled or bio-sourced plastic and natural rubber.
Michelin plans to reduce its environmental footprint in each of its production plants. This is when it comes to water abstraction, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, generated waste, and the consumption of energy and solvents.
The group aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, total removal of solvents from the manufacturing process, and zero impact on water availability for local communities by 2050. When it comes to logistics, the goal is to transport less, better, and differently. BY 2030, CO2 emissions will reduce by 15% compared to 2018.
Michelin is also looking at green transport. It aims to use hydrogen-powered and electric vehicles. This will apply even in sailing cargo. 75% to 90% of the impact occurs during road use. The group is working at several performance levels to reduce the impact.
In addition, the group aims to convert used Michelin tires into raw materials that can be used in the production process to make new tires and manufacture new products. The company launched a joint call to action with Bridgestone on November 22 to promote the rubber industry’s circular economy and to boost the recycling ecosystem for end-of-life tires.