Life cycle assessments of tires clearly show that it is during its use that the impact of a tire on the environment is at its greatest: 92.6% for a car tire.
Ensuring better performance: i.e. designing lighter tires that require less raw material and energy to process them and which last longer; tires with low rolling resistance which offer greater fuel efficiency as well as continuing to improve grip and reduce noise.
Better performance with less material: A tire contains over 200 different materials. Some of them are nonrenewable and therefore need careful management. The environment will benefit: less energy and fewer natural resources are used to produce tires, fewer harmful emissions are released during their use and less material has to be recycled at the end of their life. How? Put into place specific work methods from the design stage onwards, to better define only what is strictly necessary to obtain key performance, as well as developing new materials. It is also crucial to ensure that the materials used to produce tires are not dangerous to health or the environment
Imagining the technical solutions of tomorrow: In 1992, the Michelin group invented the first low rolling resistance tire and is constantly seeking radically different solutions: motorized wheels, MICHELIN Tall&Narrow, ‘communicating’ tires, etc. MICHELIN Challenge Bibendum, a real worldwide test bed for future mobility solutions, provides an opportunity to trial and measure progress made for vehicles, energy and technology. Decision-makers and opinion leaders can exchange ideas and get involved in programs to solve sustainable mobility issues.
Michelin uses 10% of the world's natural rubber production.
The Group's challenge is therefore to:
• encourage more productive rubber tree farming,
• secure the supply as far as possible,
• have a responsible procurement policy that secures medium- and long-term prices,
• support agronomic research to create sustainable rubber tree farming...
Production, including extraction of raw materials and distribution, only represents 6% to 10% of the environmental footprint of tires. Michelin is committed to further reducing this footprint by deploying stringent management systems and implementing major initiatives to train employees and get them involved in the process. Specific indicators enable us to track progress.
Reducing the impact of tire use means lowering fuel consumption due to tire rolling resistance. But not only that. The way tires are used also plays a crucial role: under-inflated tires increase braking, distance wear more quickly and consume more energy. That is why it is so important to check tire pressure regularly.
Used tires can be 100% recovered either as energy or raw material (95% of end-of-life tires are recovered in Europe, 97% in Brazil). Whole, shredded or ground into crumbs or powder, they are reused as filling material, soundproof walls, railroad ties, drainage solutions and synthetic surfaces for sports fields and playgrounds. Research partnerships funded by the tire industry regularly find new recovery uses in response to the scarcity of raw materials and fossil fuels.