"In running its operations the Pirelli Group is mindful of the Environment and public health. A key consideration in investment and business decisions is environmental sustainability, with the Group supporting eco-compatible growth, not least through the adoption of special technologies and production methods (where this is operationally feasible and economically viable) that allow for the reduction of the environmental impact of Group operations, in some cases even below statutory limits.
Pirelli has adopted certified Environmental Management Systems to control its operations, chooses production methods and technologies that reduce waste and conserve natural resources, and assesses the indirect and direct environmental impact of its products and services. The Group works alongside leading national and international organizations to promote environmental sustainability both on a local and a global scale."
(Ethical Code - "Environment")
The Pirelli approach to sustainable environmental management is set forth in accordance with the Sustainability System envisaged in the United Nations Global Compact, signed in 2004, and pursuant to the “Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.”
The above principles are illustrated in the Group Occupational Health, Safety, Rights, Environment and Social Responsibility Policy, according to which Pirelli undertakes to:
- manage its environmental activities in compliance with the highest international standards;
- communicate and provide material information to internal and external stakeholders;
- promote use of the most advanced technologies to achieve excellence in environmental protection;
- assess and reduce the environmental impact of its own products and services throughout their entire life cycle;
- use material resources responsibly, in view of achieving sustainable growth that respects the environment and the rights of future generations;
- establish and maintain appropriate procedures to evaluate and select suppliers and subcontractors on the basis of their commitment to environmental accountability.
In its Group Quality Policy, Pirelli specifies that continuous innovation, product excellence and safety, and environmental protection throughout the product life cycle represent one of the principal sources of sustainable competitiveness on the global market.
In view of reinforcing the principles listed above, in 2012 Pirelli issued a new document, the “Green Sourcing Policy.” Through the adoption of this policy, all Group employees undertake to consider environmental aspects in all of their design choices and sourcing of goods and services.
The documents cited above have been distributed to all employees in their local languages and are published in the Sustainability section of the Pirelli website, and not just in the languages spoken by employees but also in those that are most representative of the panel of suppliers.
PRODUCT FIRST: THE APPROACH AND PREMIUM STRATEGY OF PIRELLI
The heart of Pirelli operating strategy is its product. So, the product is the focal point for all Group activities, including its environmental commitments. The Product First strategy dovetails perfectly with the Premium strategy that has been pursued for years by Pirelli, and the fusion of the two concepts is the natural evolution of a Company that aims to distinguish itself by the quality of its product.
In environmental terms, focusing on the tyre means integrating one’s point of view with all possible interactions between the product and the ecosystem. From this perspective, the claim that “you can only manage what you can measure” is exact. Awareness of its own environmental impact was the leitmotiv for all Group activities in 2012, the year when plunging demand in the automotive market impacted classic environmental indicators, which are weighted by production volumes.
Using concrete, reliable and replicable tools, Pirelli studies the interactions between its own products and the various environmental media throughout all phases of their life cycle.
The Life Cycle Assessment method is capable of assessing strategic decisions as objectively as possible. It has thus been adopted in full and used as the basis for the Group’s calculations. The series of environmental interactions identified with this method facilitates optimal Group decision- making, guiding it to make the best choices for reducing its overall environmental impact according to the individual impact that each of its actions might have. This method gives exact measurements, rendering the Life Cycle Assessment an integral part of our product design and creation process.
The infographic shows the potential impact on global warming by the Cinturato P7, one of the Group’s most representative products. We see how the weight of each individual phase is profoundly different. In particular, the use phase is by far the most significant. This sort of analysis justifies and corroborates the focus dedicated by Pirelli to research and development of tyres with ever-lower rolling resistance, which is the feature that determines the weight of this phase.
Product environmental sustainability
In the Industrial Plan update presented to the market in November 2011, Pirelli stated its objective to achieve global leadership in the Premium segment by 2015.
Pirelli Premium products – which include the famous Green Performance family of tyres – are characterized by their high safety performance and reduced environmental impact. This involves the production of products that are safe for People and safe for the Planet, based on an innovative approach that implies all phases of the tyre life cycle, and specifically in regard to:
- research and development of innovative materials in view of environmental protection inter alia, reduction of tyre weight,
- definition of forecasting models and models of tyre-vehicle interaction fundamental to the design of products offering ever-better performance,
- development of innovative production technologies where efficiency plays a key-role,
- creation of devices that help drivers use tyres in such a way as to exploit their full potential, reducing their environmental impact,
- identification and realization of ways to re-use materials derived from discarded tyres.
Process environmental sustainability
As previously mentioned, during the tyre life cycle, less than 10% of the environmental impact is generated by the “process” phase, i.e. production of the tyre, as opposed to nearly 90% of the impact coming from use of the tyre itself.
The Premium logic that drives development of the company also characterizes the approach to process eco-sustainability, with the latter becoming a distinguishing characteristic of Pirelli at the international level. Pirelli has set itself challenging objectives to reduce the impact of its own processes on the ecosystem. It announced them to the external community in its Industrial Plan 2011-2013 with Vision to 2015 and related 2012-2014 update (named Fast Forward) presented to the market in November 2011.
The reduction objectives concern the specific consumption of energy, uptake of water withdrawal, CO2 emissions, specific waste production and recovery and solvent consumption.