The world is interconnected in precious ways. From the air we breathe and the water we drink, to our children’s wellbeing and our cultural heritage.
This philosophy is at the heart of Pirelli’s approach, and it is a concept that is becoming increasingly widely accepted and adopted in the business world.
The past two decades have seen a growing number of companies across all sectors and locations communicating more about their performance within the environmental, social and governance domains . Embraced by terms such as corporate social responsibility and sustainability, the vision is of a new type of modern corporation – the “sustainable organisation”.
A fundamental choice
As Pirelli has grown from a small factory in Milan some 140 years ago to a major global operation, the company has been conscious of the need to nurture the environment as a fundamental resource. That ethos extends into everything we touch – from natural resources to the wellbeing of our employees and the communities we operate in.
“Sustainability is a fundamental choice for Pirelli,” says CEO and executive vice chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera. “It is fully integrated into the group's vision and strategies for growth, in all business areas and in all management decisions, everywhere in the world.”
Pirelli’s Simply True video highlights the company’s efforts in four key areas:
• water usage
• renewable energy
• support for children in need
• cultural projects
And real progress is being made.
Water specific withdrawal has been reduced by 42 per cent on 2009 levels
Pirelli monitors the water footprint of the entire organisation, just as it monitors its carbon footprint. The company is looking to improve the overall efficiency of production processes, from machinery design to facilities management, as well as harnessing the power of every employee to reduce water consumption.
More than 30m cubic metres of water have been saved in the past six years, equivalent to 12,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The target for 2020 is to reduce water specific withdrawal by 58 per cent on 2009 levels.
Pirelli monitors the water footprint of the entire organisation, just as it monitors its carbon footprint
Some 38 per cent of the electricity Pirelli uses comes from renewable sources
This includes biomass, solar and wind power, which all help reduce carbon emissions.
The factory at Settimo Torinese, Italy, uses energy from a cogeneration plant producing electricity, steam and hot water from an endothermic engine working on vegetable oil and a natural gas turbine. This provides around 6MW of the facility’s energy. It also gets energy from a photovoltaic system.
One of Pirelli’s facilities in Brazil now has a biomass plant for vapour generation using locally supplied wood waste. This is expected to replace 52,500 MWh per year of energy from fossil fuels, equal to a saving of 10,500 tonnes per year of CO2 emissions.
Pirelli’s plant in Silao, Mexico, has signed an agreement for the supply of electricity from wind power. This will guarantee 3MW of renewable energy, equal to more than 30 per cent of the plant’s electricity consumption.
In recent years Pirelli has supported more than 10,000 children in five continents
In addition to road safety programmes and technical training, Pirelli’s other main focus for young people is sporting activities and the sense of solidarity they create.
Pirelli is a partner of the global social project Inter Campus. This uses football as an educational tool for underprivileged girls and boys aged between six and 13 and develops values such as teamwork, social integration and friendship. Pirelli and Inter Campus have created projects in Slatina, Romania; Silao, Mexico; New York, US; and Voronezh, Russia.
We also sponsor young people’s baseball in Venezuela; basketball, volleyball and cycling in Brazil; and basketball in Spain, to name but a few.
In 2015, we signed the European Pact for Youth – backed by the European Commission and initiated by the European Business Network for Corporate Social Responsibility – to support the development of young people through the promotion of training, internships and education to boost their chances of getting jobs.
Sometimes our projects hit the headlines – like the 2014 restoration of the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro after it was struck by lightning
We’ve worked on 300 cultural projects around the world
As a company Pirellli has always embraced the world of culture and we are proud to give backing to cultural events in the countries where we operate. For example, we recently supported a concert at the Istanbul Culture and Art Foundation and we are one of the sponsors of the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art.
Sometimes our projects hit the headlines – like the 2014 restoration of the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro after it was struck by lightning. The work was seen as a fitting way to mark Pirelli’s 85 years in Brazil.
Go gently in the world
These are just some of the ways in which we are living up to the ideals of sustainability in our work. There are many other aspects we have been engaged on, too – from our Green Sourcing Policy, designed to stimulate and encourage environmental awareness along our entire supply chain, to our green product portfolio, which formed 48 per cent of total tyre revenues in 2015.
These are all ways Pirelli is evolving to make the company more efficient, productive and environmentally oriented.
At the heart of Pirelli’s business is the sense of a journey. Journeys and travelling are a major part of human endeavour and we will continue to develop future mobility, while always remembering to go gently in the world – and to play our part in creating a better future by making a real contribution today.