Improved process and product environmental performance, investments in training, partnerships with suppliers to develop increasingly sustainable materials and solutions. These are the main sustainability results achieved by Pirelli in 2019, the year in which the company also obtained, and in many cases reconfirmed, several international awards at the ESG level (Environmental, Social, Governance).
In the environmental field, in particular, owing to targeted actions to improve the water efficiency of its production processes, from the design of machinery to Facility Management activities, Pirelli recorded a drop in absolute water withdrawal of 14.7% compared to 2018 and in specific water withdrawal of 70% (totalling 90 million cubic meters of water saved) compared to 2009, the base year of the previous sustainability plan. Thanks to the energy efficiency plan launched in recent years in all the Group's plants, in 2019, the company recorded a 2% reduction in absolute energy consumption compared to the previous year's values and a 13.1% reduction in specific energy consumption compared to 2009 (an estimated saving of 500 million kWh).
In support of the objective of reducing CO2 emissions, Pirelli has defined a “Carbon Action Plan” by increasingly resorting to renewable energy sources through various projects. This plan has made it possible to reduce absolute CO2 emissions by 1.9% compared to 2018 and by 10.8% compared to 2009. Lastly, thanks to innovation in production processes and the operational management of waste generated, 97% of waste has been sent for recovery, amounting to about 190,000 tonnes, effectively pursuing the “Zero Waste to Landfill” objective.
In 2019, moreover, revenues from Eco Safety Performance tyres (formerly referred to as Green Performance tyres), in other words Pirelli tyres that are exclusively ranked in classes A, B, C of rolling resistance and wet grip, totalled 55.8% of total car tyre sales (49.8% in 2018). Eco Safety Performance revenues on High Value products, i.e. tyres with splined pairs from 18 inches upwards and “Specialties” (Run Flat, Self-Sealing, Noise Cancellation System), totalled 63.3% (57.5% in 2018).
Pirelli's significant Research & Development work over the last ten years has helped to reduce rolling resistance (-18% in 2019 compared to 2009) and to improve wet grip, the two main characteristics capable of making the tyre “eco safe”.
Another of the main objectives of 2019 was the training work on the contents of the Pirelli Natural Rubber Policy, introduced by the company in 2017, and the corresponding implementation Manual dedicated to Pirelli suppliers directly involved in “field” activities, in the local language and in all the Countries where Pirelli gets its supplies. 100% of natural rubber suppliers took part in the six seminars organised by Pirelli in five countries (Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, China and Brazil), with the participation on various occasions also of national authorities active in the sector, thereby drawing up a plan of action in line with Pirelli Policy.
As for the social dimension, investment in “occupational health and safety culture” – which has allowed the 2019 accident rate to be kept in line with 2018 and down 83% compared to 2009 – and more generally in training, with more than 7 average days per employee, has been key.
The further improvement in the environmental, social and economic results recorded by Pirelli in 2019 was also reflected in the awards the company obtained worldwide. From the global Sustainability Leader in the Automobiles & Components sector in the Dow Jones World and Europe indexes, to the confirmation of the company's inclusion in the Global Compact Lead by the United Nations, through to the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) acknowledging the brand as a global leader in the fight against climate change. Pirelli was also the only company in the worldwide “Auto Components” sector to win the "Gold Class Distinction" of the SAM Sustainability Yearbook 2020 published by S&P Global and it was also bestowed with the accolade of Leader in the FTSE4Good Index Series, ranked at the top of the tyres sector.
These important results were obtained thanks to the joint effort of all the men and women in the company, who are already looking ahead toward future goals. With the launch of Pirelli's sustainability plan with targets in 2022, 2025 and 2030 in support of the 2020-2022 Industrial Plan with Vision 2025, Pirelli has in fact outlined the strategy on which its next steps in the field of sustainability will be based, focusing, among other things, on: Carbon Neutrality by 2030, thanks also to the use of 100% renewable electricity at group level by 2025.