PARIS — Group Michelin has set a target of zero CO2 emissions by 2050 as part of its sustainability commitment with an approach based on "consuming less" and an "energy transition."
The strategy also includes reducing tire-related energy consumption per kilometer traveled by 20% by 2030, the company said.
Already in place at many of its plants, Michelin said the strategy helped reduce CO2 emissions by 22% from 2010-18 throughout the company's European operations, where 85% of factories are powered by electricity from renewable sources.
"In the future, we will pursue these efforts by improving the energy-efficiency of our industrial tools, using more renewable energy and eliminating coal," Michelin said.
Five of the group's 70 sites around the world are still coal-fired, the company added.
The French tire maker has launched studies to evaluate the feasibility of replacing coal with another source of primary energy, such as gas or biomass.
The company aims to phase out the use of coal at all of its plants by 2030 "at the latest."
In logistics, the company said its top priority was to reduce the impact of transportation on the environment.
To achieve this, Michelin said it is implementing a strategy of "transport less, transport better and transport differently" across its operations as well as extending it to external companies.
To transport less, Michelin restricted its product sales area to the level of the production site, thereby reducing the distance traveled and limiting the number of trips.
Michelin's commitment to "better transport" entails using increasingly efficient transport such as avoiding empty runs.
As part of this, a train between Poland and Germany is now replacing trucks, cutting 42 metric tons of CO2 per week, the company said, and in North America, Michelin now ships some of its products between Canada and the U.S. by rail instead of using the road.
In Europe, the company's deliveries to customers are now combined with other freight deliveries, to "transport differently," Michelin added.
To address the energy consumption of its tires, Michelin said it is extending the life of its products so they offer "very high performances until the tread wear indicators appear."
Using tires until the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6 mm, Michelin said, will save 400 million tires each year and prevent 35 million tons of CO2 emissions.
Michelin said its strategy is in line with the Paris Agreement signed in 2015 at the Conference on Climate Change (COP21) to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius. It is a concrete response to a global objective: the de-carbonization of the transport sector by 2050.