Pirelli: During 'Sustainability Day' signs agreement with Environment Ministry to reduce climate impact from the production and use of its tyres
Without safety interventions, the World Health Organization estimates 2 million deaths on the road in 2020. Economic impact of road accidents in some countries between 1% and 3% of GDP. Awareness of the quality and maintenance of tyres is essential for prevention.
To improve the safety of its products, for the benefit of people and the environment, each year Pirelli invests 7% of revenues from the Premium segment in R&D, one of the highest levels in the tyre sector.
Pirelli's plan for the containment of environmental impact entails a commitment to reduce CO2 specific emissions by 15% and water specific withdrawal by over 50% by 2015.
Marco Tronchetti Provera: the technologies needed to be "sustainable", a particular patrimony of European industry, represent a competitive advantage and an opportunity to spread a new model for growth.
Ethical Corporation Study: for almost 90% of interviewees, attention to consumer safety is an essential element of social responsibility and an area of opportunity and innovation.
During its "Sustainability Day", Pirelli today signed a voluntary agreement with the Ministry for the Environment and Land and SeaProtection to reduce the climate impact deriving from the activities relative to the production and use of its tyres. The agreement was signed by Minister Corrado Clini and Pirelli Chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera during the "Driving Sustainability: a safe road to the future" international conference. The agreement underscores the commitment of the company which through its own technology develops production systems and products which guarantee the reduction of environmental impact, quality and consumer safety. All elements which allow Pirelli to constantly increase its efficiency, also with significant economic benefits, and avail of an additional competitive lever on international markets, above all in those where these features are called for by law and appreciated by the consumer.
"To speak of sustainability today, said Pirelli's Chairman, "means first of all to speak of technologies which permit the constant improvement of our quality of life. The "old" Europe cannot compete with emerging countries from the point of view of production costs and internal demand, but something which can ensure our future, without doubt, is being more advanced in our search for sustainable models of industrial growth. In this sense, Italy and Europe have developed points of excellence which they export to the rest of the world".
The conference addressed the theme of sustainabilityunderstood not as a cost but as an indispensable condition for a company's future, which thanks to avantgarde technologies is able to develop more sustainable and efficient models of growth.
The debate also encompassed the theme of the consumer's role within an economic system which in recent decades has seen profound changes in the models of development and market dynamics. For the economist Jeremy Rifkin, the "prosumer", the new producer-consumer, is the figure who will become ever more prevalent thanks to "distributed" capitalism, a complex figure who incarnates different and apparently conflicting interests with which companies must more frequently engage. Reconciling these interests will be a stimulus for companies to identify new models of more sustainable growth.
For Pirelli, growth also means responsibility towards the consumer, both through the protection of the environment and the development of ever safer products. Safety was, in fact, one of the conference's central themes, with contributions from senior institutional, association, academic and corporate officials. As well as Marco Tronchetti Provera and Minister Corrado Clini, the participants included Antonio Tajani, vice president of the European Commission, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship, Peter Bakker, president of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Nikhil Chandavarkar, Chief of Communication and Outreach, Division of Sustainable Development, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Carlo Fidanza, member of the Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament, Francesco Gori, COO of Pirelli, Toby Webb, founder and president of the Ethical Corporation and Jeremy Rifkin, president of the Foundation on Economic Trends. The debate was moderated by Oscar Giannino.
PIRELLI AND SAFETY
Pirelli expresses its sustainable management also through its commitment to guaranteeing maximum safety with regard to its products, the environment and its employees, in a context of an approach which safeguards all stakeholders with the aim of lasting growth. The results have been widely recognized at the international level. Pirelli has for many years been included, with ever higher ratings, in some of the most representative sustainability indices, including the Ftse4Good, Dow Jones, ECPI, Aspi and Axia. Further, in 2011 the company was recognized for the fifth consecutive year as the world leader in sustainability in the Auto Parts and Tyre sector within the Dow Jones Sustainability Europe and Dow Jones Sustainability World indices. These indices gauge a company's performance from the point of view of sustainability and constitute the essential basis for the choices of "ethical investors".
The growing centrality of themes linked to consumer safety is also confirmed by the study presented during the conference by the Ethical Corporation, an independent analysis firm focused on themes of social responsibility. The study reveals that for almost 90% of the interviewees - drawn from the readers of the Ethical Corporation's specialized magazine - consumer safety is an essential component of social responsibility, becoming therefore not only an element to be included in corporate agendas but also an area of opportunity and innovation. Of the sample group, 42% also indicated that a socially responsible company's main tasks should include the identification and limitation of risks associated with the product. The research cites 15 large groups, industrial and not, which symbolize sustainable action, acknowledging Pirelli's responsible approach to the production of tyres, with products of quality focused in the premium segment of the market.
Tyres and road safety
Each year, Pirelli invests 7% of its revenues from the Premium segment in research and development, one of the highest levels in the tyre segment, to create products which improve safety, for the benefit of people and the environment. According to research from the World Health Organization, each year around 1.3 million people lose their lives in car accidents around the world. This number, without preventive actions, is destined to grow to 1.9 million in 2020. Road accidents represent the highest cause of death in the 15 to 29 age group. As well as deaths there are the injured, estimated at between 20 million and 50 million a year, with an economic and social impact estimated in some countries at between 1% and 3% of GDP.
Road safety, along with the reduction of harmful emissions, is one of the key planks of Pirelli's strategy for an ever more sustainable mobility which inspire industrial and commercial choices. Research has allowed us to develop materials which are at the same time ecological and able to guarantee the best performance in terms of safety. In this sense, the new European labeling regulations, for labels which identify a tyre's technical and environmental characteristics, will permit consumer choices which are more informed and aware, in particular with relation to braking distance in the wet, noise and the impact on fuel consumption linked to rolling resistance.
In line with its "Green Performance" strategy, Pirelli produces tyres which on the one hand increase performance, reducing braking distance, improving handling and grip in the wet, and on the other reduce rolling resistance and the weight of the tyre with benefits for the environment. From the Scorpion Verde, the first ecological high-performance tyre for SUVs and Crossovers, to the P1, the green tyre for small and mid-size vehicles, to the PZero Silver, the Ultra High Performance tyre derived from Formula 1. Even the Cyber Tyre, now in the final pre-marketing testing phase, will represent a further evolution in terms of safety, thanks to its ability to "read" the road surface through an integrated chip which sends important information to the driver for safe driving.
With regard to prevention and the dissemination of the culture of safety, Pirelli intends to make a concrete contribution to the global plan "Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020" launched by the UN and the World Health organization and has signed on to the European Road Safety Charter, promoted by the European Commission. With its subscription to the Charter, Pirelli has committed to intensify its programme of already launched initiatives at the international level to contribute to the reduction of accidents linked to vehicle circulation. Promoted by the European Commission, the Charter aims to support all initiatives that help increase road safety. The activities planned by Pirelli embrace the criteria of feasibility, concreteness and verifiability required by the European Road Safety Charter, underwritten by over 1,900 institutions and companies at the European level, and share the goals for 2020 in terms of the development of technology at the service of safety and planning awareness actions at the international level. Among those launched by Pirelli, there is the protocol of understanding signed with Italy's Road Police (Polizia Stradale) and the Ministry for Education aimed at raising the awareness among students of road safety, the "Safe&Go" campaign of 2010, in conjunction with the Italian highway authority (Autostrade per l'Italia), to carry out free checks on the condition of tyres.
Reducing environmental impact
For Pirelli, sustainability also means achieving significant savings to protect and safeguard the environment. The last action undertaken was the voluntary agreement signed today with the Ministry for the Environment and Land and Sea Protection to reduce the climate impact deriving from the activities relative to the production and use of Pirelli tyres.
Within the framework of the agreement, Pirelli has committed to calculate, using internationally recognized calculation methods, the carbon footprint relative to the entire life cycle of a tyre, identifying the most economically sustainable and efficient interventions to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases. Pirelli has also committed to implementing a system of carbon management aimed at planning, realizing, monitoring and verifying its interventions to reduce its carbon footprint. The agreement is one of a number of actions conducted by Pirelli to contain environmental impacts. In 2011, in particular, these actions led the group to reduce its specific energy consumption by 6% compared with 2010, with a 20% reduction in the specific water withdrawal. In total, the measures implemented by Pirelli from 2009 to today have resulted in using 2 million cubic metres less of water each year, with CO2 emissions down 5% from 2009. The next targets in terms of environmental sustainability, announced when the industrial plan was updated last November in London, call for a reduction of at least 15% in specific carbon emissions and a decrease of over 50% in specific water withdrawal by 2015.
Each year about 1.5 billion tyres are produced in the world, which must in the end be disposed of: European producers, and also those of the USA and Japan, have created recovery procedures with positive results, also above 90% of the tyres used. Also on this front, Pirelli is actively committed, both in the management of the gathering procedure and in terms of creating new ways of re-using them.
Employee safety and attention to local communities
Making security part of the culture, more than the mere applications of rules, is one of the objectives of the actions aimed at the 30,000 Pirelli employees in the world. Among recent initiatives in this direction, Pirelli held a "Settimana HSE" (Health, Safety, Environment week) which last September saw the group, for years a partner of the European Agency for the Health and Safety in the Workplace, involves all employees in the world in meetings, courses and exercises regarding environmental and safety themes. But also the "Excellence in Safety" programme, in which production units are introduced to new work methods which emphasize safety as a cultural as much as a strategic factor. These are projects which contribute to the achievement of the target of reducing by 2015 the occurrence of workplace accidents by 60% compared with 2009, already down by 26% between 2009 and 2011.
Pirelli's actions also aim to benefit the communities in which it operates, through support for education, training and health. In December 2010, Pirelli, for example, signed an agreement with the Ministry for Equal Opportunities and the Region government of Lombardy to renew through 2013 health sector cooperation, which began in 2008, between Milan's Niguarda hospital and the Romanian hospital in Slatina, where Pirelli has been present since 2005. After the earthquake in Japan in March 2011, Pirelli launched a charity fund "My time for Japan" among its employees, which was used to acquire "travelling libraries "for children living in temporary housing. There were also many training initiatives. The latest of these were "oint Labs" signed with Milan's Politecnico in support of research and training in the tyre sector and with the 'Qufu Normal' Chinese University to finance 25 scholarships.
In line with the global sustainability strategy adopted by Pirelli, the "Sustainability Day" is certified to the BS8901 standard for the sustainable management of events which covers all social, health, safety and environmental aspects along the entire supply chain involved in the planning and realization of the event.