The Pirelli Group environmental strategy

Management of environmental issues has always played a key role in business strategy at Pirelli. With a view to long-term duration and given the inherent complexity of managing the reduction of its impacts at the different stages of life of the tyre, the Pirelli Group has provided a control system that can display, analyse and manage its activities starting from a comprehensive viewpoint that allows the identification of the materiality and, therefore, the resulting action plans. Pirelli monitors the Carbon Footprint and Water Footprint of its entire organisation and is committed to their progressive reduction.

The infographic on the following pages aims to show in a single view Pirelli’s approach to environmental management, aimed at reducing its impact on resources, climate and ecosystems. The diagram can be read both horizontally, following one by one the stages of tyre life cycle, or vertically, thus being able to appreciate all the qualitative and quantitative elements relevant to each phase.

The life cycle has been analysed by using the Life Cycle Assessment, as defined by the ISO 14040 family of standards. This latter method is capable of validating the results and strategic decisions related to it as objectively as possible. Moreover, the reporting of the emissions impacts also complies with the provisions of the GHG Protocol and the GRI-G4 Guidelines. All impacts listed by the standards that are not mentioned, both upstream and downstream with respect to the industrial activity of Pirelli, do not apply or are not relevant. The values are shown as a percentage, as the objective of this infographic is to show the differences in materiality between the various life stages. To determine the Carbon and Water Footprint the calculation model used by Pirelli follows the technical specification ISO-TS 14067 and draft ISO 14046 respectively. 

At the top of the infographic, the drivers that exercise pressure on the environment show the role of Customers and Suppliers as key players - along with Pirelli - in the product life cycle. The main impact is generated at every stage from different types of activity: in the case of raw materials it refers to their production and distribution. In the case of tyre manufacturing it refers to the consumption of electricity and natural gas: the production of these two is the major reason for the emissions into the atmosphere and the water consumption . In the case of the distribution of new tyres and their use by customers, the impact derives from the fuel consumption of vehicles: in the case of customers only the fuel consumption related to the power absorbed by the rolling resistance of the tyres themselves is allocated. Finally, in the last considered phase of life, the impact deriving from the preparation of end-of-life tyres for recovery in the form of energy or recycled raw material is calculated.

In regard to the Carbon Footprint, the “drivers” area of the infograph also contains the breakdown of emissions in the three scope categories in relation to the GHG Protocol principles. The central part of the infographic shows the actual quantification, in percentage terms, of the Carbon Footprint and the Water Footprint. These two aspects are summarised by four principal indicators: Primary Energy Demand (PED), Global Warming Potential (GWP), Blue Water Consumption (BWC) and Eutrophication Potential (EP). The values are managed in GJ of energy, tons of CO2 equivalent, cubic meters of water and kilograms of phosphate equivalents. The Primary Energy Demand (PED) refers to the quantity of energy that is taken directly from the hydrosphere, the atmosphere or the geosphere, be it renewable or non-renewable energy. The Global Warming Potential (GWP) concerns the effect of human activities on the climate, and is calculated as stated in tonnes of CO2 equivalent. This means that the potential greenhouse gases effect is given in relation to CO2. The calculation assumed that the CO2 would remain in the atmosphere for 100 years.

Blue Water Consumption (BWC) is given by the volume of consumed surface and underground water in consequence of the production of a good or service. Consumption refers to the fresh water used and then evaporated or incorporated in the product. The Eutrophication Potential (EP) is the enrichment of nutrients in a specific aquatic or terrestrial ecosystem. Air pollution, water emissions and agricultural fertilizers all contribute to eutrophication. The result in aquatic systems is accelerated growth of algae, which does not allow sunlight to penetrate beyond the surface of water basins. This reduces photosynthesis and thus reduces the production of oxygen. Low concentrations of oxygen may cause mass death of fish and anaerobic decomposition of organic material, seriously compromising the entire ecosystem.

Consistently with the product environmental footprint, as already shown in the sustainability reports for the previous years, the tyre use phase is the most significant one for each of the four indicators.

The environmental materiality deriving from this type of analysis, which would logically lead to focusing all actions on the improvement of the product characteristics that determine the use phase impact, nevertheless is accompanied by the economic materiality. The latter is identified on the basis of different management elements such as, for example, the amount of corporate spending and thus the level of opportunity in reducing and avoiding costs, as in the case of investments in energy efficiency.

In its response strategy, which is available at the bottom of the infographic and also corresponding to what is stated in the Industrial Plan, Pirelli has adopted adequate management models for monitoring and management of environmental issues, and has voluntarily set specific targets for the reduction of impacts in each of the phases of the life cycle.


Impatto ambientale