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The Michelin factory of Gravanches is investing to conserve water resources

This investment of three million euros will reduce the plant’s water extraction from the environment by 60%

  • It will provide the Gravanches factory near Clermont-Ferrand with the best water conservation and water efficiency of all of the Group’s new tire manufacturing plants.
  • Michelin: an ambitious policy to save water.

The first tire factory in the world with a zero net CO₂ emission rate(1), the leading technological site producing high-end and Motorsport tires, and also the first plant in the Group to manufacture a tire using 63% renewable and recycled materials… The Gravanches site is ahead of the curve in a number of ways.

By launching a new investment of three million euros to build an adiabatic tower (see description below) to keep water in a closed circuit and reduce water extraction by 60% – thus saving the equivalent of four Olympic-sized pools each year (~10,000 m3) –, this model factory continues to develop innovative solutions to reduce its environmental impact. Thanks to this new equipment, the Gravanches plant becomes the Group’s most virtuous production site in terms of water management(2).

The adiabatic tower

The Group has opted to install the technology of an adiabatic tower to enable a more restrained, responsible use of water while avoiding certain risks such as legionella. To implement this project, the site worked with the support of a group of experts including environmental, water, maintenance and engineering specialists.

Conserving water: an important area for the Group’s industrial environmental policy

After 15 years of continual efforts, and thanks to the devotion of the Manufacturing teams, Michelin has reduced the water extraction of its industrial sites by 43% (compared to the absolute value of the percentage of water extracted from 2005 to 2019). Through its good practices and a number of investments, the Michelin factories have made it possible to avoid extracting nearly 178 million m3 of water from the environment. That is the annual domestic consumption of 3.3 million people in a country such as France.

The Group has recently set a new, ambitious water conservation objective: to reduce the extraction of all its industrial sites by 33% (3) by 2030 compared to 2019. At the Gravanches plant, the objective will have already been achieved by 2024.

As early as in 2005, Michelin established an indicator making it possible to quantify the environmental footprint of its factories. The indicator takes into account the overall management of water, on the same terms as that of energy, CO₂ emissions, organic solvent consumption, and waste.

(1) For Michelin, committing to the net zero emissions approach means both reducing the CO2 emissions arising from its own activities and those of its value chain by 90%, and also making long-term preparations for the capture and definitive stocking of a volume of CO2 equivalent to its residual annual emissions. This strategy is defined by the SBTi CorporateNet-ZeroStandard, Oct. 2021.

(2) reduced per ton produced over this period at the Gravanches plant

(3) Water extraction weighted by the water stress coefficient per ton of finished and semi-finished products

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