Michelin receives Prince Michael safety award
In recognition of the company’s global commitment to road safety, Michelin has received the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award at the inaugural Decade of Action for Road Safety Policy & Donor Forum, which was held in New York on 2 May.
“Michelin is a global leader in road safety innovation not only through its product development but also in the field of care for its own employees,” said His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent, Royal Patron of The Commission for Global Road Safety. “But its wider corporate commitment to community safety and international programs is an outstanding example to all businesses.”
The tyre maker says this strong emphasis on road safety is part of its corporate social responsibility commitment. That’s because, Michelin explains, the company’s strategic focus on performance would be meaningless without an ongoing commitment to making roads safer around the world. Therefore, in addition to its tyres and their performance, Michelin supports measures to make driving safer, providing employees with training and promoting road safety to the general public. Addressing the challenge of road safety represents a concrete application of one of Michelin’s stated core values – respect for people.
Every week, more than 7,000 people around the world are killed in work-related traffic accidents, including commuting to and from work. In response, Michelin has introduced internal campaigns promoting safer driving practices and more efficient travel management. Since 2009, all sales and marketing employees take part in road safety training courses. Information tools include a Road Safety awareness kit provided to all employees in countries where Michelin has manufacturing operations. In the UK, the accident rate of the group’s car fleet has been more than halved since a comprehensive driving policy was implemented five years ago.
In addition to these internal measures, over the past ten years Michelin has introduced a wide range of road safety programmes in the countries where it operates. While each programme is adapted to the local situation, and often conducted in or with host communities, all are designed to raise awareness about road-related dangers. Many of the programmes target young people, cyclists and pedestrians, who are considered to be the most vulnerable road users.
One example is Michelin Junior Bike, an initiative that helps young people learn traffic regulations in a fun way and shows them the importance of wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle. Since 1998 in Italy alone, more than 184,000 children have participated in this programme, which in recent years has also been held in France and the UK and is now being introduced in more and more emerging countries. Other programmes include The Safest Way, which is aimed at schoolchildren and is organised in partnership with local councils in Italy and Brazil, and Fill up with Air, which educates motorists about the importance of maintaining the correct tyre pressure in order to ensure their own safety as well as that of other road users. Conducted in Europe since 2003, Fill up with Air has recently been introduced on other continents.
Michelin states that all of these initiatives reflect its long-term commitment, which is also expressed in engagement through road safety charters signed at national and European level – Michelin also supports programmes launched by the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), in particular its five-year pilot projects introduced in China, the ASEAN countries, India and Brazil.
In May 2011, also Michelin became one of the first companies, to sign the Global Road Safety Commitment in support of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 launched by the United Nations. In 2012, the tyre maker is investing six million euros worldwide to support global road safety initiatives.
The Policy & Donor Forum, organised by the Commission for Global Road Safety in partnership with the Road Safety Fund, addressed the role of road safety and sustainable transportation in contributing to shared goals for sustainable development, particularly in the context of the forthcoming “Rio+20” UN Conference on Sustainable Development. The Forum supported the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 and was intended to provide an opportunity for organisations and companies that contribute to road traffic injury prevention to exchange knowledge and experiences and build new partnerships.