Pirelli aiming for greener Brazil production
At an event held on 18 June as part of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Pirelli presented a number of projects the company plans to implement in Brazil to analyse and reduce the environmental impact resulting from tyre production at its Campinas plant. The projects, which will be conducted in cooperation with Italy’s Ministry for the Environment Land and Sea and the Brazilian state of São Paulo, were presented by Pirelli’s director of sustainability and risk governance, Filippo Bettini, at the conference’s Italian pavilion. Also attending the presentation was Italian environment minister, Corrado Clini, and the chairman of Pirelli Brasile, Paolo Dal Pino.
The projects outlined at Rio+20 are amongst the commitments the company pledged during its “Sustainability Day” event held at its Milan headquarters on 23 January, and underscore, in line with the sustainability targets of the 2012-2014 Industrial Plan presented in London last November, the company’s commitment to the realisation of a sustainable and efficient growth model.
At Campinas, Pirelli has committed to calculating, using internationally recognised calculation methods, the carbon footprint attached to the entire lifecycle of one its tyres, which will be taken as representative of production at the plant. The study will also identify the most economically sustainable and efficient measures Pirelli can take to ensure tyre lifecycle-linked greenhouse gas emissions can be further reduced.
The carbon footprint for the bio-silica produced from rice husk processed at Pirelli’s plant in the city of Meleiro, in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, will also be calculated. Rice husk is used in a Pirelli-developed procedure in which the leftovers from rice processing are used to produce a silica substitute for tyre compounds. A further project presented on 18 June entails the technical and economic analysis for integrating solar technology into some phases of the tyre production process, in place of fossil fuels.
The tyre maker’s global aim is to reduce (compared with 2009 levels) its CO2 emissions by 15 per cent and water drawing by 70 per cent by 2015. So far, good progress towards these goals has been made: In 2011, Pirelli achieved an eight per cent reduction in CO2 emissions compared with 2009 and a 28 per cent reduction in water drawing. Pirelli is also actively committed to the management of the collection chain and devising new collection methods for end of life tyres. In Brazil, the company is a member of the tyre collection and recycling association Reciclanip, along with Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear and Michelin. Last year, Reciclanip collected around 320,000 tons of waste tyres.