Pirelli: One of S&P Global’s Top 1% of Sustainable Companies

The S&P Global Sustainability Yearbook 2024 is out and Pirelli is named one of the top businesses for its commitment to ESG through automotive initiatives

Congratulations are in order upon release of S&P Global’s Sustainability Yearbook 2024, which recognises the top-performing organisations of 9,400 companies. 

This is an immense feat as organisations differ in their approaches to overall sustainable business practice, but also operate in a variety of industries that face challenges unique to their sectors. 

As explained by the President and CEO of the organisation, businesses interested in building prosperity through their commercial operations require judgement in order to hold them accountable, but also recognise their achievements to pave the way for further innovation and growth. 

While we often see a few sectors, such as energy and sustainable, digital innovators taking their positions within the rankings, other companies are emerging, and have emerged, among the top 1% of eco-conscious businesses. 

One of these is the automotive tyre manufacturer Pirelli, which was recognised in the top 1% of the Sustainability Yearbook 2024, and became the first of its industry to achieve the prestige accolade. 

To quote Pirelli’s Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Marco Tronchettiappointed to the board in August 2023: “Being again recognised this year as one of the leaders in the Sustainability Yearbook confirms Pirelli’s capacity to integrate its sustainability strategy along the entire value chain. These concrete results and challenging goals are only obtained with the commitment of all”. 

Pirelli’s strategy for sustainable automotive commitment

The tyre maker is certainly delivering on all fronts. Pirelli recently cited a 15% reduction in carbon emissions, 18% less consumption of energy, and an incredible 58% reduction in water usage. All of this accompanied by rigorous waste management actions behind the scenes to deliver sustainable products to the global automotive market and support the motorsport industry as one of its long-standing stakeholders. 

The sustainability journey has firmly become embedded in the company’s strategy, as it has delivered almost 25 years of sustainable action and benchmarked its work against a number of reports since the inaugural version in 2000. 

Back in the day, the report was published with details of its environmental impact, yet now incorporates the entire environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda of the business. 

Worded eloquently by its Group Sustainability and Diversity Officer Eleonora Giada Pessina, the company realised the multi-faceted approach required to ensure a profitable response to risk and financial returns must align with the needs of the planet and its people. 

“It is a matter of considering sustainability not as a specific issue but as a management model that is transferable to all the functions. 

“All the different capitals have to be managed in a responsible and sustainable way. Otherwise, the company’s financial viability is at risk.”

Qualifying Pirelli as a top sustainable business

What exactly has the company implemented over the years, besides its overarching commitment to the cause? 

As an integral supplier to one of the most prominent industries in the conversation, Pirelli’s innovation is focused on bio-based compounds and technologies, which led to 38% inclusion of bio and recycled materials in its products in 2022. The aim here is to reach 48% by the end of 2025 and 72% by 2030. 

In terms of water conservation, the company set a target to reduce specific water withdrawal by 43% before its 2025 deadline, an area in which it overachieves. Alongside this is the inevitable emissions reduction strategy with a target of -42% by 2025 based on its 2015 baseline. 

All of this is encouraged by more women in management as the team currently veers towards its goal to increase female representation in leadership—almost a quarter of its managers are women. 

These targets and achievements are not only recognised by S&P Global’s recognition, but also align with its key industries. Motorsport is one of its major customers and partners driving inclusivity, and Pirelli’s achievements play to that. 

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