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Materiality Matters at Michelin

Established in the late 1800’s when brothers André and Edouard Michelin began to create new tire innovations, Michelin believes that mobility is essential for human development.


In 2012, Michelin embarked on a program to review its approach to sustainability and asked SustainAbility to help with its first materiality process.

Identifying the issues

Our starting point was to compile a long list of issues, which we did through a combination of interviews with mobility industry experts and in-depth desk-based research across a range of publications by NGOs; multilaterals; governments; think tanks; media; consumer organisations and socially responsible investors (SRIs).

Next we evaluated the impact of material issues against the drivers of business value for the company and the level of stakeholder concern. After receiving our initial review of material issues, the sustainability team at Michelin then worked with its internal risk department and its sustainability committee to solidify our assessments and to calibrate them against its own internal priorities.

Materiality matrix

The end result – approved by the CEO-led sustainability council – was a materiality matrix mapping the 19 sustainability challenges that matter most to Michelin’s stakeholders and to the company’s business performance. The priorities identified help drive Michelin’s six ambitions for 2020 to improve their product leadership and environmental performance, to set the standard for industry manufacturing, to strengthen ties with local communities and to further develop and advocate for an approach to sustainable mobility.




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