Pirelli: the Ethical Company

Pirelli & C S.p.a. was created in Milan in 1872 by the then 24-year-old engineer Giovanni Battista Pirelli. From its initial production consisting of belts, rubber tyres, technical articles in vulcanised rubber, the company rapidly implemented its production range, dedicating itself to toys, waterproofing, in addition to padding for bras and briefs.

The true specialisation, which became Pirelli’s flagship, was in the motorcycle and car tyre sector; indeed, it was none other than this Milanese company to invent bicycle tyres. With its new machinery and technologies, Pirelli soon achieved noteworthy successes in motor racing and earned a highly significant collaboration with FIAT. To date, production comprises of over 1900 different tyres, which can be adapted to any type of car or requirement.

One of the group’s historical leaders was Leopoldo Pirelli (grandson of the founder) who, after thirty years of presidency, passed the helm onto his then son-in-law, Marco Tronchetti Provera in 1996. Leopold Pirelli died in 2007 but, as we can see, the group continued to pursue his leadership style.

Pirelli recently set up Pirelli Tyre, a subsidiary owned by the parent company which operates in the design, manufacture and market entry requirements for tyres for various types of vehicles.

Pirelli currently focuses its main attention and resources on the development of top-of-the-range tyres, where it plays a leading role at an international level: today it is the exclusive supplier of Formula One, the Superbike championships and the main single-brand championships, such as the Ferrari Challenge and the Maserati Trophy.

Pirelli’s mission

The company’s mission is to continually improve products in order to ensure the best performance both on the road and on the market. For this purpose, 3% of turnover is invested in research and development every year.

Safety and the containment of environmental impact are the two imperatives that guide Pirelli’s philosophy: the safeguarding of people’s health and an ecological vision of production are the basis of the business’ modus operandi, and therefore, strategies of enhancement and welfare are designed and implemented on the basis of the Sustainability Model provided by the United Nations Global Contact. This policy consists of identifying and the timely resolution of any possible risks for humans and the ecosystem, with an eye to the ever-present theme of prevention. Its choices are geared towards the current themes of green economy and sustainability, where Pirelli is constantly providing commitment and responsibility.

Green Sourcing and Ethical Code

A particular focus is given to green sourcing, where the group policy undertakes to purchase and employ materials that have a lower environmental impact than the market average. The procurement of materials, goods and services is subject to the rule of the three Rs: Reduction, Reuse, Recovery.

Pirelli employs a Group Code of Ethics, whose guidelines are summarised in three words: loyalty, transparency and fairness, meaning internal, external and towards competitors. Anyone who works in the group, for the group, or simply has business relations, is obliged to comply with the Code. You can read between the lines that this is one of the goals of quality, innovation and customer satisfaction, which are important for equal opportunities, the protection of human rights and the enhancement of human resources.

Human resources are considered to be the company’s primary success factor, an indispensable element that has led to an increase in know-how making Pirelli an international leader in the industry. Professional growth and enhancement of peculiarities, the culture of safety and health are guarantees that Pirelli subscribes to for all its employees and to everyone with whom it has ongoing commercial relations.

Pirelli’s attitude to pursue an ethical business model has characterised its entire history and still continues to be a primary commitment for the company.

Leopold Pirelli: the beginning of the ethical policy

It was Leopoldo Pirelli, one of the greatest industrialists of the twentieth century who disappeared 10 years ago, who paved the way for a moral reflection on entrepreneurship. Leopold argued that progress and innovation would have to counteract a human and humanistic vision of the enterprise: the industrialist argued that “Profit is the measurement of company efficiency, an end not unto itself,”.

Social sensitivity has always accompanied Leopoldo: he proposed reducing the 5-day working week, the choice of shift work, reduced work for women, staggering holidays, and the removal of “special departments” for communist workers. Working conditions that were far more humane in the 1960s, made Pirelli a state-of-the-art reality.

Pirelli today: Premium Integrity

Pirelli promotes a diverse and multiracial work environment, opening up to cooperation with government and non-governmental agencies, in order to develop active policies to protect human rights. In the spirit of ethical business, Pirelli also supports freedom of association, refuses forced labour and protects employee working conditions, so that there is always the necessary balance between the working life and private life. Fair economic remuneration and adequate schedules complete the framework of Pirelli’s commitments because the human and moral dimension is constantly present and safeguarded in its every form.

A particularly symbolic example of Pirelli’s ethical commitment is the Premium Integrity programme, which was approved and has been active since 2013. It is an anti-corruption programme, a collection of rules and principles that the company has always adopted, but integrated with new provisions; an address purportedly pursued by Pirelli, as a result of constant monitoring of the risks of corruption in the countries where it operates. Given that it is sensitive to periodic variations, the group proposes that it shall periodically continue to survey and adopt appropriate anti-corruption and education & awareness programmes.

Premium is precisely the key word for this project: not only is Pirelli developing, but it is also selling, premium products. But, according to the company, the moral conduct of the group’s components must be equally “premium”. Tyres are exported, but also values, respect, conscience and integrity.

This Premium Strategy also includes the Global Quality Policy, which aims to continuously innovate products and services, anticipating customers needs and taking care of stakeholder demands.

The ethical enterprise: an ideal that became a reality

The ethical enterprise, as it turns out, is an ideal that can and must become a reality. Of course, this means commitment, maintenance of cognitive moral progress, and above all attention to the outside world.

Pirelli is always aiming to combine social responsibility and ethical business practices, and this combination should not be taken for granted in other business. First of all, these two aspects are increasingly relevant in today’s world; In other words, thanks to Pirelli’s lesson, it is possible to combine reliability and goals in business while protecting people and the environment.

And so, after many years from the pioneering ideas of Leopoldo Pirelli, the sense of responsibility, enhancement of human capital, fairness in competition and dialogue with stakeholders, whether they are suppliers, customers, collaborators, or trade unions still prospers within the group.

Ethics and continuous renewal are part and parcel of Pirelli’s philosophy and its choices. They are a constant in a production capable of pursuing quality and the culture of sustainability.

Pirelli, IPO 2017

In 2017, Pirelli will be listed on the stock market after two years of absence after the sale of the company to the Chinese of Chem China. IPO Pirelli, defined as the largest IPO in 2017 thanks to the fact (read more on Pirelli to overtake AIB with largest European IPO this year), will surprise investors and industry experts. In particular, it will be interesting to check the quotation of Pirelli shares, which is worth $ 11 billion (source: Pirelli Reportedly Racing to Milan IPO Valued at Nearly $11 Billion).

A new step forward for one of the most promising Italian companies.