Q&A with Michelin's Pete Selleck
The Yellowstone Steward had a chance to talk with Pete Selleck, Michelin North America’s chairman and president since October 2011. Mr. Selleck recently brought his senior management team to Yellowstone National Park (YNP) for their annual off-site meeting.
Michelin North America, Inc. has been a valued Yellowstone Park Foundation (YPF) partner since 2008, donating more than 1,400 tires to equip Yellowstone’s substantial fleet of vehicles. Michelin has helped save YNP approximately $300,000 annually, a 12% reduction in the Park’s fleet and road maintenance budget.
Q: What were the most vivid impressions of Yellowstone you and your team had during your recent visit?
I have so many vivid impressions that it is difficult to single out even a few. Seeing Old Faithful erupt for the first time was certainly very special.
But what really struck me the most during our recent visit was the vastness of the Park and the commitment of multiple generations to preserve and maintain it. It is truly a remarkable place. Michelin is really proud to be able to contribute to this effort in our small but important way.
Q: Visiting Yellowstone’s fleet operations and seeing the significant difference Michelin is making in the Park's ability to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions up to 30 percent by 2016 must have been rewarding. What is your evaluation of the partnership Michelin has with Yellowstone and YPF?
Yellowstone, as our nation’s first national park, symbolizes our country's long-standing dedication to conservation—a pledge to future generations to forever preserve America's natural treasures.
For Michelin, this partnership is emblematic of our overriding commitment to be a leader in the automotive industry in responsible and sustainable mobility. As a company, we have challenged ourselves to be part of the solution in the areas of improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions. This means, for example, that we are making tires that are more energy efficient and are using fewer raw materials. Michelin was also the first to introduce a line of Green X, energy efficient, tires in 1992.
Because of our innovation and industry leadership, Michelin is able to directly contribute to reducing the environmental impact of Yellowstone’s sizable fleet of vehicles and machinery. It is an opportunity for us to see firsthand how our green technology—low-rolling resistance tires, for example—and our tire fleet management programs perform in one of the most unique and demanding ecological places in the world.
It is especially exciting to know that because of Michelin tires and technical assistance from our talented and dedicated field engineers, the Park has been able to reduce CO2 emissions by 438 metric tons since 2008.
Q: In a 2012 interview with Fast Company, you eloquently talk about making the business case for generosity. Can you share your thoughts on this topic with our readers?
Generosity is simply the consequence of respect and a well thought out understanding of all of our responsibilities to society. At Michelin, we are very committed to respect for our stakeholders. We have a broad array of stakeholders—our customers, our employees, our shareholders, our communities, the environment, and others.
Yes, we develop, manufacture, market and sell the best tires in the world. But Michelin wants to be more than just a tire manufacturer. We want to play a role in improving the sustainability of mobility, and thus have a positive impact on society.
Q: What are the guiding principles that govern Michelin’s approach to corporate philanthropy?
Earlier I mentioned Michelin’s commitment to sustainable mobility. From a philanthropic standpoint, our goal is to have a positive impact on our communities—the places where we do business and where we live. Our philosophy is to focus on key areas in our communities that Michelin can best impact, including local sustainability of the environment.
Another area of our community focus is our support of life-long education. For example, we support early education at Title One schools through a program called Michelin Challenge Education. This program harnesses the skills and passions of employees who volunteer their time to teach, inspire and mentor elementary school students. This program just marked its fifth year anniversary, and I am proud to say that our employees have volunteered over 7,000 hours with students at 20 schools. So far the results have shown this program is improving reading and math test scores. Also, in several of our communities, we help to support the creation of small businesses and hundreds of new jobs through Michelin Development.
Photos, top to bottom: Pete Selleck, Chairman and President, Michelin North America; Pete Selleck, center, with his senior management staff at Old Faithful, Spring 2014; NPS dumptruck outfitted with fuel-efficient Michelin tires; Michelin N.A. headquarters, left to right: Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk, Bibendum, YPF President Karen Kress, Pete Selleck.
Truck photo by NPS. All other photos courtesy of Michelin North America.