“The Human Dimension” is the title of the Pirelli 2020 Annual Report, in which three great authors reflect from different points of view on the momentous transformations under way, accelerated by the pandemic, and on the impact that these are having on people’s lives and feelings. The philosopher Luciano Floridi in “A beautiful glitch: for a green and blue human future” suggests that the ethical and managerial challenges of the digital revolution, today more relevant than ever, will be resolved by uniting the “green of all the environments we live in” with "the blue of all digital technologies". The New Yorker writer and editorialist, Jia Tolentino, discusses the rediscovery of slow time, where the pleasure of contemplating a sunset is contrasted with the frenetic rhythms of pre-Covid life. The writer and journalist Michele Masneri interprets in his style the “human dimension” of Pirelli and Milan, with the company and city engaged in a continuous game of mirroring and cross-referencing. The volume is completed by the collages of the illustrator Johanna Goodman that give form to this humanity, to protect and cultivate, representing some of the traits that constitute Pirelli’s identity: Knowledge, Community, Beauty, Roots, Passion, the Avant-garde.
In 2020, Pirelli engaged with the challenges of the Covid-19 health emergency while navigating the underlying weakness of the automotive sector, which was already evident in the preceding year and compounded by the pandemic. As lockdowns and other Covid-19 containment measures gradually brought the global economy to a near standstill, the company acted speedily to protect its employees, limit economic harm to stakeholders and do its part to support the wider community.
The situation presented many complexities and I wanted to commend all Pirelli’s employees for their readiness to respond and adapt to the changes, and management for the decisiveness and efficacy of their actions – from halting production to protect factory employees, to switching office staff to remote working platforms to enable them to operate in safety.
Alongside extraordinary actions to fight against Covid-19, including donations in support of hospitals and other healthcare institutions around the world, the company also maintained its efforts in the area of Sustainability in the broader sense, earning a number of important awards at the international level.
Pirelli, in fact, consolidated its position as leader in the Automotive and Components sector on the Dow Jones Sustainability World and Europe indices, and the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) validated the company’s targets for the reduction of CO2 emissions, judging them consistent with the actions needed to maintain climate warming well below 2°C.
There is no question that the events of 2020 put the entire global economy under strain and Pirelli was not spared. We should take heart, however, that even in these difficult circumstances the company’s High Value strategy proved its validity, underpinned by continuing innovation supported by investments of almost 200 million in R & D. This, together with the commitment of our people, should give us all great confidence in Pirelli’s ongoing success.
Thank you all, dear Stakeholders, for your support.
Writing to you after a year like the one that just ended, my thoughts go first of all to the people stricken by the virus and their families and my thanks to all those who each day help us to fight it. From the beginning, our priority at Pirelli was to protect the health and safety of our people and their families, through stringent HSE (Health Safety Environment) measures and innovative welfare services, and support the community too, through a series of initiatives in support of the fight against Covid. Our experience in China, where the virus struck before it did in other places, helped us to respond quickly elsewhere to both the health emergency and its economic consequences. The complexity of this period has made us stronger and everyone’s work once more confirmed the centrality of the “Human Dimension”, not incidentally the theme of the 2020 Pirelli Annual Report.
First in our sector, we redefined our targets implementing actions to safeguard all Stakeholders and aimed at preserving profitability and cash flow. In the context of a tyre market that underwent a marked decline, we generated over 200 million euro in cash and registered profitability of 11.6%, returning to remunerate shareholders in 2021 with a total dividend of 80 million euro. The months ahead will still be challenging, but the “reset” triggered by the pandemic offers many opportunities that Pirelli is ready to seize.
With 2020 behind us, we have presented a new Industrial Plan with a time horizon through 2025. Thanks to our technology, our links with carmakers, our commercial strength and our products, we are confident that in 2022 we will return to pre-Covid values. We want to enhance our position in High Value also becoming leaders in specialties, taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the new trends in mobility, electric first among them, but also cycling, and develop services linked to connectivity, thanks to our CyberTyre. Sustainability is ever more central throughout our plan, and we will continue to invest in it in the knowledge that safeguarding our planet and the community are also essential for the future of our companies.
Our brand remains a fundamental strength. Everywhere, in fact, Pirelli is synonymous with safety, technology, reliability, as well as competition, aesthetics, entrepreneurial culture. We reinforce such factors daily also thanks to the many sporting competitions in which we are involved, like Formula 1, where we have extended our partnership until 2024. This also includes Superbike, skiing and the America’s Cup where Luna Rossa, also thanks to the contribution of Pirelli, achieved a result without precedent in the history of sailing competitions. In terms of our identity, the work of the Fondazione Pirelli is also fundamental as it conserves our archives and our history, as is that of Pirelli HangarBicocca, our museum space which helps us to observe and understand contemporary culture. In such an extraordinary year, we thought it right to suspend the publication of the Pirelli Calendar, devolving part of the project’s resources to the fight against the pandemic.
Preparation and passion have always been the most important resource of the women and men of Pirelli. To all of them, and to our Stakeholders, I extend my thanks once more.
The digital revolution opens a new chapter in the history of humanity that is just as important as its agricultural and industrial predecessors.
Two years ago, I was on the subway, traveling from Brooklyn to Manhattan, when I opened my calendar and realized that I didn’t have a day free of work obligations for the following three months straight.
There are cities that are simply made to be empty (like Rome, which is so beautiful when deserted), and others that make no sense at all without any people in it, like Milan.
She studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York and in addition to her art practice is a widely published Illustrator. In 2017 she was awarded the New York State Council for the Arts / New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship grant in the category of Printmaking / Drawing / Book Arts.
Her work has also garnered gold medals from The Society of Illustrators and awards from American Illustration and Communication Arts.