Most people link the company Michelin with car tyres and guide books. However, the company is helping ships to be more environmentally friendly. It has tested giant sails that will make shipping greener. Shipping produces a lot of carbon dioxide. Oil tankers, container ships and cruise ships use fossil fuels to move around the world's oceans. The industry produces around 940 million tons of CO2 a year. It produces about 2.5 per cent of the world's greenhouse gasses. The new sails could cut the amount of CO2 the shipping industry produces by 20 per cent.
Michelin is using the old technology of sails on the most urgent problem the world faces today – climate change. Boats have used sails for 5,000 years. The new sails are different. Sailors fill the sails with air to get them to their full size. The sails can be lowered quickly if a ship needs to sail under a bridge. The sails are 280 square metres in size. Michelin hopes to start making and selling them in 2022. A company spokesperson said: "Our aim is to contribute to the de-carbonization of maritime transport." He added that the good thing about wind is that it is a free fuel.