Continental honored for climate change mitigation for the fourth year in a row
Top grade for efforts to create more sustainable supply chains
Tires Group Sector emphasizes renewable and sustainable raw materials in tire production
Fort Mill, South Carolina, April 19, 2022. For 2021, Continental was awarded the highest grade for the fourth time in a row as a global leader in reducing emissions in the supply chain ("Supplier Engagement Rating") by international non-profit Carbon Disclosure Project (CPD). This makes Continental one of the eight percent of companies evaluated who were awarded the highest grade for supplier commitment to climate change. Continental was recognized for its holistic approach of working closely with its suppliers in Automotive, Tires, and ContiTech group sectors to achieve comprehensive improvements by involving as many stages of the supply chain as possible.
“We look at the entire value chain of our products, from material sourcing to recycling. This is the only way we can achieve truly sustainable supply chains that conserve resources and support important climate protection goals at the same time,” says Claus Petschick, head of Sustainability at Continental Tires. “Continental’s goal is to achieve fully sustainable supply chains by 2050 at the latest. Innovative technologies and digitalization are the primary tools we use to make environmental risks transparent and to reduce these risks within our complex supply chain.”
Sustainable and Renewable Raw Materials in Tire Production
The use of sustainable raw materials for tire construction has long been a high priority at Continental. For example, Continental and its partners are intensively researching the industrialization of the Russian dandelion (Taraxacum koksaghyz) for the extraction of natural rubber, a project known as Taraxagum. In the future, the aim is to be able to grow part of the natural rubber required for production close to the company's own plants in order to reduce CO2 emissions caused by long transport routes and to conserve valuable resources.
The use of sustainable raw materials also includes the use of recycled polyester from recycled plastic bottles, which Continental is currently introducing into the series production of its tires, as well as the use of silicate from the ash of rice husks, an agricultural waste product. Plant-based oils and resins also reduce the proportion of crude oil-based materials already today. Continental's goal is to successively use 100 percent sustainably produced materials in its tire products by 2050 at the latest.
Continental is also ensuring sustainability of its natural rubber sourcing. Since 2018, Continental has collaborated with German development organization GIZ to promote a digital system for the traceability of natural rubber. Small farmers involved in the project in Borneo, Indonesia, are able to increase quantities, quality, and yields through learning sustainable cultivation, thereby improving their incomes. A cultivation strategy based on sustainability also prevents logging and deforestation, conserving valuable resources. The pilot project in 2018 began with 450 farmers, and is now expected to grow to 4,000 by 2024.
To maximize environmental protections in all natural rubber sourcing, Continental has defined a clear sourcing policy and employs third-party partners to evaluate its suppliers. For example, since 2017, Continental has been working with EcoVadis, the world’s leading provider of sustainability ratings for companies and global supply chains.
About CDP Assessment
Continental has been participating in the annual reporting and disclosure of climate protection-relevant data for the CDP assessment for more than ten years. For the 2022 ratings, more than 13,000 companies and organizations worldwide were considered. The assessment is based on data provided by the respective companies on corporate governance and Scope 3 emissions as well as on supply chain management as a whole. CDP pays particular attention to strategies and measures that help to make environmental risks and emissions measurable along value chains in order to minimize them.
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Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent, and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation. Continental generated sales of €37.7 billion in 2020 and currently employs around 235,000 people in 58 countries and markets. In 2021, the company celebrates its 150th anniversary.
The Tires business area has 24 production and development locations worldwide. Continental is one of the leading tire manufacturers with more than 56,000 employees and posted preliminary sales of €10.2 billion in 2020 in this business area. Continental ranks among the technology leaders in tire production and offers a broad product range for passenger cars, commercial and special-purpose vehicles as well as two-wheelers. Through continuous investment in research and development, Continental makes a major contribution to safe, cost effective and ecologically efficient mobility. The portfolio of the Tires business area includes services for the tire trade and fleet applications, as well as digital management systems for tires.
Continental develops pioneering technologies to make commercial transport safer, more efficient and more connected. The company’s products and services deliver measurable impact for commercial vehicle manufacturers and the aftermarket. They benefit from a broad portfolio and from fully integrated systems. The portfolio includes tires, digital tire monitoring, fleet management, telematic solutions, Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) and tachographs, hoses, air springs, Electronic Control Units (ECU), displays, drivetrain and exhaust aftertreatment systems, sensors, advanced driving assistance systems, as well as eHorizon maps and events and cloud-based services. In 2017, the share of Continental’s global sales for commercial vehicle products and systems was around €4.7 billion.