Despite the COVID-19 pandemic that’s currently affecting millions across the globe, manufacturing companies in all industries are still upholding some of their values. Such values include prioritizing environmental sustainability.
Continental Tire happens to be one such company. In an effort to improve its sustainability credentials, the tire manufacturer has come up with a new department that will be led by Claus Petschick. The department has all sustainability projects and activities bundled together that are part of the company’s Vision 2030 program.
Petschick is a 58-year old construction engineer that has been at Continental Tire for over 30 years. He was initially in charge of research and development and product development for the original equipment arm of the company. He later took over a management position in a Hanover-Stöcken-based plant in 2007.
Before being appointed head of the new department, he was in charge of global quality assurance as vice president of quality management for more than 10 years. The new department is aimed at consolidating all the far-reaching research projects and activities.
Continental wants to underscore its commitment to the systematic expansion of innovative products and services as well as sustainable business models in its entire value chain. The sustainability strategy is broken down into four strategic areas: clean mobility, sustainable supply chains, circular economies, and climate change mitigation.
The end goal is to make sure tires are environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. This will be achieved by putting adequate effort and resources in the research and development of new technologies, environmentally compatible manufacturing processes, and alternative materials.
The company already put up the ContiLifeCycle plant in Hanover, Germany in 2013 to help extend product service life through retreading. Unique machines at the plant use integrated retreading systems to set new standards in tire recycling. This was a good start that Continental would like to improve and leverage.
One of the major concerns that Continental has is the ongoing deforestation that is highly contributed by its importation of rubber from the tropics. The goal is to cease the importation, and produce the rubber as close to tire plants as possible. This will also help reduce CO2 emissions that are normally generated along transportation routes.
Continental has already partnered with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME) through its Taraxagum project to acquire natural rubber obtained from dandelion plants. The rubber will be used to produce Continental tires for cars, commercial vehicles, and motorcycles.
Pirelli also announced that its CO2 emission targets have been scientifically approved. Its goal is to use 100% renewable electricity by 2025 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.