Continental Tire has bundled all activities and projects in regard to sustainability into a newly-created department.
The new department is under the leadership of Claus Petschick as part of its “Vision 2030” strategy program. As head of sustainability, Continental says he has been responsible since April 1 for the strategic direction and worldwide steering of all sustainability projects, and, in this role, reports directly to Christian Kötz, head of the tire business area and member of the executive board of Continental AG.
Petschick has worked at Continental for over 30 years, initially holding various positions in R&D and product development for the original equipment (OE) business before assuming the management of the tire plant in Hanover-Stöcken in 2007. Most recently, the company says the 58-year-old construction engineer was responsible for global quality assurance within the tire sector as vice president of quality management for over 10 years.
The focus of the sustainability strategy is on the four strategic topics of climate change mitigation, clean mobility, circular economies and sustainable supply chains, the company says. Continental says it is systematically investing in the research and development of new technologies, alternative materials and environmentally compatible production processes.
A further central concern for Continental, the company says, is to cease importing natural rubber exclusively from the tropics and to produce it as close as possible to the tire plants, in order to prevent the ongoing deforestation and reduce the CO2 emissions generated through long transport routes. In the future, the company says the long-term Taraxagum project from Continental and the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology will supply natural rubber from dandelion plants, which can be used for producing motorcycle, car and commercial vehicle tires. The Urban Taraxagum bicycle tire is Continental’s first series-produced tire manufactured using natural rubber from the dandelion plant.
Continental is also a founding member of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber.