Continental Tires' sustainability department aims to create natural rubber from dandelion plants
Tires of the future to be more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly in terms of production, use and recyclability
Continental Tires has bundled all activities and projects in a newly created department under the leadership of Claus Petschick as part of its "Vision 2030" strategy program.
As Head of Sustainability, Petschick is responsible 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.
The focus of the sustainability strategy is on the four strategic topics of climate change mitigation, clean mobility, circular economies, and sustainable supply chains. In order to make the tires of the future even more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly in terms of production, use and recyclability, Continental is systematically investing in the research and development of new technologies, alternative materials, and environmentally compatible production processes.
This includes, for example, the extension of product service life through retreading. Back in 2013, Continental already built the globally uniqueplant in Hanover, Germany, for this purpose. Here, specially designed machine fleets with integrated retreading systems set new standards in the field of tire recycling.
A further central concern for Continental is to cease importing natural rubber exclusively from the tropics, but 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 long-termproject from Continental and the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME) will supply natural rubber from dandelion plants, which can be used for producing motorcycle, car and commercial vehicle tires.
Claus 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 construction engineer was responsible for global quality assurance within the tire sector as Vice President Quality Management for over ten years.