Hanover, Germany – Continental AG’s tire business is strengthening its focus on sustainability with the creation of a new department under the leadership of Claus Petschick.
The move bundles all sustainability-related activities and projects of the tire division and is part of Conti’s “Vision 2030” strategy programme which looks to align the German group with the ongoing transformation in the automotive industry.
Petschick took over as head of sustainability 1 April and is responsible for "the strategic direction and worldwide steering of all sustainability projects." He reports directly to Christian Kötz, head of the tire business, Conti announced 19 June.
The focus of the tire business’s sustainability strategy will be on four topics of climate change mitigation, clean mobility, circular economies, and sustainable supply chains, Continental's statement noted.
The German supplier said it is “systematically investing” in R&D for new technologies, alternative materials and environmentally compatible production process in order to make more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly tires in the future.
This includes efforts to increase product service life through retreading and Conti’s 2013 investment in ContiLifeCycle plant in Hanover, Germany.
Other initiatives include the use of Taraxagum dandelion natural rubber (NR) project, which was developed in partnership with Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applies Ecology (IME).
Conti said it will be using the "award-winning material" for the production of motorcycle, car and commercial vehicle tires at its plants in the future.
The Urban Taraxagum bicycle tire is Continental’s first series-produced tire manufactured using dandelion-based NR.
Continental is also part of the multi-stakeholder the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) through which it is helping to provide transparency within the NR supply chain.
"We are consolidating our far-reaching activities and research projects and underscoring our commitment to further systematic expansion of sustainable business models and innovative products and services along the entire value chain,” said Kötz in a statement.
A “sustainable and responsible management”, he went on to say, will enhance capacity for innovation and future viability.
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 58-year-old construction engineer was responsible for global quality assurance within the tire sector as VP quality management for over ten years.