Press Release

Continental uses responsibly sourced natural rubber from Indonesia in series production

Since July 2022, all newly produced tires in Continental’s “Gravity” mountain bike product range feature responsibly sourced natural rubber from a project in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Together with its partners, Continental is demonstrating through this project how education and digitalization can play a key role in establishing sustainable natural rubber supply chains. “I’m delighted that we are now using responsibly sourced natural rubber from our project in Indonesia in series production for our ‘Gravity’ mountain bike tires,” says Claus Petschick, Head of Sustainability Continental Tires. “Our ambition is to actively take responsibility in our supply chains. For us, digitalization and education are the keys to enhancing the transparency of our natural rubber supply chains.”

For Continental, natural rubber is responsibly sourced when it is sustainably cultivated and processed through a transparent supply chain that is monitored by a due diligence mechanism. These measures help to uphold human rights, minimize environmental impact and improve the living conditions of local smallholders. The goal is to establish a fair value chain for natural rubber. Continental aims to achieve 100 percent sustainable supply chains by 2050 at the latest. When it comes to natural rubber, Continental Tires is going one step further and aims to cover its entire demand exclusively through responsible sources by as soon as 2030.

In addition to excellent performance, the “Gravity” mountain bike tires not only have a highly resilient carcass but also a highly robust tread made from responsibly sourced natural rubber. Continental’s “Gravity” tires come with five different tread patterns that are adapted to withstand four different ground and weather conditions and named Kryptotal, Argotal, Xynotal and Hydrotal. As part of an extensive development process, each tire model in this innovative mountain bike product range was systematically tested according to special requirements by professional riders on downhill, endurance and trail courses and continuously optimized.

Continental and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) launched the joint project in the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan back in 2018 with the purpose of preventing sustainability risks. The aim of the project is to enable smallholders in the natural rubber sector to cultivate a high-​quality product in compliance with clearly defined sustainability criteria. This will help to boost their income. In 2021, Continental and the GIZ agreed to significantly expand their highly successful joint project. Both Continental and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, which is the client of the GIZ, are members of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR), which was established in 2019 and is an alliance of the key players from business and civil society in the natural rubber sector. Together with other members, they are working on improving sustainability in the natural rubber sector the world over.

Net|Zero|Now – Continental’s immediate climate protection program

On the road toward climate neutrality along the entire value chain, Continental will from now on and as part of its Net|Zero|Now program be neutralizing the carbon emissions produced during raw material procurement as well as the production and disposal of bicycle tires. Continental is aiming to achieve 100 percent climate neutrality along its entire value chain by 2050 at the latest.

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