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      Press Release
      June 30, 2023

      Consistently focused on coffee: Continental wins the European Green Award for surface solution with coffee grounds

      • Prestigious award for innovative material using coffee grounds as raw material.
      • skai VyP Coffee consists of more than 65 percent renewable and recycled raw materials.
      • The jury praises Continental as a consistently sustainability-oriented company
      • Jury statement: The jury distinguishes “skai VyP Coffee” by Continental as an excellent sustainable product, since it incorporates an outstanding solution of a cycle of recyclable materials that has been implemented on an industrial scale.

      Hannover, Germany, June 30, 2023. The surface specialists at Continental have been recognized with the prestigious European Green Award 2023 in the category “Green Product – Interior” for skai VyP Coffee. The breathable artificial leather skai VyP Coffee impressed the international jury of experts from the non-profit European Institute of Applied Sustainability (EIAS) – because skai VyP Coffee is 65 percent sustainable. Coffee grounds, which are reused as a renewable and recycled ingredient, contribute to this percentage without compromising on the proven material properties.

      For the jury of the European Green Award, Continental's surface material is an outstanding solution of a cycle of materials that was realized on an industrial scale. Thus, not only a sustainable value chain is implemented, but also an essential contribution to a relevant ecological problem was made, as coffee is an intensively consumed commodity worldwide.

      1 million tons of coffee grounds in Germany alone

      Every year, around 1 million tons of coffee grounds are produced in Germany alone. Continental uses this valuable ecological raw material as an alternative filler to give its high-quality artificial leather the look and feel of natural leather. The coffee grounds from three cups go into one square meter of skai VyP Coffee. This not only avoids waste, but also the creation of greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide. During the manufacture of skai VyP Coffee (VyP stands for a hybrid of vinyl and polyurethane), more than 65 percent of the conventional chemical raw materials are replaced by natural, renewable, and recycled components. The electricity required for the manufacturing process is produced in a 100 percent CO2-neutral manner.

      The jury of the European Green Award also praised the consistent regional production approach of Continental, which uses 100 percent renewable energy for manufacturing and produces a large portion of this itself, enabling it to reduce CO2 emissions by 70 percent. In this aspect, the company exhibits excellent practical application of sustainable communication.

      Another point emphasized by the jury: The company creates consistent, fair and lasting working conditions for its employees, which characterizes Continental as a holistically positioned sustainability company.

      Sustainability as a driver of innovation

      With its classic grain, skai VyP Coffee Is regarded a milestone in the development of sustainable surfaces at Continental, even for the company itself, as it combines many positive characteristics. The patented laif technology makes the upholstery material breathable and thus ensures a high degree of sitting comfort, even under unfavorable conditions like high temperature, high humidity, and long periods of sitting. In hotels, restaurants and cafés – basically anywhere where people spend longer periods of time – it significantly increases the seating comfort. The material is exceptional not only due to the unusual use of coffee grounds as a component and a sustainable manufacturing process, but also because of its extreme durability and ease of care, which also contribute to its positive ecological profile. The product itself has a low CO2 footprint, which results in an overall positive ecological profile.

      The European Green Award brings national and international recognition to special achievements by companies as well as individuals. An international jury of experts recognizes green, fair and innovative products, sustainable design, green marketing as well as change makers who have done excellent work for sustainable development in Europe. The European Green Award is organized by the non-profit European Institute of Applied Sustainability (EIAS).

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