In view of the dramatic progression with respect to global warming, carbon neutrality will be the order of the day over the coming years and decades. The global framework for this is the Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to keep the rise in global temperatures well below 2°C, and ideally below 1.5°C. The world should be carbon-neutral in the way it lives and does business by no later than the second half of the century. There is a CO2 budget for this purpose which must not be exceeded. Continental can also make a contribution here across the entire global value chain of its products, from the procurement of materials, through manufacturing, transport and consumption, to recycling at the end of use.
How important is it to consider the entire value chain in efforts to reduce the climate driver carbon dioxide? The figures speak for themselves: Global player Continental produced “only” 1.05 million tons of carbon dioxide directly itself in 2021. But when you consider the entire value chain – so including pre-production, transport routes to the global production sites, or the emissions that arise when products are used – the figure rises to around 110 million tons of carbon dioxide for which Continental is directly or indirectly responsible. This corresponds to at least 0.2 to 0.3 percent of total global emissions.
Carbon neutrality therefore has an entirely different scope beyond “just” CO2-neutral factories and production plants.
Continental’s sustainability program focuses the company on the best benefit for the climate and on a clear paradigm shift at the right point in time. The company has therefore adopted a strategy that will have an impact over both the short and long term, and Continental is working intensively on further reducing its own CO2 footprint. It is doing this, for example, through purchasing green electricity for all plants worldwide since 2020.Continental’s entire procurement of electricity thus became CO2 neutral all at the same time. The calculated savings in CO2 emissions within the limits of the plants (Scope 1 + 2) led to a reduction in its own carbon dioxide emissions of almost 70 percent in total in 2020. On the path to carbon neutrality in production processes, Continental is committed to energy efficiency measures by deploying new technologies in production processes. The remaining residual emissions are to be neutralized.