With our “Net|Zero|Now” immediate action program for climate change mitigation, we offer customers an additional component for their business with Continental to achieve their carbon neutrality targets across the value chain while also contributing to the global efforts of climate change mitigation.
The path to carbon-neutral mobility and a carbon-neutral economy is a combination of long-term, far-reaching changes and measures that can be implemented quickly. With Net|Zero|Now, our customers worldwide can already use Continental products, components and systems whose emissions – from material procurement to production and end-of-life treatment – are equated with measures outside the value chain to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere.
With the “Net|Zero|Now” program, we already offer customers with ambitious sustainability targets the opportunity to make a significant contribution to global climate change mitigation along the entire value chain for their business with Continental. The aim is to remove the remaining so-called “CO2-backpack” of the respective Continental business with measures to mitigate climate change. These emissions are neutralized by so-called negative emissions.
The program focuses on Continental products for emission-free vehicles, which include electric cars and buses, but also hydrogen-powered trains or bicycles that do not produce harmful emissions during use. These vehicles are the only way to achieve truly emission-free and carbon-neutral mobility in the future. With Net|Zero|Now, this is already possible for Continental’s products, components and systems within these vehicles, making them not only emission-free during use, but also net-neutral for the value chain attributable to Continental thanks to the neutralization of emissions through “negative emissions.”
The program is also offered for the combustion-engine vehicle business and industry business, taking into account the increasingly ambitious climate change mitigation targets on the market. Within Continental, we also use our purchased CO2 removals for other purposes, such as neutralizing unavoidable emissions from our plants after they have completed their decarbonization process.
Net|Zero|Now is an important addition to the reduction measures already implemented to achieve net neutrality today and limit the global temperature increase, as stated in the Paris Agreement, to a maximum of two degrees Celsius, or ideally 1.5 degrees Celsius. In addition, we are working on consistently avoiding or reducing our emissions, so that the amount to be neutralized is continuously reduced.
The program contributes to climate change mitigation by supporting projects that actively absorb CO2 from the atmosphere through so-called negative emissions or removals. Negative emissions are an important part of achieving "net zero" greenhouse gas emissions, as required by the Paris Agreement.Net neutrality means that no more emissions are emitted than are removed from the atmosphere. To achieve this, emissions must be reduced to a minimum and remaining emissions must be neutralized, so that the bottom line is a "net zero" in the carbon balance sheet. The exact scope of the removal is determined in cooperation with the customer. In discussions with the customer, the customer’s target, e.g. net zero target or product carbon neutrality target, is defined and the necessary amount of removals is discussed. In consultation, these are then deleted from the register at Continental to prevent multiple use.
For this step, we have joined forces with removal partners who offer recognized projects for neutralizing emissions. We attach great importance to selecting only projects that are certified according to international standards (e.g. Gold Standard, VCS, Plan Vivo) and that are long-term as well as diversified. Another factor is selecting projects from different parts of the world. We work with partners on four continents where we also have our own production sites. In addition to the criteria of the offical standards, Continental has also developed its own quality criteria for the project selection. These can be found in the document (Quality_criteria - pdf (132KB)). You can see our selected projects on the world map. Furthermore, support for other sustainable development targets (United Nations SDGs), social aspects, e.g. involvement of local communities, co-benefits, sustainability of the reductions, safeguards, such as in the case of a forest fire, as well as other quality criteria play a role in the selection process.