Continental Revolutionises Tyre Industry with Pioneering Sustainable Technologies

Continental, a leading tyre manufacturer, has transitioned groundbreaking sustainable materials and technologies from conceptual designs to series production. This innovative shift highlights Continental's commitment to sustainability and sets new industry benchmarks.

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Published on
January 25, 2024

From Concept to Reality: Continental's Sustainable Journey

Continental's journey towards sustainability gained significant momentum with the introduction of the Conti GreenConcept tyre. This concept, first unveiled at the IAA Mobility 2021, focused on utilising sustainable materials such as silica from agricultural waste and polyester from recycled PET. Fast forward to the present, and Continental has successfully integrated these technologies into their series tyres, including the UltraContact NXT – their most sustainable series tyre to date. Jorge Almeida, Head of Sustainability at Continental Tyres, emphasises, "Sustainable innovations belong on the road and not in a showroom."

Revolutionary Use of Recycled PET in Tyres

One of the most significant innovations is the use of ContiRe.Tex technology, which converts recycled PET bottles into high-quality polyester yarn for tyres. This process, which took less than a year to develop, allows each tyre to reuse nine to fifteen PET bottles, depending on tyre size. These bottles are sourced from regions lacking a closed recycling loop, further contributing to environmental sustainability. The Conti-Re.Tex technology is a testament to Continental's rapid and efficient adaptation of sustainable practices in tyre manufacturing.

The UltraContact NXT from Continental is the most sustainable series tire to date.

UltraContact NXT: A Milestone in Tyre Sustainability

The UltraContact NXT stands as a pinnacle of Continental's sustainable efforts. Containing up to 65 percent renewable, recycled, and mass-balance-certified materials, the tyre showcases technologies initially developed for the Conti GreenConcept. This includes the use of silica made from rice husk ash and recycled PET bottles. Launched in July 2023, the UltraContact NXT has received top EU tyre label ratings for rolling resistance, wet braking, and exterior noise, proving that sustainability can go hand-in-hand with performance and safety.

Expanding Sustainable Innovations Across the Value Chain

Continental's commitment to sustainability extends beyond the tyre itself. Innovations like the Conti CityPlus technology, showcased at this year's IAA Mobility, aim to enhance energy efficiency in car tyres, potentially reducing CO2 emissions and increasing the range of electric vehicles. This technology is a key step in Continental's broader strategy to systematically incorporate sustainable practices across its entire value chain.

Recycled rubber, rice husks and plastic bottles: sustainable materials in tire production.

Continental's Vision for the Future

Looking forward, Continental aims to increase the use of renewable and recycled materials in its tyres to over 40 percent by 2030. By 2050, the company aspires to achieve 100 percent sustainable materials in its tyres. These ambitious goals reflect Continental's dedication to leading the tyre industry towards a more sustainable future, balancing technological innovation with environmental responsibility.

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