For Continental and its markets, the business relevance of environmental protection – for example, in the form of society’s expectations, customers’ standards and regulatory requirements – is increasing continuously.
Environmental protection at Continental is based on the global policy for environment, safety, security, health and fire protection (ESH policy) which, among other things, stipulates that we want to use our processes and products to make a material contribution to sustainable environmental protection – especially climate protection – over the entire product life cycle. Overall responsibility for environmental management is borne by the Corporate Quality and Environment department, which reports directly to the chairman of the Executive Board and develops strategic targets for environmental protection in the corporation as a whole. These are broken down by division, and ultimate responsibility for the resulting strategic requirements, objectives and programs at each location lies with the respective ESH managers. We continuously improve our environmental performance through the systematic application of management systems. We have set clear targets for the corporation. By 2020, we want to reduce our specific CO2 emissions, energy and water consumption, and waste generation by 20% in relation to adjusted sales, using 2013 as a basis. We also intend to improve our waste recycling and reuse rate by two percentage points a year. New locations are being integrated into these processes and programs incrementally.
Results and performance indicators
In the production units, we are working on making processes more efficient and more sustainable. Because of Continental’s growth in past years, the absolute values for energy use, CO2 emissions, waste generation and water demand have increased continuously. Compared with 2013, there was an improvement in the specific performance indicators of 3% for energy, 2% for CO2 and 5% for water. The specific figures for waste, however, were 13% higher than in 2013. The increases in efficiency and measures for improvement in the plants were balanced out by changes in the portfolio, sales effects, increasing vertical integration, more energy-intensive production technologies, and higher quality requirements.
At the end of 2018, the more than 200 major production and development locations were certified according to ISO 14001 (environmental management) and more than 90 locations were already certified according to ISO 50001 (energy management). This corresponds to over 80% and roughly half of the total workforce respectively. The focus of environmental management is efficiency and thus the improvement of each specific type of consumption.
You can find more information on aspects relating to environmental protection in the Report on Risks and Opportunities.