Continental AG has adopted a sustainability strategy that will see the German group becoming 100 percent carbon neutral, emissions-free and "circularized" within 40 years.
Described by the supplier of rubber and plastic auto parts as "one of the most comprehensive sustainability road maps in the vehicle supplier industry," the strategy includes the launch of an "emission-free vehicles program" as early as 2022.
Targeting carbon-neutral cars, buses, trains and other vehicles, the program covers production processes as well as upstream stages and recycling at the end-of-use, Hanover, Germany-based Continental said.
As part of the wider plan, Conti said it aims to achieve "100 percent carbon neutrality, 100 percent emission-free mobility and industry, a 100 percent circular economy and 100 percent responsible value chains — all by no later than 2050."
Breaking down the details of the strategy, Continental said that, as of 2020, all electricity procured by the group will be from renewable sources — with all production processes to be carbon-neutral by 2040.
And, by 2050, Continental aims to be carbon-neutral across its entire business, "from one end of the value chain to the other."
"With our ambitious sustainability road map, we are decisively pursuing the transformation to a sustainable economy," said Ariane Reinhart, the executive board member for human relations and sustainability at Continental. This, she added, was a "decisive benchmark" for the entire mobility industry and established a framework for Conti and its partners.
"Sustainability has long been one of the key drivers of innovation at Continental, but now we are taking a major step forward and making it an integral part of our strategy," she added.
Commenting on the carbon neutral for emission-free vehicles program, Steffen Schwartz-Hoefler, Continental's head of sustainability, said the initiative bridges the gap between emission-free mobility and carbon neutrality.
"Emission-free mobility with zero-tailpipe-emission vehicles … must also mean carbon-neutral mobility," he said.
Conit's climate targets are in line with the goals of the Paris climate agreement, as confirmed by the independent Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
"To achieve the Paris climate goals, two things are necessary: a complete shift to emission-free mobility and a fully carbon-neutral business," Schwartz-Hoefler said, adding that the process as a combination of sprint and marathon.
"It is a sprint in the sense that the entire emission-free vehicles business must be made carbon-neutral across the globe, and a marathon in view of the technological developments required to support the rapidly growing future market of emission-free mobility," he explained.