Continental has announced that the company is now using responsibly sourced natural rubber from Indonesia for its Gravity tyres.
Since July 2022, all newly produced tyres in Continental’s Gravity mountain bike product range feature responsibly sourced natural rubber from a project in West Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Claus Petschick, head of sustainability, Continental Tyres, said: “I’m delighted that we are now using responsibly sourced natural rubber from our project in Indonesia in series production for our ‘Gravity’ mountain bike tyres.
“Our ambition is to actively take responsibility in our supply chains. For us, digitalisation and education are key to enhancing the transparency of our natural rubber supply chains.”
For Continental, natural rubber is responsibly sourced when it is sustainably cultivated and processed through a transparent supply chain that is monitored by a due diligence mechanism. These measures help to uphold human rights, minimise the environmental impact and improve the living conditions of local smallholders, said the company.
The goal is to establish a fair value chain for natural rubber, with Continental aiming to achieve 100% sustainable supply chains by 2050 at the latest. When it comes to natural rubber, Continental Tyres is aiming to cover its entire demand exclusively through responsible sources by as soon as 2030.
Continental’s Gravity tyres come with five different tread patterns that are adapted to withstand four different ground and weather conditions and are named Kryptotal, Argotal, Xynotal and Hydrotal. Each tyre model in the range was systematically tested according to special requirements by professional riders on downhill, endurance and trail courses and continuously optimised.
Continental and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) launched the joint project in the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan back in 2018 with the purpose of preventing sustainability risks. The aim of the project is to enable smallholders in the natural rubber sector to cultivate a high-quality product in compliance with clearly defined sustainability criteria.
In 2021, Continental and the GIZ agreed to significantly expand their project. Both Continental and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, which is the client of the GIZ, are members of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR), which was established in 2019 and is an alliance of the key players from business and civil society in the natural rubber sector. Together with other members, they are working on improving sustainability in the natural rubber sector.