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With immediate effect, Continental will handle part of its purchasing of natural rubber via a digital trading platform called HeveaConnect.
"Our goal is to procure all materials from responsible sources. The key to achieving this lies in innovative technologies and digitalisation, which can make a decisive contribution to transparency in complex supply chains," says Dr. Andrea Appel, Head of Purchasing of the Tyres business area at Continental. She adds: "HeveaConnect shows how digital platforms enable solid analyses of complex supply chains as well as their targeted management. Ecological, social and financial risks are made equally transparent for all market participants. Targeted additional offers provide attractive incentives for producers to act sustainably."
The HeveaConnect platform validates key aspects of a sustainable supply chain and ensures compliance through transparency and special offers. Platform participants are provided with a dashboard showing standardised information on quality, traceability, and compliance with social and environmental standards, as well as information on average selling prices. In addition, Continental can use the platform to call up offers from rubber suppliers in real time, compare and negotiate them, conclude short- or long-term supply contracts and document them electronically.
Consulting services with special conditions that demonstrably adhere to certain minimum standards are made available to natural rubber producers via HeveaConnect. For example, it is possible to integrate information on the platform that results from risk analyses carried out by Rubberway. Rubberway is a joint venture between Continental and Michelin that analyses the entire supply chains in the natural rubber sector according to a points system, and thus assesses sustainability risks for suppliers and their subcontractors.
Creating sustainable and traceable supply chains is a key component of the comprehensive sustainability strategy of Continental's tyre business area. Responsible sourcing of raw materials helps to minimise ecological and human rights-related risks. For this reason, the use of sustainable raw materials in tyre manufacturing and the commitment to and acceptance of responsibility for their sustainable production and processing have long been a high priority at Continental. Continental has set itself the goal of becoming the most progressive tyre company in terms of environmental and social responsibility by 2030. By 2050 at the latest, Continental aims to use 100 per cent sustainably produced materials in its tyre products and achieve complete climate neutrality along its entire value chain.
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