Rolling Green: 120 Years of Truck Tyre Retreading

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KnowESG_Rolling Green: 120 Years of Truck Tyre Retreading
Image courtesy of Continental

Continental has been at the forefront of establishing sustainability benchmarks through its retreading of truck tyres since 1903.

As a leading tyre manufacturer, Continental has successfully employed retreading for over 120 years, effectively extending tyre service life, conserving resources, and reducing costs.

The company retreads over one million truck and bus tyres globally each year, with a Fraunhofer Institute study indicating that retreaded tyres can cut CO2 emissions by up to 50% compared to new ones. Furthermore, these tyres incorporate up to 85% recycled and renewable materials while matching new tyres in terms of traction, grip, and safety.

Jorge Almeida, Head of Sustainability at Continental Tyres, notes, "We have been pioneers in retreading truck and bus tyres for over 120 years, saving raw materials and costs – a true win-win for fleet operators and the environment."

The tyre retreading process involves rejuvenating the intact casing, even when the tread has reached the end of its life. Approximately 70% of truck and bus tyres were deemed retreadable in 2022.

Continental employs state-of-the-art analysis, production techniques, and recycling technologies in both hot and cold retreading methods. The former, known as ContiRe, involves hot vulcanisation to restore the casing entirely, while cold retreading, labelled ContiTread, applies a pre-vulcanised tread material to the buffed casing. Both methods can reuse around 70% of the original tire material.

Continental's tyre retreading journey traces back to Hanover, where tyres were retreaded more than 120 years ago, emphasising the company's early commitment to circular and sustainable practices.

In 2013, the ContiLifeCycle plant in Hanover-Stöcken emerged as a pivotal milestone, integrating retreading and recycling to actively promote sustainable resource use. Since its inception, this plant has extended the service life of approximately 9,00,000 truck and bus tyres.

Retreaded tyres align with Continental's LODC concept, targeting Lowest Overall Driving Costs for vehicle fleets. Tansu Isik, Head of Region South, Channels Fleet and OE Trailer for Continental Tires EMEA, emphasises that the ContiLifeCycle concept, offering retreaded tyres and service-oriented casing management, contributes to reducing tyre-related operational costs for fleets by up to 35%, with a substantial environmental benefit.

Continental's tyre retreading activities exemplify its commitment to intelligent circular economy solutions, contributing to environmental conservation by significantly reducing the consumption of crude oil, natural rubber, and water.

Moreover, retreading plays a pivotal role in CO2 emission reduction, requiring up to 70% less energy than new tyre production. Continental's overarching goal is to recover 60% of tyre construction materials from used tires through innovations such as pyrolysis by 2050.

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Source: Continental

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