Continental to Sell ‘PROJECT TREE Tyres’ in the UK

Premium tyre manufacturer, Continental, is piloting a project, testing and implementing solutions to further enhance the production and trade of responsibly sourced natural rubber and ultimately ensure the sale of more sustainable tyres in the UK, as part of its efforts to improve transparency and sustainability in the natural rubber supply chain.

Through PROJECT TREE (Transparent Rubber Ecosystem for Earth), an initiative set up by ITOCHU Corporation, Continental is sourcing traceable and responsibly-sourced natural rubber for use in its tyre production.

Using a mass balance credit mechanism, Continental will market the equivalent volume of tyres as ‘PRJOECT TREE’ tyres, which will be available for consumers to purchase from ITOCHU owned Kwik Fit, online and in-store.

Tarik Görgün, Managing Director at Continental Tyre Group, commented: “This project is completely aligned with our goal to increase the use of sustainable materials in the production of our tyres, and ambition to reach 100% sustainable materials by 2050 at the latest.

“We want to empower drivers to make their own decisions about their vehicles and take proactive steps to reduce their environmental impact.

“The ‘PROJECT TREE Tyres’ will provide consumers with a sustainable option, which will allow them to make an informed decision when the time comes to purchase tyres. This will also give us an opportunity to learn more about how motivated drivers are by sustainability.”

PROJECT TREE is underpinned by ITOCHU’s blockchain-based proprietary traceability system, that enables full tracking and inspection of its entire supply chain, all the way from the natural rubber collecting points of sale outside protection areas (and later this year from the smallholders’ farms) to the Continental manufacturing plant.

Sales of PROJECT TREE Tyres will generate funds that incentivise and promote sustainable farming practices.

Mark Slade, Managing Director of Kwik Fit, added: “Demand for natural rubber is expected to continue to grow, so we must ensure that this demand can be met in a way which supports ethical and responsible operations throughout the supply chain.

“PROJECT TREE is an exciting programme which could provide the model for ensuring the [large -scale] sustainability of rubber production in the long term.  We are passionate about the project and are working hard to expand its impact through partnerships with like-minded leading premium tyre brands such as Continental.”

Continental’s ambition is to be the most progressive tyre manufacturer by 2030, in terms of environmental and socially responsible business practices.

In addition to PROJECT TREE, Continental is actively promoting greater sustainability in the extraction of natural rubber through various strategic projects.

As a founding member of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR), the company is actively promoting solutions for better traceability together with partners.

Key projects include the Rubberway joint venture, which specialises in identifying sustainability risks in the natural rubber supply chain, as well as the cooperation with the German government’s development service Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), in which the company is contributing to a project to train smallholders and introduce digital traceability systems throughout the supply chain.

Continental is also working with partners on a development project, in which marker technologies are being used to trace natural rubber.

And recently, Continental has announced that it will also handle part of its purchasing of natural rubber through HeveaConnect, a new digital trading platform designed to ensure greater transparency and sustainability in the natural rubber supply chain.

For more information about PROJECT TREE go to