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My name is Thomas Sewald. I`m the Head of Corporate Environment of Continental.
I joint Continental already in the year 2000. I started my career as Manager for Environment, Safety & Health (ESH) at the location Babenhausen (Germany) and moved in 2009 as Head of Environment for the Automotive Group to Frankfurt. Since 2016 I have the responsibility for the Corporate Function Environment and I´m happy that I was able to pass all stages of an Environmental manager in such a big and heterogenous company like Continental. This huge range of different products and organizational units makes the job really exiting because each division has absolute different environmental challenges. But for all that complexity we ensure that Environmental Management Systems are worldwide in place and that Continental has great ratings for its Environmental performance.
But let`s talk a little bit about the tasks in such a corporate function. On corporate level we define the Environmental strategy and targets for our company and we work tight together with the local ESH managers to ensure an effective breakdown of our programs. The Strategy 2020 “Creating sustainable solution” covers all relevant topics of Environmental protection to ensure that our impact to the environment is as low as possible.
Part of the strategy is a comprehensive Climate management to reduce our CO2 emissions and to improve energy efficiency; we cover water protection and water risk management and for sure waste management and resource efficiency has also a high importance in our daily business.
But what means this in practice and how can we implement programs that our effort has success. We started under the framework of the strategy several very successful projects over the last few years. With my blog I would like to give you some insights about very interesting initiatives and I will update you within the next weeks about other projects we already launched, and which are successfully running.
The first initiative I want to highlight is our global project “Mission zero plastic”. This initiative was started by our CEO Dr. Elmar Degenhart facing the big environmental problems we currently have with plastic waste worldwide. The initiative has two workstream which were tackled in a small team.
The first one is to ban single used plastic in our canteens and the second is the optimization of waste management in the production to increase the global recycling quotas. Both pathways showed after the pilot phase already great success. For the plastic free canteens, we have a cross divisional replacement plan for single used plastic in place and many canteens are already plastic free. The feedback from our employees was amazing and the people contribute so much to achieve the target.
In the second workstream we created on the experiences with 10 pilot plants a new waste management guideline to optimize the recycling quote. We had significant potential, so that this workstream is now already in the rollout phase. In addition to this we also focus with Purchasing and Logistics on the reduction of packaging materials within the supply chain. This subproject can have a lot of impact on the future recycling quotas and I´m pretty sure that we follow here the right approach with the typical Conti workstyle of cross functional teams.
Ok, so far so good. In the following Blog entries I will report about further interesting projects like “Sustainability in the Mexican supply chain”, “Global water risk management”, our “Green Label”, or our effort in the initiative for a “Sustainable natural rubber supply chain” with a pilot project in Indonesia.
I hope you will enjoy.
More information about our activities for the environment you can find here: