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Life Cycle Assessments

Our product Life Cycle Assessments provide important information for the development of environmentally sound products and procedures.

The increased awareness of the importance of environmental protection has brought greater focus on ensuring environmentally sound products – not only during the manufacturing process but also during product utilization. Various techniques have been developed in order to determine the impacts products have on the environment. One of those techniques is the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).  The aim of a Life Cycle Assessment:

  • Obtaining environmental information about products and product groups.
  • Identifying opportunities to improve the environmental performance of products at various points throughout their entire life cycle.
  • Gathering information for engaging in dialog with decision-makers in industry, government, or non-governmental organizations.
  • Developing relevant indicators of environmental performance.
  • Assisting with product design and development.
  • Promoting product marketing, for example by implementing an eco-labeling scheme, or producing an environmental product declaration.
  • Supporting internal strategic planning procedures.

An LCA investigates the potential environmental impacts caused or necessitated by a product’s existence throughout that product’s life cycle – from raw materials acquisition through production, use, and end-of-life treatment.

There are four phases in an LCA study:

The scope of an LCA, including the system boundary and level of detail, depends on the subject and the intended use of the study. The depth and extensiveness of an LCA can differ considerably depending on the goals of the study.

The second phase of an LCA is the life cycle inventory, which is an analysis of all input/output data with regard to the system or product being studied.

The impact assessment is the third phase of the LCA, and its purpose is to provide additional information.

Interpretation is the final phase of the LCA procedure, in which the results of the life cycle inventory and/or impact assessment are summarized and discussed. The interpretation is used as a basis for conclusions, recommendations, and decision-making in accordance with the goal and scope definition.

Continental has conducted Life Cycle Assessments for the following products:

  • Passenger and light truck tires
  • Commercial vehicle tires
  • Tire emergency operation systems
    • ContiSupport Ring (CSR)
    • Conti Comfort Kit (CCK)
    • Self-Supporting Runflat (SSR)
    • Spare Tires
    • Compact Spare Tires
    • ContiSeal
  • Electro-Mechanical Brake
  • Electro-Hydraulic Brake

Our LCAs are conducted in accordance with ISO 14040 (Principles and Framework) and ISO 14044 (Requirements and Guidelines).

Results of the product Life Cycle Assessment for passenger and light truck tires

The highest contribution to all environmental impact categories derives from the use phase of the tire (approx. 90%). The reason is the rolling resistance of the tire, which needs to be overcome when the car is in motion. This consumes energy.

The acquisition of raw materials accounts for approximately 5% of the environmental impact. Impact attributable to the manufacturing process is even lower. Transportation between the different life cycle phases amounts to no more than 2% of total environmental impact during the product’s life cycle.

Environmental Benefits of Reduced Rolling Resistance:

By substituting silica for carbon black as filler, it is possible to reduce the tire’s rolling resistance, among other things. This leads to a decrease in a car’s energy and oil consumption. As a consequence, the quantity of pollutants released drops.

Documents on the Topic

Life Cycle Assessment of a car tire (PDF)

Life Cycle Assessment of a car tire  - TÜV-Zertifikat (PDF)