Continental exceeds SmartWay goals

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Continental Tire North America announced that it officially has exceeded its goal of increased compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transport Partnership in only its first year of participation.

Continental first joined the SmartWay Transport Partnership in June 2008 as a Shipper Partner, committing to reduce its environmental impacts from ground freight transportation. In joining the partnership, Continental agreed to use the Freight Logistics Environmental and Energy Tracking (FLEET) Performance Model for Shippers to quantify its environmental performance level. Continental then was required to maintain a score of at least 0.5 within the FLEET Performance Model.

Continental’s initial goal within the partnership was to achieve a FLEET Performance Model score of at least 0.95 within three years of joining the SmartWay Transport Partnership, says Dominique Lacroix, director of supply chain operations. However, Continental found that at the end of its first year of partnership, after shipping more than 24 million tires to North American Free Trade Agreement countries, it already had achieved a score of 1.14 out of a maximum of 1.25. The score was verified by EPA in June 2009.

“Exceeding our compliance goal with the SmartWay Transport Partnership means that Continental is doing its part to reduce air pollution and the environmental impacts from our supply chain operations,” Lacroix says. “We made it a consideration of the carrier selection process that fleets operate as SmartWay Transport Carriers when considering bids, and encouraged carriers within our existing base who were not already a part of the SmartWay program to join.”

The SmartWay Transport Partnership aims to save between 3.3 and 6.6 billion gallons of diesel fuel per year by 2012, which is the equivalent of removing 12 million passenger cars from the road. In order to achieve this reduction, SmartWay Transport Carriers pledge to implement idle-reduction strategies, improve aerodynamics, use advanced freight logistics practices, reduce vehicle and equipment weights, implement driver training and use SmartWay-verified fuel-efficient technologies, including wide-base and low rolling-resistant tires.

“Our responsibility for minimizing our impact on the environment is an important part of our corporate values,” says Clif Armstrong, director of commercial vehicle tire marketing for Continental – The Americas, based in Fort Mill, S.C. “It extends over the entire lifecycle of a tire, from sourcing our rubber through renewable raw materials to engineering a more fuel-efficient truck tire product, then using shipping partners who have pledged to reduce their greenhouse gases and air pollution.”