Continental consistently optimizes its tires in the direction of increasing sustainability. Car tires are made of rubber. Meanwhile, with its Taraxagum project, Continental is pursuing an innovative approach to ensure that it can become less dependent on natural rubber grown primarily in Southeast Asia. The tire manufacturer is working alongside partners on industrializing the extraction of natural rubber from specially cultivated dandelion plants.But for some time now, the material experts and tire engineers at Continental have been bringing about a silent revolution. By 2050 at the latest, all tires are to be made of sustainable materials. There is still a long way to go until then. But step by step, it is already becoming apparent which raw materials will find their way into tire construction in the future. These include waste products from agriculture, such as the ash from rice husks, rubber from dandelions, recycled rubber or PET bottles.Already today, around 15-20% renewable or recycled materials are used in a standard passenger car tire from Continental. To further increase the proportion of sustainable materials and conserve valuable resources, Continental continuously analyzes and reviews all raw materials used in tire production.Their precise composition has a major impact on the tires and their handling characteristics. The ability to deploy the various materials with their unique properties and interdependencies in specific ways is a complex balancing act for Continental’s engineers and material experts. Only when all the materials are ideally matched to each other can safe, energy-efficient and durable high-performance tires be created.Natural rubber is essential for ensuring outstanding tire performance. This natural product accounts for between 10-40% of the entire weight of modern high-performance tires. Its special properties include the high level of strength and durability, which are caused by the strain-induced crystallization of the rubber. The tire industry is the biggest consumer of global rubber production, accounting for more than 70%. However, Continental considers natural rubber a sustainable material only if it is sourced responsibly. Therefore, the company employs an integrated approach aimed at making the complex and fragmented supply chains for natural rubber more sustainable. Including using cutting-edge digital technology, local involvement and close collaboration with capable partners with the goal of improving transparency and traceability along the entire value chain.