ZF opens first zero-emission factory in Klášterec, Czech Republic

  • Plant producing e-mobility products uses 3,400 solar modules to generate electricity  
  • No fossil fuels: Heat pumps reduce heating costs by 50 per cent 
  • A model plant for global ZF production network 

After a renovation period of less than 18 months, ZF’s power electronics production site in KlášterecnadOhří in the Czech Republic is re-opening as its first zero-emission manufacturing facility. The plant is part of the Electrified Powertrain Technology division, supporting the company’s efforts to achieve climate neutrality across all value chains by 2040. It will be used as the blueprint for all ZF plants worldwide. The technology company is gradually shifting to sustainably generated energy at all locations, increasing the energy efficiency of processes, electrifying a significant proportion of its products and utilising recycled materials. 

One of the primary challenges is to convert existing ZF plants around the world so that they can be operated with climate-neutral energy from now on. “The sustainable transformation at the Kláštereclocation is ground-breaking for our entire production network and helps us to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” says Stephan von Schuckmann, member of the ZF Board of Management. To build strong, sustainable foundations it’s important to equip plants with the ability to generate electricity. In Klášterec, this was accomplished by installing 3,400 solar modules on the campus, meeting roughly 20 per cent of the plant’s annual electricity requirements.  

Any electricity that isn’t generated internally is purchased from renewable sources – mainly wind and hydroelectric power. “Klášterec is our benchmark,” emphasizes Dhanashree Kad, Head of Sustainability at ZF’s Electrified Powertrain Technology Division. As early as 2025, five years ahead of plan, all ZF locations will be fully powered by green electricity, which will be generated in-house or obtained through contracts with renewable energy providers. Additionally, the Czech e-mobility plant’s fossil fuel-dependent gas heating system has been replaced by heat pumps, reducing the plant’s overall annual heating costs by 50 per cent. During colder months, the plant uses the naturally cold external air (free cooling) to cool down the technology within the facility. Various measures for improved thermal insulation and heat recovery round off this local climate concept.  

ZF has operated a plant in Klášterec – which is roughly 100kilometers northwest of Prague – since 1992. Today, the newly remodelled plant has nearly 700 employees and produces power electronic components for electric motors produced by ZF plants in Germany and Serbia. Customers include international car manufacturers.  

Jaguar C-X75, re-engineered and enhanced by CALLUM, to debut at April Bicester Scramble

  • With hundreds of improvements, one of only four surviving stunt cars from the James Bond movie Spectre has been extensively upgraded for road use by CALLUM
  • CALLUM, co-founded by its original designer Ian Callum, will reveal the revamped C-X75 on 21 April at the next Bicester Scramble, held at Bicester Heritage
  • Scramblers will be the first to see the now road legal, iconic car, up close

Warwick, UK, 29 February 2024: A Jaguar C-X75 used in Spectre’s dramatic car chase has been substantially re-engineered by CALLUM to make it road legal. Its public debut will be on 21 April 2024 at Bicester Heritage’s upcoming Scramble.

Originally created by the Jaguar Design team, led by Ian Callum in 2010, the Jaguar C-X75 played a starring role in 007’s action sequences filmed in the Vatican City. Just four of the five stunt cars survived with this particular chassis, Car Seven, the only one now licenced for UK road use after extensive work by CALLUM’s engineers.

Jaguar C-X75 Rear Quarter

Built by Williams Advanced Engineering for the 2015 film, the C-X75 stunt cars were designed to withstand punishing chase scenes. Constructed around a robust, tubular spaceframe chassis with rally-derived suspension and Jaguar’s 5.0 litre, supercharged V8 engine, CALLUM’s private customer commissioned the Warwick-based team to transform the C-X75 for road use whilst carefully preserving its iconic history.

To achieve the Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) certification needed for UK road use, CALLUM’s engineers made hundreds of changes including new E-marked glass, switchgear, a quieter exhaust and catalytic convertors along with associated engine calibration tuning. Having previously achieved IVA for other niche cars not originally destined for the road, such as Aston Martin’s DB4 GT Continuation Series, CALLUM has accumulated significant experience to develop low volume, novel engineered solutions. Examples on the C-X75 include creating new wing mirrors with integrated side repeaters to replace the foam models used on the stunt car.

Jaguar C-X75 Rear

In addition to satisfying the legislative requirements, CALLUM’s craftspeople sought solutions to improve the quality of the bodywork and fittings. Surplus quick release latches, essential to enable access during filming were removed. Panel gaps were reduced and aligned, the carbon fibre surface finish was enhanced, carefully resurfaced and repainted.

The original stunt car C-X75 was praised for its taut body control, sharp steering and agility. Led by CALLUM engineering director Adam Donfrancesco, its in-house engineers ensured the fluid and engaging driving dynamics were retained by making detailed but minor adjustments to dampers and ride height.

“Stunt cars are arguably the true stars, bringing to life the legendary scenes that stay with us as car enthusiasts,” says Donfrancesco. “So few actually survive the rigours of filming, preservation was key whilst meeting the legislation and it’s great we can reveal it to the enthusiastic Scramblers.”

“Ian Callum and CALLUM have been long-time supporters and friends of Bicester Heritage, so we are delighted to be able to showcase its latest work on the C-X75. It is surely one of the finest chapters in his impressive back catalogue, and to see it on the road would be an unforgettable sight,” says Dan Geoghegan, chief executive, Bicester Motion.

Jaguar C-X75 Interior

April’s Scramble, which takes place on 21 April 2024 and coincides with Drive-it Day, sold out in less than three weeks with over 8,000 enthusiasts set to attend the Oxfordshire venue renowned for a relaxed atmosphere and an unparalleled mix of new and classic vehicles on show across the former airbase.

The Jaguar C-X75 will be located at The Armoury on the site.

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Jaguar C-X75 Registration

Sumitomo Rubber Develops ‘Tyre Aerodynamic Simulation’

  • Essential for Development of Next-Generation EV Tyres: Contributing to Understanding Aerodynamic Characteristics of Tyres that Account for Over 20% of the Air Resistance of an EV

Feb. 29. 2024 - Falken Tyres’ parent company, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. is pleased to announce the development of a new simulation technique called ‘Tyre Aerodynamic Simulation,’ which is used in the process of tyre development. To reduce the fuel (electricity) consumption of electric vehicles (EVs), it is very important to minimise tyre rolling resistance as well as air resistance around the tyre. Sumitomo will pursue the development of a tyre shape that optimises aerodynamic performance by visualising the airflow around the tyre of a running vehicle through our own simulation using AI, thereby aiming to develop a tyre that further contributes to lowering the electricity consumption of an EV in a next-generation EV tyre to be launched in 2027.

Visualisation of the airflow around the tyre through the simulation technique

Visualisation of the airflow around the tyre through the simulation technique

Calculation of the aerodynamics of a rotating tyre, including the tyre pattern and changes in the tyre shape in contact with the surface

Calculation of the aerodynamics of a rotating tyre, including the tyre pattern and changes in the tyre shape in contact with the surface

Sidewall aerodynamic simulation that can accommodate the lettering and fine texture on the sidewall

Sidewall aerodynamic simulation that can accommodate the lettering and fine texture on the sidewall

One important performance characteristic required of an EV tyre is achieving low electricity consumption to maximise the range. In addition to measures already taken to reduce tyre rolling resistance, Sumitomo will focus on decreasing air resistance, which is important to lower the electricity consumption of an EV tyre. Our recently developed simulation technology, ‘Tyre Aerodynamic Simulation,’ will help us to accomplish this goal.

With a rapid shift to EVs occurring today, the impact of air resistance is becoming increasingly important. Unlike internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, which lose over 50% of their energy due to heat, EVs suffer much less energy loss from heat. This means that air resistance accounts for a larger portion of total energy loss in EVs. The tyres are exposed to the outside of the vehicle body, and the air that passes around the tires flows out to the side and underside of the vehicle. As a result, 20 to 25 per cent of the energy loss due to air resistance in a passenger car is related to the tyres. In EVs, which cause almost no energy loss due to heat, around 34 to 37 per cent of the energy loss is attributed to the tyres, if rolling resistance is included. [1]

Comparison of energy loss at a speed of 100 kilometres per hour between ICE vehicle and EV

Comparison of energy loss at a speed of 100 kilometres per hour between ICE vehicle and EV

The newly developed ‘Tyre Aerodynamic Simulation’ is a simulation technique that allows us to visualise air resistance around a tyre. It uses actual vehicle data to calculate the aerodynamics of a rotating tyre while simulating the tyre pattern and analysing results using AI technology. The simulation technique accounts for the effect of tyre deflection due to vehicle weight. In addition, we have developed a simulation technique that changes the shapes of the lettering and fine texture on the sidewall while they are rotating in the same way as the pattern. While it is important to smoothen the sidewall to reduce air resistance in EVs, using the newly developed simulation technique will enable the development of a tyre that achieves both design and aerodynamic performance at higher levels.

In comparison with the results of a wind tunnel experiment, which was conducted with an actual vehicle to confirm the accuracy of the simulation, the EV tyre with a decreased airflow trend behind the tyre and greater evenness on the sidewall showed lower air resistance values than the standard tyre. This confirmed the potential of the newly developed simulation technique. Furthermore, the AI technology used in the simulation suggests that the sidewall plays a crucial role in air resistance reduction when the air resistance is high, offering additional evidence of the effectiveness of the technology. Adopting this technique yields improved tyre performance with maximised aerodynamic characteristics, leading to reduced aerodynamic drag and electricity consumption for an EV.

Comparison of variations of air resistance values between actual vehicle and simulation

Comparison of variations of air resistance values between actual vehicle and simulation

Visualisation of important positions for tyre air resistance through AI

Visualisation of important positions for tyre air resistance through AI

We unveiled our own unique Circular Economy Concept for the Tyre Industry, which we call TOWANOWA [2], in March 2023. TOWANOWA features a two-ring structure, with a ‘Sustainable Ring’ consisting of five processes in the value chain and a ‘Data Ring’ linking big data collected from each process. We aim to provide new value by sharing/using data between the two rings.

The newly developed Tyre Aerodynamic Simulation technique will use simulation data obtained through the ‘Planning & Design’ process to reduce air resistance when the vehicle is running, and thereby help lower the electricity consumption in EVs.

Through TOWANOWA, the Sumitomo Rubber Group will further accelerate our efforts to promote and practice ESG Management and contribute to the achievement of carbon neutrality by 2050 and the development of a sustainable society.

Conceptual diagram of Circular Economy Concept TOWANOWA

Conceptual diagram of Circular Economy Concept TOWANOWA

[1] Data cited from ‘Improvement of Practical Electric Consumption by Drag Reducing under Cross Wind’, Kawamata, Hideyuki; Kuroda, Satoru; Tanaka, Shingo; Oshima, Munehiko, SAE technical paper series, (2016)

[2] Introducing a Circular Economy Concept for the Tyre Industry: TOWANOWA (News Release Issued March 8, 2023)

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HARMAN Automotive Extends Partnership with Scuderia Ferrari

  • Formula One marketing partnership continues with HARMAN Automotive as an Official Partner for Scuderia Ferrari for the 2024 F1 season
  • Technology partnership grows as Ferrari will become the first automaker to bring HARMAN’s in-cabin monitoring system to market in its next-generation road cars

STAMFORD, CT – Feb 28, 2024 – HARMAN, an automotive electronics technology company and subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. focused on delivering consumer experiences at automotive grade, confirms it will continue as an Official Partner of Scuderia Ferrari for a second Formula One season. The on-track marketing partnership extends to technology on the road, with Ferrari becoming the first automotive OEM to adopt a number of solutions from HARMAN’s in-cabin monitoring system, HARMAN Ready Care, for its next-generation road cars.

“A collaborative commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in a car is the cornerstone of the partnership between HARMAN Automotive and Ferrari,” said Christian Sobottka, President, HARMAN Automotive. “After a successful inaugural year, we look forward to continuing our Scuderia Ferrari partnership with an exciting new campaign for the 2024 race season. On the road, we will extend our technical partnership with Ferrari by delivering a number of key Ready Care safety features for its customers.”

HARMAN Automotive - Official Partner of Scuderia Ferrari 2024

For the 2024 Formula One season, the synergies between the two brands will be brought to life through an integrated marketing campaign focused on a shared commitment to innovation and excellence.

On the road-car side, Ferrari will introduce eye-gaze tracking from HARMAN Ready Care, to determine if a driver is distracted and alert them to refocus on the road. Part of HARMAN’s Ready product lineup, Ready Care is the industry’s first closed-loop interior sensing and tailored interventions product that helps keep eyes and minds on the road by detecting driver distraction and drowsiness using artificial intelligence, machine learning and neuroscience.

The partnership extension with Ferrari marks the latest milestone in HARMAN Automotive’s journey to become the leading automotive electronics supplier delivering best-in-class in-cabin experiences – a value proposition HARMAN calls Consumer Experiences. Automotive Grade.

For more information, visit car.harman.com

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Falken Motorsports commits to NLS for 2024

Falken Motorsports will once again contest the 2024 Nürburgring Langstrecken-Serie (NLS) and the ADAC Ravenol 24h Nürburgring – with a pair of Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) for what promises to be another action-packed season of racing on the Nordschleife.

The announcement follows a successful 2023, which saw the iconic teal and blue liveried Porsches finishing third in the NLS Speed Trophy, thanks to several top five results – including wins in NLS5 and NLS6. With the driver line-up set to be confirmed next month, 2024 marks the second year Falken Motorsports has run the 911 GT3 R (992) and its 14th as a Porsche customer team.

“With a year of experience running the 911 GT3 R (992), we’re looking forward to getting back out on track as a Porsche customer team,” says Stefanie Olbertz, Falken Tyres’ motorsport manager. “We learnt a lot last year, picking up a trio of podiums, and we’re ready to fight at the sharp end once again.”

NLS5 Victory

Falken’s motto, ‘from racetrack to road’, has long-since underpinned its relationship with the Nürburgring and the NLS provides vital technology transfer opportunities to pass on to its customers – such as the development of the AZENIS RS820, Falken’s new UUHP tyre.

Customer teams will also drive on Falken tyres, and the Falken branding will be visible on individual cars, similar to the two SP9 Pro cars. The Falken logo will also be visible on the front wings of the entire field as it returns as an official NLS partner. Extending its sponsorship for 2024, Falken will once again be supporting the event’s live stream – allowing fans who are unable to visit ‘the Green Hell’ to follow the action in real-time.

Falken’s first outing will be during the Nordschleife Test on March 22-23, with the first race taking place during the NLS1 and NLS2 double header on April 5-6, swiftly followed by the ADAC 24h Nürburgring Qualifiers, which comprises NLS3 and NLS4 and takes place on April 13-14.

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HARMAN Works With Qualcomm to Drive Automotive Innovation with New Ready Connect 5G TCU for Connected Cars

Barcelona, Spain – Feb 26, 2024 – HARMAN, a global leader in connected vehicle solutions, today announced the launch of the HARMAN Ready Connect 5G Telematics Control Unit (TCU), leveraging state-of-the-art Snapdragon® Digital Chassis™ connected car technologies from Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. to push connectivity boundaries and democratise the automotive connectivity landscape. Based on the Snapdragon® Auto 5G Modem-RF Gen 2, HARMAN Ready Connect 5G TCU represents a significant advancement in automotive connectivity, delivering rich in-cabin experiences for consumers while reducing time to market and engineering efforts for OEMs. HARMAN Ready Connect 5G TCU is currently available and will be showcased this week at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024.

HARMAN Ready Connect Qualcomm

As technology leaders, the companies remain committed to delivering solutions that not only meet the demands of today’s consumers but also pave the way for the next generation of connected vehicles. With the Snapdragon® Modem-RF Gen 2 system, HARMAN Ready Connect 5G TCU offers unparalleled connectivity performance, while maximising upgradability, scalability, and usability to meet the evolving requirements of today’s automotive market.

“Together, HARMAN and Qualcomm Technologies are working to redefine the future of automotive connectivity,” said Pascal Peguret, SVP, Connectivity for HARMAN Automotive. “The Ready Connect 5G TCU product is a testament to that shared vision, disrupting the traditional TCU approach as an off-the-shelf TCU product. HARMAN Ready Connect 5G TCU is designed to meet the needs of automakers simply and effectively while expediting the time to market and significantly reducing development cost.”

“As pioneers in wireless technologies, Qualcomm Technologies is pleased to further strengthen our longstanding relationship with HARMAN to help bring the Ready Connect 5G TCU to the industry. This product exemplifies our dedication to driving connectivity innovation in the automotive industry, delivering a seamless combination of performance, reliability, and cutting-edge features through the utilisation of our Snapdragon Modem-RF Gen 2 system,” said Jeff Arnold, Vice President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

HARMAN invites the automotive industry to explore the benefits of this technology collaboration and experience firsthand how the HARMAN Ready Connect 5G TCU is set to shape the future of in-cabin connectivity. Please visit the HARMAN showcase at MWC in Hall 4, Booth# 4B45 to see a demonstration of the Ready Connect 5G TCU product throughout the week.

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  • Snapdragon is a trademark or registered trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated.
  • Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
  • Snapdragon and Digital Chassis are trademarks or registered trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated.

HARMAN Highlights Connectivity Innovation with Latest Road-Ready Products Showcased at MWC 2024

Robust connectivity lineup, including new industry-leading partners and innovations built with future mobility in mind, are available now and designed to deliver impactful in-cabin consumer experiences

HARMAN at MWC 2024

MWC 2024, Fira Gran Via, Barcelona – February 26, 2024 – HARMAN, a global leader in connected vehicle solutions, is demonstrating its latest road-ready products designed to democratise automotive connectivity at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024. The products, including the HARMAN Ready Connect 5G Telematics Control Unit, are market-ready and provide added value for automakers, including a reduction in overall cost of implementation while delivering consumer experiences at automotive grade.

HARMAN’s new Ready Connect product serves as the critical underpinning technology to create compelling in-vehicle connected experiences. From receiving relevant traffic notifications to enhanced communication between the car and the surrounding environment, HARMAN Ready Connect offers safer and more amplified in-cabin experiences for drivers and passengers alike. When combined with HARMAN’s SaaS situational awareness offering, unlimited new applications and connected services can be made readily available to OEMs and their customers to provide enhanced mobility.

Through its expanded partner ecosystem, HARMAN is collaborating with companies such as Samsung and Traffic Technology Services (TTS) to help innovate the connected in-cabin experience for the automotive industry. Leveraging expertise from its parent company Samsung, HARMAN developed its smart conformal antenna deployed in Ready Connect, resulting in optimal packaging design with integrated antenna sub-system and superior connectivity performance. In collaboration with TTS, a leading platform provider of connected safety and mobility solutions, Ready Connect can enable real-time traffic information pertinent to a driver’s route, without having to rely on roadside or in-vehicle sensors.

“As the automotive industry continues to transform and embrace emerging technological breakthroughs and heightened consumer expectations, HARMAN continues to provide innovative new products and experiences for the vehicle. New additions to the Ready product portfolio underscore the power of collaboration across diverse areas of expertise to boost safety, personalisation and sustainability for automakers and consumers,” said Suman Sehra, Global Vice President of Automotive Product & Platform Portfolio Management at HARMAN. “HARMAN stands out by delivering products that pave the way for the next generation of connected and autonomous vehicles.”

Starting February 26 through February 29, 2024, at MWC in Barcelona, HARMAN will demonstrate how its lineup of Ready products, available today, are designed to work seamlessly together for a faster, cost effective, time-to-market. HARMAN technology that will be showcased at HARMAN’s booth includes:

Democratising Automotive Connectivity through Ready Connect

HARMAN delivers a new era of 5G telematics control units (TCUs) with Ready Connect, the latest addition to its expanding portfolio of products. HARMAN Ready Connect 5G TCU represents a significant advancement in automotive connectivity, delivering rich in-cabin experiences for consumers while reducing time to market and engineering efforts for OEMs. The result is improved in-vehicle connected mobility experiences focused on entertainment, productivity, and enhanced situational awareness. It provides OEMs with a future proof solution, via modular hardware upgradability from 4G to 5G coupled with a highly scalable software architecture to maximise software reuse across product variants. A predeveloped suite of software applications, such as vehicle diagnostics, reduce deployment and integration time for OEMs.

Building a Safer Experience through Ready Vision

The Ready Vision product portfolio seamlessly integrates important audio and visual needs for consumers, offering a safer and more informed driving experience that helps keep the driver’s eyes and mind on the road. The newest product in the lineup, Ready Vision QVUE, is powered by Samsung Neo QLED and delivers an unprecedented experience with outstanding visual performance and unrivalled packaging. It provides the right information in the right place for minimised distraction and maximised engagement, bright illumination in all light conditions along with size and feature-set flexibility. Ready Vision QVUE technology takes advantage of unused space at the base of the windshield to reflect relevant information closer to the driver’s line of sight. It also allows for an intuitive, connected experience and with Ready Connect, real-time updates on traffic, navigation and hazard alerts. Additionally, with Ready Care, drivers can be alerted to cognitive distraction, increasing overall safety when on the road.

HARMAN Ignite Store Unlocks Advanced In-Cabin App Experiences

With the HARMAN Ignite Store, an integrated in-vehicle app store, HARMAN creates an in-cabin experience that’s greater than the sum of its parts and provides OEMs with full control over a curated catalogue of more than 70 secure and reliable apps to enrich the driving experience. The HARMAN Ignite Store partner ecosystem leverages collaborations across key industries to enable an expanding portfolio of content, features and increased vehicle safety and connectivity. The HARMAN Ignite Store also works seamlessly with the new HARMAN Ready Vision QVUE, enabling push notifications of the driver’s choosing onto the Ready Vision display.

Together, HARMAN and Samsung have pioneered new levels of collaboration that thoughtfully pull relevant consumer technology innovations. For more information on HARMAN’s latest products and the experiences they deliver, visit car.harman.com.

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Sumitomo Rubber targets carbon neutral supply chain by 2030

After meeting its carbon reduction targets ahead of schedule, Falken’s push towards carbon neutrality is accelerating – as it aims to more than half its carbon emissions, by 2030. In doing so, Falken’s parent company, Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd (SRI), hopes to reduce carbon emissions throughout its supply chain, and across its own production facilities, by 2030.

SRI Sustainability Graphic

Rapid progress to-date means previously set sustainability milestones have been hit ahead of schedule. In 2021, SRI set itself the goal of reducing emissions by 50 percent (from 2017 levels) by 2030 – a target it has already exceeded thanks, in part, to the implementation of renewable energies and energy-saving measures. These include the introduction of electricity generation using renewable energy sources at tyre factories in China^ and Thailand^^.

Not one to rest on its laurels, the manufacturer is now increasing its target to a reduction of 55 percent by 2030 (compared to 2017 levels) – underlining SRI’s corporate ambitions to become fully carbon neutral by 2050.

Driven by SRI’s long-term sustainability policy, ‘Driving Our Future Challenge 2050*’ the latest initiatives will help accelerate its carbon neutral goals – aiming to reduce annual scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions.

Currently, around 90 percent of SRI’s greenhouse gases are caused by scope 3 CO2 emissions, from material development and procurement, logistics, sales, use and processing/recycling. As such, the brand is targeting a 25 percent reduction in emissions associated with material development and procurement (by 2030, compared to 2021). Sustainable sourcing and strengthening supplier engagement is central to SRI’s strategy, something which is bolstered by the introduction of the environmental and social risk assessment tool, Rubberway.

SRI is looking to save a further 10 percent (by 2030, compared to 2021) across logistics – primarily through a modal shift and optimisation in transportation – and by retreading or recycling tyres used during the distribution process.

What’s more, the manufacturer is looking at reducing tyre rolling resistance, extending tyre life, reducing tyre weight, expanding retreading capacity and using more sustainable raw materials.

These goals will be achieved by promoting the initiatives outlined in SRI’s ‘Driving Our Future Challenge 2050’ policy, as well as upholding the TOWANOWA** circular economy concept for each individual process – with SRI’s approach designed to support an improved circular economy.

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*SRI’s long-term sustainability policy Driving Our Future Challenge 2050’ here. Click here for more.
**TOWANOWA, a circular economy concept for the tyre industry. Click here for more.
^Sumitomo Rubber Group achieves shift to 100% renewable energy to meet the electrical power needs of tyre plants in China. Read more in this press release dated 18 January 2022) Click here for more.
^^Transition to CO2-free electricity at Sumitomo Rubber (Thailand) Click here for more.

The following processes correspond to the Scope 3 category in the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol.

Screenshot 2024-02-16 142102

Agilité builds on ESG commitment with B Corp™ Certification

Agilité, a leading European construction company, has become one of only 18 companies within the ‘contracting and building’ sector to earn B Corp status. Based on a vision of creating a community of for-profit companies committed to redefining success in business, the certification furthers Agilité’s commitment toward operating as a force for good.

As a certified B Corporation within the ‘contracting and building’ industry, commercial interiors specialist Agilité is counted among 8,000 businesses – including its own client, Big Mamma – that are meeting high standards of social and environmental impact and leading a global movement for an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economy.

“The nature of Agilité’s business is to redefine the spaces we work in, but we recognise that our industry needs to evolve as well,” explains Neil Coales, founder of Agilité. “We firmly believe the construction sector’s collective vision should be for a sustainable built environment – in every sense.

“When it comes to creating any office, retail or hospitality space, we need to consider not just how something looks, but the longevity of the materials used, where they come from, how they are transported and the impact they might have on the people who use the space – long after we’ve packed up our tools.”

Agilité SLT

Agilité’s development director, Kirsty Shearer – who oversees the brand’s ESG responsibilities – has been working closely with sustainability consultancy, A Beautiful Green since 2021 to support the certification process. The project explored what Agilité is already doing ‘right’, and what might need adjusting to bring the growing organisation in line with its long-term vision and values, as well as earning B Corp certification.

“This certification isn’t the culmination of our efforts, it’s a stepping stone toward continual improvement,” explains Shearer. “B Corp certified companies drive the normalisation of sustainable business practices, and we are proud to be representing the construction and building sector amongst our peers.

Together, we have a great opportunity to keep shaping our sector for the better, and we will continue working to improve our sustainable practices and remain true to our commitments, such as implementing a responsible purchasing policy and improving our waste monitoring and recycling.”

The B Corp Certification process is based on a vision of creating a community of for-profit companies that are committed to redefining success in business. Conducted by the nonprofit B Lab, the assessment measured Agilité’s social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

After benchmarking its credentials in 2021, Agilité employed several accountable practices such as building and implementing a responsible purchasing policy – with key suppliers assessed against B Corp standards, as well as a supplier policy and code of conduct. The team also developed and introduced governance documents such as a code of ethics and whistleblower policy, while also regularly surveying colleagues to understand their needs and satisfaction levels.

Agilite Group

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Falken and its parent company, Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd (SRI), are celebrating a strong start to the year with a trio of nominations in this year’s “Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence.”

SRI has been shortlisted in the ‘Environmental Achievement of the Year – Manufacturing’ category for its use of hydrogen and solar energy during tyre production. It’s also nominated for ‘R&D Breakthrough of the Year’ for its Tire Internal Power Generation Technology – a solution that generates electric power from tyre rotation and supplies this to peripheral tyre sensors.

TTI Awards Falken Graphic 16X9

Elsewhere, in the ‘Tire of the Year’ category, Falken’s AZENIS RS820 has been shortlisted. The new ultra-ultra-high-performance (UUHP) tyre was launched in 2023, and is engineered to offer ultra-precise handling, stability, refinement and control at all speeds and in a variety of conditions.

“SRI is proud to have been recognised many times in the Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence,” says Andreas Giese, Chief Corporate Officer at Falken Tyre Europe GmbH. “Having won the inaugural ‘R&D Breakthrough of the Year’ award in 2023, we’re delighted to have been recognised again for our ongoing investment into R&D – a vital component of our long-term sustainability policy, ‘Driving Our Future Challenge 2050* and the realisation of a sustainable society.”

Recognising ‘the scope of innovation and achievement showcased in the previous 12 months’, the Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence are a celebration of recent advances in tyre technology and the progress made toward a greener and more sustainable industry.

The winners will be announced as part of this year’s Tire Technology Expo, which takes place in Hannover, Germany, from 19-21 March 2024. The awards are decided by the votes of a panel of experts from the tyre industry and academia.