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

Joining the SmartWay partnership in June 2008 as a shipper partner, Continental committed 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. The firm was then 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 partnership, said 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 NAFTA nations, it had achieved a score of 1.14 out of a maximum of 1.25. The score was verified by the EPA in June 2009.

Lacroix said Continental tries to spread the word to its carriers about environmental impacts of reducing greenhouse gases as part of its corporate social responsibility principles.

The SmartWay partnership aims to save between 3.3 and 6.6 billion gallons of diesel fuel per year by 2012, or the equivalent of removing 12 million passenger cars from the road.

Continental complements its goals as a shipper partner as a manufacturer of SmartWay-verified low-rolling-resistance tires, including the HSL2 steer tire, the HDL Eco Plus drive tire, and the HTL Eco Plus trailer tire. Its new HTL1 super single trailer tire has been submitted to SmartWay for inclusion on the list of low-rolling-resistance tires and is awaiting official verification.