Open Innovation for Sustainability

Sustainability and Innovation: Growth Drivers for Covestro

• Convincing and sustainable financial results • Exemplary cooperation: Solar Impulse and Covestro partner in World Alliance for Efficient Solutions • Taiwan’s position as Covestro’s TPU production center strengthened through plant expansion
Ever since Covestro was established in September 2015, the company has gone from strength to strength in creating value for stakeholders and shareholders in terms of stock price and business growth. These results not only underscore Covestro’s strong position in various customer industries and in key regions, they are also testimony that innovation and sustainability can be key growth drivers for a company. The company’s CEO Patrick Thomas at Covestro Taiwan’ s press conference today explained the company’s strategy for innovation and sustainability, why the company became a partner of Solar Impulse, and what is in store for Taiwan. He was joined by Bertrand Piccard, initiator, chairman and pilot of Solar Impulse as well as chairman of WAES.
”Innovation and Sustainability are core pillars of our strategy,” explained Patrick Thomas. “Growing customer demand for innovative applications and technology solutions is driven by a trend to replace conventional materials with high-tech plastics that contribute to a product’s greater sustainability. We believe that the call for a more sustainable world as manifested in the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals will drive innovation and thus growth in the future as well. We are committed to dedicate our research and development to achieving these goals.”
Biomass – scientific breakthrough Bio-based aniline

Covestro has placed a growing number of innovative, bio-based products on the market in recent years. Bio-based aniline is a recent scientific breakthrough of the company and its partners. The new process enables Covestro to produce the important raw material aniline completely out of biomass. It’s been proven to be successful and promising and it is currently being upscaled from lab to pilot plant.

CO2 Projects

Working in collaboration with external experts, Covestro makes the ubiquitous waste gas CO2 useful as a raw material for plastics. The company has been able to produce a precursor for soft foam with CO2 on an industrial scale since 2016, but it has a lot more projects and research ongoing:

Power2X – Converting surplus wind power
A joint long-term project whose goal is to find ways of storing surplus power from renewable energies through conversion into chemicals. Covestro’s role in this project is to research how surplus power can be coupled with CO2 to manufacture novel building blocks for plastics.

Carbon2Chem – a collaboration in using CO2 from steel furnace waste gas
Covestro is conducting research for the initiative on how waste gas from steel production can be used as a raw material for plastics production. In the Carbon2Polymers sub-project, Covestro is specifically involved in the production of plastics from smelting gases.

Renewable Energy

Wind Power Solution:
Larger windblades allow for higher productivity in capturing energy from wind. Covestro collaborates with partners along the value chain to offer a high performance resin that gives wind blade and wind turbine manufacturers the competitive edge.

Open Innovation for Sustainability Makes Vision into Reality

“Covestro isn’t only pursuing its own internal projects, we also are involved in undertakings with partners from different industries, universities and institutions,” added Patrick Thomas. “Solar Impulse has been such a partner. It was a powerful demonstration of how open innovation can contribute to make the world a brighter place. That’s also why we are now serving on the board of the Solar Impulse Foundation and share responsibility for the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions (WAES).”
“Our flight around the world in a solar powered airplane showed that clean technologies and renewable energies can achieve the impossible. For too long I’ve heard about the problems of climate change. We must instead focus on the solutions that we have to make a cleaner world. So many solutions are profitable and will help our economies grow and create jobs, while at the same time protecting the environment. The Solar Impulse Foundation has committed to select 1,000 profitable solutions and will bring them to COP 24 in 2018 to help governments and companies reach their environmental targets” said Bertrand Piccard, who launched the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions in November 2016 in order to federate solutions providers.

Covestro’s Strategy in Taiwan – APAC Hub for the IT and Shoe Industries

Covestro Taiwan serves as one of the most important innovation hubs for the IT and shoe industry. The Changhua TPU site is the largest TPU production site for Covestro in Asia and it is facilitated by an APAC RD Center, its product line also includes a bio-based TPU that can fulfill needs in the footwear and consumer electronics industries. A new production expansion plan for the Changhua site has already been submitted to the local government and is now in the design phase.

About the Solar Impulse Foundation and WAES:
The Solar Impulse Foundation created the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions – which it fully administers and funds thanks to partners and private donors – following the success of the first solar flight around the globe. As one of the direct legacies of Solar Impulse, the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions also benefits from the media, political and institutional relations developed over the course of the project.

The World Alliance for Efficient Solutions brings together start-ups, companies, institutions and organizations producing, implementing or supporting the use of clean technologies. Together, the members share experiences and create synergies in order to improve the overall value chain and demonstrate concrete solutions to support governments, corporations and institutions in reaching their environmental targets, advising them depending on their specific situation.

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About Covestro:
With 2016 sales of EUR 11.9 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 15,600 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) as of the end of 2016.

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Forward-looking statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.