Environmental Protection

Air Emissions

Important information on "Environmental Protection" can also be found in our Annual Report.

Greenhouse gas emissions

Covestro reports greenhouse gas emissions in line with the requirements of the (GHG Protocol). The emission factors for calculating the CO2 equivalents for the global warming potential were taken from the 1995 IPCC Second Assessment Report. Direct emissions from our plants (Scope 1) are determined at all production locations and relevant administrative sites. Emissions are calculated based on the specific activity rates, e.g. of the fuels used, and the relevant material parameters. In addition to CO2, the calculation includes nitrous oxide (N2O), methane and partly fluorinated hydrocarbons. Some greenhouse gas emission figures are based on estimates, e.g. are extrapolated from the previous year’s figures.

Indirect emissions (Scope 2) are calculated in accordance with the methods outlined in the GHG Protocol and are based on the energy used and the corresponding production site-specific emissions factors. If no specific factors are available, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) country-specific emissions factor is used among others for the calculation. The factors are taken from the IEA’s “Emissions Factors” (2018 edition) ©2019 IEA Online Data Services. Additionally, Scope 2 emissions are reported using the location-based method and the market-based method in accordance with the requirements of the GHG Protocol (dual reporting). With effect from September 30, 2017, the Bayer Group permanently relinquished control over Covestro. We took the opportunity of this new legal situation to update the way we present our greenhouse gas statistics. From this reporting year (2018), only the current GHG Protocol guidelines will be used to calculate greenhouse gas volumes. For reasons of comparability, up to 2017 these were additionally calculated according to the old GHG guidelines that were in effect up to 2014. The new form of presentation does not affect comparability with prior-year figures with regard to the two long-term corporate goals “specific energy consumption” and “specific greenhouse gas emissions”.

Total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rose by 5.9% over the previous year, with direct greenhouse gas emissions up by 1.6% and indirect greenhouse gas emissions up by 7.0%. At our major production sites, which account for over 95% of our energy consumption, the production volume fell by 0.7% in 2018. Specific emissions consequently increased by 6.8% compared with the previous year. This was mainly attributable to an unfavorable energy mix for steam and electricity generation at several of our major sites in Germany and the USA. As a consequence, over the next few years we will need to step up our efforts to reach our greenhouse gas target of halving our specific emissions by 2025, based on 2005 levels. In 2018, these specific emissions totaled 0.4342 metric tons of CO2 equivalents per metric ton of product (previous year: 0.4064). Starting from the 2005 baseline, this amounts to a cumulative reduction of 40.0%. In 2018, we switched our calculation methodology to the market-based method in accordance with current requirements and pursuant to the . The corresponding prior-year figure was recalculated to make possible a comparison that conforms to the new method. The cumulative change for 2017 and previous years is calculated using the method pursuant to the GHG Protocol valid through 2014. For the year 2018, the market-based method updated per the GHG Protocol is used to calculate the cumulative change.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions1 (million metric tons of CO2 equivalents)











1 Portfolio-adjusted based on the GHG Protocol; financial control approach; global warming potential (GWP) factors correspond to the IPCC Second Assessment Report

2 In 2018, 58.2% of emissions were CO2 emissions, 40.5% were N2O emissions, 1.2% consisted of partly fluorinated hydrocarbons, and 0.1% was methane.

3 In combustion processes, CO2 typically makes up more than 99% of all greenhouse gas emissions; this is why we restrict ourselves to CO2 when calculating indirect emissions.

4 Total greenhouse gas emissions (Scopes 1 and 2 according to the GHG Protocol, market-based method) at our main production sites (which are responsible for over 95% of our energy consumption – total of 6.5 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents in 2018), divided by the in-spec production volumes of the main products at these sites. Regarding the determination of specific Scope 2 emissions, market-based emission factors were used in a majority of instances. If they were not available, country-specific emission factors from a generally accepted source were used for calculation purposes.

5 Prior year figures adjusted due to the conversion to market-based emissions method in accordance with the current GHG Protocol. The indirect emissions were calculated partially on the basis of the IEA data from the IEA Emission factors 2018 © 2019 IEA Online Data Services, www.iea.org/statistics. The greenhouse gas emissions calculated are based in part on estimates – which reflect the previous year’s data, for instance.

Direct greenhouse gas emissions2





Indirect greenhouse gas emissions calculated using the location-based method (GHG Protocol 2015)3





Indirect greenhouse gas emissions calculated using the market-based method (GHG Protocol 2015)3





Total greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and 2 in accordance with the market-based method, GHG Protocol)





Specific greenhouse gas emissions (metric tons of CO2 equivalents per metric ton of product)4





Other direct emissions into the air

In addition to greenhouse gases, Covestro’s business activities result in other emissions into the air, mainly from burning fossil fuels in order to generate electricity and steam. Emissions are also recorded and analyzed as part of determining the Group’s environmental impact. The impacts are assessed annually in the environmental management process with the Chief Technology Officer (CTO). While carbon monoxide emissions (– 6.1%), nitrogen oxides (– 7.1%) and dust emissions (– 6.4%) all fell, sulfur dioxide emissions went up by 53.4%. The main reason for this sharp rise was a change to the reporting methodology used at our production plant in Baytown, USA. Starting in 2018, we also began to report emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC), which by definition do not include methane (non-methane volatile organic compounds, or NMVOC).

Other Important Direct Air Emissions (1,000 metric tons p.a.)











1 Non-methane volatile organic compounds, reported for the first time in 2018

2 Ozone-depleting substances























n. r.








In some cases, the values for air emissions stated in the tables are estimates, e.g. based on the previous year.

GHG Protocol/Greenhouse Gas Protocol
International accounting system for greenhouse gas emissions developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
GHG Protocol/Greenhouse Gas Protocol
International accounting system for greenhouse gas emissions developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)