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At Covestro, our goal is not just to comply with standards, but to set new benchmarks ourselves, as demonstrated by our strategic areas of focus, our innovation and corporate culture, and our practice of thinking and acting beyond the existing boundaries of our industry.

The circular economy: propelling us into the future

The biggest challenges of our age are climate change and an increasing scarcity of resources, coupled with a growing global population. Solving these problems demands intensive work not just from today’s society, but also from subsequent generations. One thing is certain – doing nothing is simply not an option. “We have to break our habit of using things only once. Instead, we need to strengthen the idea of recycling and orient our actions rigorously to it,” says Rainer Rettig, head of the Circular Economy program at Covestro. “A circular economy is the key to better climate protection and resource conservation, and the plastics industry has an important role to play here.”

Circular vision

Covestro wants to be a pioneer and driving force in the transformation process and has set up a long-term strategic program with this in mind. The major goals: to use alternative raw materials, develop new recycling processes and establish new cooperative ventures along the value chain. “The plastics industry must find sustainable material solutions and establish comprehensive disposal and recycling systems to minimize the risk of plastic pollution,” explains Michael Carus, the scientist at the head of Germany’s nova-Institute. Covestro is working full-steam to meet this goal, developing waste recycling systems and using alternative raw materials such as biomass and carbon dioxide. The company has already achieved an innovative breakthrough with its use of carbon dioxide in plastics production and its step-by-step replacement of crude oil.

Board of Management statements on the circular economy

Dr. Markus Steilemann

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Thomas Toepfer

Chief Financial Officer

Sucheta Govil

Chief Commercial Officer

Dr. Klaus Schäfer

Chief Technology Officer

Smells like entrepreneurial spirit

Decades of experience, yet an entrepreneurial spirit? Being a DAX company, yet pushing boundaries with curiosity and courage? Founding start-ups, yet offering job security? These things may sound like contradictions in terms, but are not, at least where Covestro is concerned. We thrive on and encourage creativity and innovative capability – throughout the workforce. In the words of Hermann Bach, the man responsible for innovation management at Covestro: “We want to be a company of 17,000 innovators, because innovation is so much more than just conventional research and development. To leverage this potential in our workforce, new approaches are needed. At Covestro, we are courageous enough to identify and implement them.”

From employee to entrepreneur

The aim of the Covestro Start-up Challenge is to help transform bright ideas into products. This internal contest gives employees the chance to pitch their business ideas. “The Start-up Challenge helps establish entrepreneurial thinking and action at the company. It also enables us to test innovative ideas on the market much faster than we otherwise could,” says Bach. The winners are given leave from work for a year to implement their business ideas, and receive seed funding of up to one million euros from Covestro.

Life as an entrepreneur now awaits the team that came up with the idea for a “power separator” in the hope of using new plastic materials to charge e-car batteries more quickly. Thus the team is helping to find answers for challenges such as climate change and is contributing to sustainable mobility.

What do you think?

How many contestants took part in the Covestro Start-up-Challenge in 2019?

250 contestants
400 contestants
600 contestants

Correct! The Covestro Start-up Challenge 2019 drew 600 applicants.

Unfortunately not correct. The Covestro Start-up Challenge 2019 drew 600 applicants.

Cost-cutting potential of AI in a chemicals company the size of Covestro.

10 %

Source: Accenture

The digital chemistry of the future

Digital chemistry – what exactly is it and what does it involve? It is closely associated with keywords such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and big data. “These technologies are driving the digital transformation in a wide range of sectors. The chemical industry also harbors huge potential that we are a long way from exploiting fully,” explains Nils Janus, Head of Advanced Analytics at Covestro.

Research and development 4.0

The associated opportunities – ranging from optimized production all the way to customized digital ordering processes – are extremely varied. In research and development too, AI and the like can be decisive factors in the ongoing digitalization of the chemical sector. The wealth of information that can be generated and analyzed using digital technologies can be used to help interpret existing research data and gain new insights for future innovations.

Covestro has already taken a decisive step toward data-based research supported by AI. A new company-wide knowledge platform pools global research data from laboratories the world over at a single (digital) location, boosting the efficiency of research projects thanks to the use of an analysis tool. At the same time, a new high-performance computer generates data from this knowledge platform and helps Covestro’s chemists perform numerous experiments within a very short time frame – first and foremost in a virtual environment. The result is a smarter, faster, but also more sustainable research and development process, capable of satisfying customer requirements even more quickly.

Seamless, simple, close at hand

Do you know how often you use the internet every day? The average German spends over three hours daily online. These statistics illustrate clearly how our habits have changed in the course of digitalization. Not only has this affected our private lives, it has also had an impact on companies and the way they interact with their customers. The “Digital@Covestro” program has been designed to make processes, business models and the customer experience fit for the digital age.

“We have to keep pace with the needs of our customers in a digital world,” says Andrea Maier-Richter, head of Central Marketing at Covestro. “This means offering a simple and seamless customer experience – from the initial information on a purchase all the way to subsequent relationship management.” The new Covestro Solution Center is one answer to this. It pools all Covestro’s expertise in polymers in a single location.

“Customers can browse the entire portfolio, compare products and request product samples with just a click of the mouse. It’s a leading-edge method of interacting with customers,” says Karsten Malsch, Program Lead Digital at Covestro. Anyone who wants to make a purchase immediately can do so in the Covestro Direct Store on the Asellion platform. The digital trading platform for chemicals complements existing sales operations and gives customers new options, with proprietary brand shops for sellers and individual customer offerings. Seamless, simple, close at hand. Covestro is equipping its business for the digital future.

What do you think?

What percentage of Covestro’s ship deliveries have customers been able to follow via GPS since 2019?


Correct! Customers have been able to track over 90% of ship deliveries via GPS since 2019.

Unfortunately not correct. Customers have been able to track over 90% of ship deliveries via GPS since 2019.

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