Principles guiding our actions
Purpose and mission
The world is facing tremendous global challenges, including advancing climate change, increasing mobility, a growing global population, and rising urbanization. Covestro is facing these challenges, uniting business success with sustainability. The goal is to realize Covestro’s purpose: to make the world a brighter place.
We aim to promote innovation and growth with profitable products and technologies that benefit society and reduce the impact on the environment. This is our mission. In pursuing it, we rely on technologies that reduce energy consumption and emissions in our production processes. And we are replacing traditional materials such as glass and metal, which are manufactured less sustainably or have a less sustainable life cycle, with products and plastics we develop. We accomplish this by thinking ahead and, instead of fossil resources, develop alternative building blocks for our chemicals that are either omnipresent or far more sustainable.
The targeted development represents a key step in the path toward achieving an economic system that focuses on circularity. For Covestro, the circular economy primarily means finding efficient solutions so that products and materials are returned to the value cycle at the end of their use phase – as a whole, in the form of polymers or in molecular form. Throughout the process, we consider our entire portfolio to create new value from products and materials.
Therefore, we will conduct in-depth research into various recycling options in the coming years, based on our experience in chemistry and our innovative strength. Our goal is to bring these to market readiness as soon as possible. In addition to mechanical recycling, we are promoting the development of chemical and thermochemical procedures.
In this regard, we constantly pursue the goal of utilizing carbon within an optimally closed loop. In doing so, we aim to reduce CO2 emissions and the use of resources throughout the entire value cycle. We are confident that our focus on circularity will produce long-term economic and environmental benefits. Chances for us arise, for example, from new business models, additional sales opportunities and close cooperation with our customers. Moreover, this strategic focus underscores our commitment to creating sustainable solutions for meeting the challenges of the future.
In keeping with our purpose of making the world a brighter place, we want to make an equal contribution to increasing Covestro’s overall value at social, environmental and economic levels. Our decisions and our actions always take into account the three Ps of sustainability: people, planet and profit. We are oriented toward a positive impact on at least two of the three Ps, while at the same time ensuring no harm is done to any of them. Covestro considers every decision, every action we take and the resulting consequences holistically, that is, throughout the entire value chain or value cycle.
Corporate values, corporate culture and corporate policies
Covestro is proud of its corporate values, summarized as C3: curious, courageous and colorful. Curiosity triggers deeper thinking and allows us to create innovative and unexpected solutions for our customers. Courage helps us identify opportunities where others see limitations. Diversity promotes employee engagement and creativity; multiple viewpoints make us successful. These values guide all of the Group’s employees and are reflected in their daily thoughts and actions. We have also defined Covestro conduct guidelines in order to make the C3 values a more integral part of our employees’ work life.
The corporate culture is a key strategic pillar for Covestro and is based on the company’s values and conduct guidelines. Moreover, a culture firmly rooted in the company enables the implementation of the strategy, therefore enabling the company’s long-term success.
The corporate culture is influenced by all employees and in particular by the managers who are responsible for setting a good example through their conduct and embodying the culture. The expectations for this transformational leadership are clearly defined: We want values-based leadership driven by mindset as well as corporate values that enables employees to reach their fullest potential and channel it into achieving success for the company. We also ensure that our employees possess the necessary decision-making authority and that the work and safety conditions in place meet our high standards.
The key principles guiding our actions have also been laid down in six policies applicable throughout the Covestro Group. These provide our employees with guidance in the areas of value creation, sustainability, innovation, human resources, HSEQ (Health, Safety, Environment and Quality) and compliance. The standards these contain are mandatory for all employees worldwide and provide the framework for all of our activities. Where required, further detail is provided with more specific guidelines on particular topics.
Part of the supplementary sustainability information (not form part of the statutory audit of the annual financial statements)
Covestro aims to develop products and solutions that create value for customers, society and the environment, as well as employees and investors. We accomplish this with products that have superior material properties, environmental compatibility, user friendliness and cost effectiveness. In doing so, Covestro strives for resource efficiency over the whole life cycle, thus maximizing the value created from the resources used.
Our aim is to combine economic success with environmental and social goals. This type of sustainable business activity is in line with our purpose of making the world a brighter place. Our decisions and our actions therefore take account of all three Ps of sustainability – people, planet and profit – and are based on the principle of avoiding negative impacts in all three of these areas. Our Group sustainability policy underpins this intention. Specific committees have been appointed at Covestro to define and manage important sustainability issues. These include the development and implementation of targets and action plans.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are of considerable importance for Covestro and are therefore also reflected in our corporate strategy. Among other things, we have set out to systematically further align our research and development project portfolio even more closely with the SDGs. It is with this in mind that we published our voluntary “Corporate Commitment on our Contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals” on our website.
Innovation is vital if we want to master the global challenges of our changing times, remain competitive and create value in the long term – in accordance with and inspired by the principles of sustainability. Accordingly, we are continuously developing new products, processes, applications and technologies that offer new perspectives. It is particularly important to us that each and every Covestro employee be involved in innovation.
Covestro’s success is based on the exceptional skills and strong commitment of our employees. We therefore offer an attractive and safe work environment and promote both the professional and personal development of our employees. Curiosity, courage and diversity are the values that shape our corporate culture and enable our workforce to contribute to the success of the company. The core skills and leadership abilities that guide the professional development of our employees are aligned with these values.
Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ)
Occupational health, safety, environmental protection and quality are key factors in achieving our goals. We set high standards and always aim for continuous improvement. That is the primary goal of our integrated HSEQ management system, which is used to ensure implementation of our HSEQ Group guidelines in accordance with internationally recognized standards (OHSAS 18001, ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 50001).
Covestro’s corporate governance is characterized by a sense of responsibility as well as ethical principles. We expect strict compliance with all statutory requirements and Covestro’s voluntary commitments, which are anchored in internal regulations that apply to all employees worldwide.
Further codes additionally govern the behavior of and interaction between employees and suppliers with regard to relevant issues. In its voluntary commitment to responsible lobbying, Covestro has also created clear and binding rules for its involvement in the political sphere. In conjunction with a more comprehensive directive, this voluntary commitment applicable across the Group requires transparency and openness when working with representatives of political institutions. In addition to its externally published voluntary commitment, Covestro has signed up on a voluntary basis to the European Transparency Register. The purpose of this register is to record and monitor lobbying activities at the EU level, requiring companies to disclose certain information such as their activities in various areas of interest or the number of staff involved in lobbying, for example. Detailed regulations also apply to lobbying activities in the United States, including a duty to report all political interactions on a quarterly basis, which Covestro meets in full.