In an increasingly demanding world, the chemical industry plays a crucial role. It offers sustainable solutions to the challenges of our time. And Covestro is optimally positioned to actively shape the future: with its vision of becoming fully circular, a new strategy and a strong foundation of safety and culture.
Global CO2 emissions continue to rise,1 accompanied by floods, forest fires and droughts. At the same time, the earth’s natural assets are being exhausted and its environment polluted. Humanity uses about 60 percent more of the planet’s resources than it can regenerate every year,2 and a third of the more than two billion tons of waste is not managed properly.3 It is about time for a change. The good news is that an increasing number of nations want to become climate-neutral; many ideas and technological solutions are on the table.
“But we need more: a great idea that unites politics, society and the economy,” says Covestro CEO Dr. Markus Steilemann. “This is what the circular economy offers – as a key to climate neutrality, resource conservation and environmental protection.” Covestro wants to help make circularity in the chemical industry and beyond a global guiding principle and aims to become fully circular itself in the long term: with circular products for which there is an increasing demand and by switching production to renewable raw materials, green electricity and innovative recycling.
(Sources: 1 Global Carbon Project; 2 Global Footprint Network; 3 World Bank)
Manufacture, consume, throw away – the traditional linear economy leads to a dead end. We need a paradigm shift to the circular economy with sustainable ways of behavior and production.
Becoming fully circular – Take the quiz
How circular is the world?
8.6% is correct! Every year, the nonprofit organization Circle Economy publishes what it calls the Global Circularity Gap Report, a report that provides insights into the current state of the circular economy around the world. The aim is to provide the key players in the circular economy with the latest insights, data and the relevant network to accelerate change. The result in 2021: Of all the minerals, fossil fuels, metals and biomass that enter our planet each year, just 8.6% are cycled back.
Unfortunately not correct. Every year, the nonprofit organization Circle Economy publishes what it calls the Global Circularity Gap Report, a report that provides insights into the current state of the circular economy around the world. The aim is to provide the key players in the circular economy with the latest insights, data and the relevant network to accelerate change. The result in 2021: Of all the minerals, fossil fuels, metals and biomass that enter our planet each year, just 8.6% are cycled back.
When it comes to finding answers to the most pressing problems of our time, chemical companies like Covestro have a crucial role to play. Climate change, a growing world population and new forms of mobility and urbanization – all of these are challenges that we are meeting with our sustainable solutions. In order to be able to use our full potential for this purpose, we are positioning ourselves optimally.
This journey has already started for Covestro. With our vision to become fully circular, we have a clear goal in mind. The key course has been set through our new strategy Sustainable Future. In 2021, we already reached a central milestone of our strategy’s first chapter: “Become the best of who we are.” We have reorganized our Group structure, enabling us to move even closer to our customers, better meet their needs and achieve sustainable growth together. Overall, we are becoming more digital, more efficient and more competitive. This optimal setup brings us another step closer to our vision of the circular economy.
To become fully circular and grow sustainably, you need one thing more than anything else: a strong foundation. With curiosity and different perspectives, we drive innovation and progress. That is why Covestro relies on a diverse workforce in which people come together regardless of age, origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Nevertheless, they all have one thing in common: safety.
At Covestro, safety is an all-encompassing concept. In addition to plants and production processes, the focus is above all on employees. After all, safety requires a corporate culture in which people approach each other, pay attention, communicate openly and treat each other with respect.
Team Resource Management (TRM) training, which Covestro implements at all production sites worldwide, provides valuable support in this regard. Under the guidance of instructors with experience in TRM, our teams use simulations to learn how the human factor influences safety. This is complemented by practical tools to ensure smooth interaction and improve communication within the teams.
In this way, we strengthen our “We Are 1” culture, in which team thinking and mutual appreciation are paramount – and where safety is anchored as the foundation of our business.
»Effective communication and a sustainable error culture are at the heart of TRM. The training made it clear to me once again what factors can disrupt communication. All participants were made aware that — even if it is tedious — we need to talk regularly, openly and with mutual respect about all the little things that sometimes don’t run optimally in everyday operations but often fall by the wayside in the stress of everyday life.«
Dr. Ralph Weber, Plant Manager at Covestro
In 2021, the Covestro “CEO Safety & Health Award” was presented for the 13th time. Employees can submit suggestions for improving health protection and safety at work. The highest-rated suggestion is then recognized on “Covestro Safety & Health Day” by our CEO, Dr. Markus Steilemann.