Becoming fully circular will take decades. To address this challenge, we constantly take action. We invest in sustainable growth. We drive research and development. And foremost: We work with partners – because a climate-neutral and circular future can only be achieved together.
The desire for a better world is becoming ever more urgent – it should be climate friendly, more resilient, healthier. Covestro is helping to realize this brighter world, because our high-quality plastics are used almost everywhere and are part of the solution to the challenges of our time. To this end, we systematically combine economic and sustainable aspects to create new growth impetus.
As part of its vision to become fully circular, Covestro is systematically expanding its portfolio of circular products. We are also investing around 1 billion euros in circular-economy projects over the next ten years. In addition to our research and development activities, we will also be orienting our acquisitions and investments even more strongly towards sustainability in the future. For example, we are expanding production capacities and investing specifically in the construction of a world-scale plant for the production of the rigid foam component MDI, a material that enables the energy-efficient insulation of buildings.
In this way, we are driving sustainable growth in various areas and helping to make the world a brighter place with our sustainable solutions.
»The use of sustainable technologies is key for us. For example, our new AdiP technology reduces CO2 emissions in an MDI plant by up to 35 percent.«
Dr. Klaus Schäfer, Chief Technology Officer
Future mobility is a matter of concern to us all. Driving with fossil fuels is increasingly reaching its limits, which raises the question of how we will get from A to B in ten years and beyond. To answer this question in the near future, innovative minds are constantly developing new ideas for future mobility. Team Sonnenwagen Aachen is a group of such innovators. These students from RWTH Aachen University (Germany) and FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences (Germany) spend much of their spare time building solar cars, powered only by the sun. The goal is to test them under tough conditions in competitions with peers from around the world.
Team Sonnenwagen Aachen has set themselves the task of optimizing the efficiency of their solar cars to enable them to travel several hundred kilometers without having to stop and charge. One of the key reasons why they manage to achieve that is the right choice of lightweight yet robust materials. High-tech materials are a key enabler for future mobility concepts and part of the reason why Team Sonnenwagen Aachen has chosen Covestro as their main sponsor for the third time in a row. With the Covestro Photon, as the solar car for 2021 is called, we are taking action and can jointly push the boundaries of future mobility to demonstrate the great potential of plastics for a sustainable future.
Scaling up success stories – Take the quiz
How heavy is the Covestro Photon?
180 kg is correct! The goal for the development of the Covestro Photon was to build a lightweight yet stable solar car that has as little air resistance as possible. With a total weight of 180 kilograms, the ultralight solar car achieves a maximum top speed of 120 kilometers per hour. Among other things, the Photon consists of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics, a 6 kWh battery pack with high-performance lithium ion phosphate cells, 4 m2 of solar cells and a self-developed electric motor.
Unfortunately not correct. The goal for the development of the Covestro Photon was to build a lightweight yet stable solar car that has as little air resistance as possible. With a total weight of 180 kilograms, the ultralight solar car achieves a maximum top speed of 120 kilometers per hour. Among other things, the Photon consists of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics, a 6 kWh battery pack with high-performance lithium ion phosphate cells, 4 m2 of solar cells and a self-developed electric motor.
Climate protection is a joint task. This applies on both a large and a small scale. Only if government players, industry and consumers pull together can the comprehensive transformation of our society towards climate neutrality and a circular economy succeed in a timely manner.
Partnerships along the entire value chain are therefore a central component of Covestro’s strategy and an important part of how we take action to become fully circular. This is also illustrated by the innovation project CIRCULAR FOAM: Together with 21 partners from 9 countries, Covestro is working to close the material loop for rigid polyurethane foams from refrigerators and buildings. The focus is on two recycling paths: chemolysis and smart pyrolysis.
However, the development of innovative processes for chemical recycling is not the only prerequisite for the success of the project. A systemic approach is needed to close the material cycle and create a blueprint for the circular economy. After all, completely new circular value chains have to be created and the participation of all relevant stakeholders in politics, society and industry has to be secured.
But the joint efforts are worthwhile. After all, implementing the system across Europe could save 1 million tons of waste, 2.9 million tons of CO2 emissions and 150 million euros in incineration costs annually as early as 2040. An important contribution to the realization of the circular economy.