Annual Report 2023

Inclusive Business

Strategy and Governance

Our Inclusive Business activities are another aspect of our sustainability management. This business model focuses specifically on unmet needs of communities in underserved markets. Our collaborative approach offers scalable solutions to reach as many people as possible in these markets. We collaborate with our customers as well as governmental and nongovernmental organizations to develop solutions based on our technologies and products to benefit disadvantaged communities and regions by improving living conditions. Our employees focus on three regions – the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Eastern and Southern Africa – with the main goal of implementing innovative solutions in the fields of food security and biosolids management. In terms of food security, one of the areas we are actively engaged in is to fight against post-harvest losses, which are all losses that occur after the harvest (e.g., as a result of improper storage). They are an economic challenge particularly for smallholding farms. Solar greenhouse dryers and cold storage, which are developed with industry partners within Inclusive Business, make a positive contribution to improving the financial situation of these farms by reducing post-harvest losses. In addition, these innovative solutions are intended to help develop new sales markets for Covestro. Biosolids management is another key action area. Biosolids are defined as human feces processed in drying facilities, which can then be used as organic fertilizer in agriculture. The solar drier technology used in our work on food security is also deployed in this process.

In the year 2023, we once again concentrated on collaboratively developing new, affordable solutions with partners who passed a due diligence review in advance. Our work in consortia – always preceded by our standard due diligence process for new partners – also ensures that the relevant segments of the population profit from the jointly developed end products.

Covestro’s Board of Management is informed annually about these global activities.


Indian Subcontinent

In the Indian Subcontinent, our Inclusive Business activities concentrated on biosolids management in the reporting year. Under the Clean India Mission, an initiative of the Indian government, we installed additional solar dryers for treating human feces in the Indian state of Telangana. The announced joint study with the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2024. The results of the study, which captured data required from biosolids processing, are now helping the state governments in the creation of legal frameworks for treating biosolids.

In step with the Indian government’s program for doubling farmers’ income, our food security activities continued. The program is aimed at promoting ways to improve the incomes of farmers’ cooperatives. The digital platform announced in the previous year went live in the fourth quarter of 2023. It provides information on innovation, potential partnerships, financing opportunities, and agricultural products. The platform is intended to enable all people involved in the post-harvest value chain to support Indian farms in optimizing food security efforts.

Southeast Asia

Inclusive Business activities in Southeast Asia continued in the reporting year. The positive experience made during the implementation of projects in the year 2022 – funded by the Agri Innovation Fund of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Bonn (Germany) – led to further funding for projects in Vietnam by the GIC Vietnam (Green Innovation Centre for the Agriculture and Food Sector). The GIC Vietnam program is part of the special “ONE WORLD – No Hunger” initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). At a training workshop organized by Covestro, small farmers’ cooperatives were taught how to use devices for drying mangoes. Additional solar dryers were used during this initiative, thus benefiting the households of small local farmers.

Eastern and Southern Africa

As in the previous year, the main focus in Africa was on food security in the year 2023. Our collaboration with Community Forest International and the installation of the solar dryer system financed by the European Union in Mtambwe Daya (Tanzania) continued. For example, further solar dryers were commissioned in the reporting year, giving support to other local spice growers and their families.

As announced in the Annual Report 2022, the operational implementation of the agreement with GIZ under the BMZ’s develoPPP program started in the 2023 reporting year. The dryers delivered to Ethiopia in the previous year were commissioned in different regions and have been able to provide future support to coffee growers in improving their harvest by increasing the quality of the coffee beans. Under the agreement signed with GIZ as part of the develoPPP program, the next step is to identify potential operations and then, through technology transfer, support them in independently manufacturing drying systems in Ethiopia. Triggered by the develoPPP program, another order for drying units was placed by Moyee Coffee Roasting PLC, Bole (Ethiopia), Ethiopia’s first multinational end-to-end processor of coffee beans, which has vertically integrated operations from harvesting the beans through processing down to marketing.

Targets and Metrics

Our target is to improve the living conditions of 10 million people in underserved markets by the year 2025. Covestro calculates this figure by including people who potentially benefit from our actions as part of their work or daily life, such as people working on smallholdings and their family members as well as other people who are positively impacted by the completion of our projects or the installation of our solutions. Participating governmental and nongovernmental organizations helped us collect the data. The data collected as part of a defined process is reviewed at local and global level, and the processes are continuously refined.


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6.7 million


2022: 5.6 million people

2021: 3.2 million people

We want 10 million people in underserved markets to benefit from our solutions by the year 2025. The goal is to improve their standard of living primarily through affordable housing, sanitation, and food security. 

By the end of the reporting year, we reached 6.7 million people with inclusive business solutions (previous year: 5.6 million people).

Due Diligence
Information on the processes for identifying, preventing, and mitigating the actual or possible negative impact on nonfinancial factors.

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