The Future Has a Shape and It’s a Circle

As an extension of its corporate vision, Covestro’s vision for the Covestro Circular Economy Institute is to embed circular design principles into a graduate curriculum for the first time in the United States.

The Covestro Circular Economy Program at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), a joint development between Covestro and Pitt, is a first-of-its-kind graduate-level program intended to address global waste and material use.

The Covestro Circular Economy Program will develop opportunities for the research, education, and advancement of circular economy principles that begin with academia and fuel real-world solutions designed to save the planet.

The global economy is dominated by a linear economic model in which materials are extracted (take), used (make) and discarded at the end of their lives (waste). The goal of the Covestro Circular Economy Program is to educate the next generation of leaders about mechanisms to fundamentally shift from the take, make, waste linear economy to a circular economy where materials are reused and recycled.

What is the circular economy?

It is clear that significant and negative effects of the linear economy model contribute to natural resource depletion, increased effects of climate change, and more. Through the Covestro Circular Economy Program, students will learn how to mitigate these effects without sacrificing modern advancements made possible through high-tech materials. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are a roadmap to a more sustainable, equitable future, but can only be fully realized through a transition to a circular economy.

Through a three pillar approach, the Covestro Circular Economy Program will provide the training and foundation for transformative change:

  • Academics: Coursework will focus on modern design and innovative solutions that achieve customer needs while simultaneously considering the complete product lifecycle.
  • Research: Research will focus on answering two broad questions; 1) How do we convert existing products from a linear to a circular model while ensuring the circular model is more sustainable? 2) How do we practice circular design regardless of product or service category?
  • Innovation: The Circular Economy Innovation program (CEi) will act as an incubator to foster, develop, advance and commercialize novel circular economy technology generated from the Covestro Circular Economy Program.

At Covestro, we know the youth of today will become the innovators of tomorrow. Our vision is to become fully circular. To achieve this vision requires changing the way we think and positioning the next generation for success. Through the Covestro Circular Economy Program, students—regardless of their academic backgrounds—will be given the chance to become experts in creating and applying circular product and service solutions that lead to a more environmentally-conscious effort.

Interested in learning more?

Email us for more information about getting involved with the Covestro Circular Economy Program at the University of Pittsburgh.

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