Conscious interaction with nature and her resources is of little use if production processes themselves are not sustainably designed. This is why Covestro uses and develops innovative processes that ensure greater sustainability in manufacturing.
Whether it’s a basic chemical such as chlorine or polycarbonate and polyurethane – in the chemical industry, lots of energy is required. This is why we optimize the consumption of our production plants using innovative energy measurement and management systems. We want to make our processes simpler, more cost-effective and more environmentally-friendly. Researchers and process technicians are also working continuously on improvements, often in cooperation with external partners.

In addition, we use innovative manufacturing processes, such as the oxygen depolarized cathode technique in chlorine production that leads to a 30 percent saving in electricity. This makes a huge difference because of the massive amount of energy required in chlorine production: if this technology was used across the board in Germany alone, it would save as much energy per year as is consumed in Cologne, a city with millions of residents.

With so-called gas phase technology, we can also save 40 percent energy and up to 80 percent solvent usage in the manufacture of the foam component TDI (toluene diisocyanate), a precursor for flexible polyurethane foam. This means that a typical large-scale plant, one with a production volume of 250,000 tons of TDI, emits around 60,000 tons fewer carbon dioxide annually than in a conventional process.

The results speak for themselves: whether CO2 or another greenhouse gas, emissions values are experiencing a downward trend across the board at Covestro. Between 2005 and 2016, CO2 emissions in all company locations decreased by 12 percent despite the fact that the production volume in our 17 most important locations across the world increased by almost 57 percent. Towards the end of 2016, we were already producing 40.9 percent fewer specific CO2 emissions compared to the reference year 2005.