Covestro views itself as part of society and public life – social engagement is therefore a matter of course for us. Of particular focus in this respect are the sectors “Education & Science”, “Innovation & Design”, “Voluntary activities” and “Donations & collaborations”.
For us as a company, it is a matter of course that we actively assume social responsibility. This is why we engage in voluntary activities, social projects, donations and establish partnerships. Any contribution is regulated by internal guidelines.

You can find some examples here and in our annual report .

We’re involved in these areas

Education and Science

Tongij University

We have collaborated on the Covestro-Tongij Eco-Construction & Material Academy  with Tongij University in Shanghai since 2011. The Academy promotes innovations in the field of energy-efficient construction through teaching, research and development as well as a program for talented students. 1.5 million euros worth of investment, 49 grants awarded, around 1500 training courses in the field of “energy efficient construction”, 20 research projects, 30 research articles and financing of various professors – these are the successes we can look back on after 5 years of cooperation. In 2015, Covestro was awarded the “Shanghai Best Innovation Practice Award” for this collaboration.

Umeå Institute of Design

As part of a collaboration with the renowned Swedish Umeå Institute of Design and the Finnish design agency “Northern Works”, Covestro implemented the project “Magic: Revealed”. This enabled students to develop innovative designs in automotive construction that are made possible only through the use of polycarbonate. The success of the project is proven among other things by the valuable incentives and findings that were incorporated in the development of a car design study by Covestro for K 2016.

CAT Catalytic Center

Covestro has operated the CAT Catalytic Center together with RWTH Aachen since 2008. This aims at launching sustainable projects in which new types of catalysts play an essential role. Cardyon technology, which uses the waste gas CO2 as a raw material in the manufacture of high-quality plastic for the first time, was a result of this collaboration. In various other projects, Covestro experts are carrying out research with the scientists from CAT as to how even more CO2 can be incorporated into more products.

Innovation & Design

UK – “Design Innovation in Plastics”

Innovations are also promoted: in the United Kingdom, Covestro supports the “Design Innovation in Plastics” competition where design students can enter their plastics-based products. It is the oldest plastics design competition for students in Europe and has already produced plenty of good ideas and given young academics a foothold in the plastics industry.

Russia – “Bezgraniz Couture™”

In Russia, Covestro supports the project “Bezgraniz Couture™” (bez graniz means something along the lines of “without borders”) which aims to change the attitude of society to people with disabilities. In 2015, as part of “Mercedes-Benz-Fashion-Week Russia”, fashion for people with disabilities that was designed by students from the “British Higher School of Art and Design” in Moscow was presented in front of over 700 people. At K2016, some items of clothing and accessories for people with disabilities were exhibited at the Covestro stand – and Janina Urussowa, founder of Bez Graniz, also gave a presentation.   

Volunteer activities
As part of its social engagement, Covestro promotes its employees’ voluntary projects and activities throughout the world.

Spain

In Spain, for example, Covestro employees support communities that have been particularly affected by the economic crisis. One focus is on the region of Tarragona. In 2015, the Covestro workforce collected food and toys that were then distributed to families in need via aid organizations.

USA

At the company’s locations in the USA, staff members from South Charleston in West Virginia have been involved as volunteers in projects run by the aid organization “Habitat for Humanity ” in the Kanawha and Putnam County regions. In 2015, this involved renovations, deconstruction work and the construction of homes for those in need. Overall, Covestro employees donated 5,500 hours worth of voluntary work for “Habitat for Humanity”, in particular for the “Raise the Roof” project where new homes for low-income families were constructed. On average, 15 to 20 employees have been involved in “Raise the Roof” every year since 2005, many of them in their own spare time.
In this context, Covestro has introduced the new concept “Skills-based Volunteerism (SBV)” for voluntary activities in the locations of Pittsburgh, and Baytown in the state of Texas. SBV deploys staff teams to charity organizations to provide them with support. This also helps employees because they learn new skills.

Germany

Covestro promotes sporting and cultural activities in the local communities where it is based. At the end of 2015, the company decided to continue with its support of the sports, culture and hobby associations in the German locations of Dormagen, Krefeld-Uerdingen and Leverkusen. Together with Wuppermann Bildungswerk Leverkusen, the company also offers training courses for refugees so that they can potentially begin an apprenticeship with us. We have also built a prefab house made from our materials in a refugee home in Bergisch Gladbach in cooperation with French prefab house manufacturer Logelis – and hopefully many more will follow.

Donations & collaborations
Covestro is a member of the UN Global Compact, among other initiatives, and is also active in econsense, a forum for sustainable economy. We are also involved in social projects such as “Habitat for Humanity”, an aid project that helps provide homes as part of disaster relief and development work. Together with customers and charitable and governmental organizations, we endeavor to find solutions using our materials that prevent food from spoiling, improve the hygiene situation in rural or poorer regions of the world and provide affordable housing.

Decisions regarding partnerships and donation amounts across the world are made by those responsible for these areas in each region. The impact of the respective activity in terms of sustainability is a decisive factor for us.

Within the context of our voluntary work for the “Raise the Roof” project in the USA, Covestro donated 50,000 US dollars to “Habitat for Humanity”  in 2015.

Another donation of 300,000 US dollars was made to Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh in the US state of Pennsylvania. The money was intended for the construction of the Covestro Employee Engagement Institute (CEEI) that is aimed at intensifying the relationships between companies and local charitable organizations.

As part of a collaboration with “Habitat for Humanity” in India, the construction of five houses commenced in 2015 for people in need in the Delhi region. The homes were built based on a new method of construction and form the first phase of the sustainability project “UMMEED KI AWAAS” in aid of families with particular needs, such as HIV infection. As in other places in the world, efficient Covestro materials suitable for quick home construction are used here, such as wall panels with a core of polyurethane hard foam, which has excellent insulating qualities.

Another of our special partnerships is with the United Nations: Together with the UN Environment Program, Covestro has launched a global competition for young adults so that they can share their sustainable ideas for a more livable world and work together with others on this issue. The website for the initiative is now online and the competition will run from 22 April to 18 June.

The “Young Champions of the Earth ” initiative honors young people that advocate for the environment with passion and exceptional potential. It is an extension of the “Champions of the Earth” program of the United Nations that honors excellent achievements from the past. In contrast, the new initiative focuses on potential future effects.