Covestro Inclusive Business Vietnam wins big-league grant


In June 2022, after multiple-round competition over 113 candidates,  Covestro Inclusive Business Vietnam was awarded 200,000 USD from Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) Grand Challenge.  WE4F is a joint international initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). 

This initiative was announced at the World Water Week 2019 and Launched at Social Capital Markets 2019, aiming for increasing food production along the value chain through a more sustainable and efficient usage of water and energy and income for Base of the Pyramid women and men in both rural and urban areas. It promotes climate and environmental resilience.

In this project, Covestro, one of 13 awardees, will support 100,000 low-income people in Vietnam, Lao People Democratic Republic and Cambodia to enhance their income though the use of Covestro polycarbonate solar dryer domes in the post-harvest processes. Key interventions are holistic:  partial seeding fund for communities for solar dryer dome construction, training for farmers in food processing and handling, finally linking smallholder production with value-added food markets. By reducing post-harvest losses and improving added-value into agro-products, the project will foster benefit sharing for farmers.  The goal is to contribute to the transformation of smallholder farms from subsistence operations into profitable, commercially oriented businesses as well as strengthening their links to growing food markets. 


In May 2022, Covestro Inclusive Business Development Manager Mai Pham Phuong (Ms.)  participated in the first Bootcamp in Bangkok, together with the other South and South East Asia grantees from the two cohorts, the hub team and USAID Secretariat, gathering as a tight-knit group to share ideas, engage in value-based discussions and build new skills to create lasting change. The three-day Bootcamp include ‘unconferenced’ session exploring how to impact more farmers, improve operation and access investment, and included an interactive session on investment readiness, KPIs, gender equality and sustainability. All participants shared and promoted innovative techniques to increase their visibility and meet other grantees sharing the same vision and like-minded in the region. The last day was for exploring partnerships that can catalyze investment, increase impact for smallholder farmers and improve access to climate – resilient innovations.

During the Bootcamp, Covestro also shared the Inclusive Business mission and our way to realize toward the People, Planet, Profit value.  B Veeralakshmanan, Head – IB India and SEA is proud of the achievement.  “Winning this important grant testifies to how the cooperation between sustainability stakeholders can benefit the underserved community.  Our key to success in reaching our sustainable social transformation goals is the alignment we strive for between organizations in benefiting the people and planet.  Inclusive Business is well on track to keep our date with 2025 on impacting 10 million underserved people.”

Among the rich talent seen across the winners, it was heartening to see many Indian grantees, including our partner S4S Technologies.  We are thus able to step up our visibility and credibility in this domain, as well as seek out new partners on our onward journey of expansion in width and depth.  In the coming months, India and Vietnam will be working closely to successfully implement the project with WE4F and expect to increase our handprint in new arenas of under-represented farmer communities.  We are indeed 1 for the good of the people!


About Covestro:

Covestro is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-quality polymer materials and their components. With its innovative products, processes and methods, the company helps enhance sustainability and the quality of life in many areas. Covestro supplies customers around the world in key industries such as mobility, building and living, as well as the electrical and electronics sector. In addition, polymers from Covestro are also used in sectors such as sports and leisure, cosmetics and health, as well as in the chemical industry itself.

The company is committed to becoming fully circular and is striving to become climate neutral by 2035 (scope 1 and 2). Covestro generated sales of EUR 15.9 billion in fiscal 2021. At the end of 2021, the company had 50 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 17,900 people (calculated as full-time equivalents). 

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