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Another milestone on the way to achieving the climate targets

Covestro launches climate neutral MDI

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  • New MDI grades are climate neutral from cradle to factory gate¹
  • Products already available for construction, cold chain and automotive applications
  • Drop-in solution with consistent product quality
The new climate-neutral MDI from Covestro (from cradle to gate) can be used in polyurethane rigid foam insulation elements for highly efficient building insulation. © Covestro

Covestro is consistently pursuing its path to a circular economy and is now offering customers a climate neutral¹ MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate). It is climate neutral¹ from the cradle to the factory gate of Covestro, thanks to the use of alternative raw materials – based on plant waste – that are allocated to the products with the help of certified mass balancing according to ISCC PLUS. The new MDI grades can be used in numerous applications in the construction, cold chain and automotive sectors.

According to a common calculation model¹, on balance no CO2 emissions are generated in the aforementioned part of the value-added cycle. The climate neutral MDI and its precursors are manufactured at the ISCC PLUS-certified Covestro sites in Krefeld-Uerdingen, Antwerp and Shanghai.

"With the launch of our climate neutral MDI, we are now further expanding our portfolio of climate neutral products," says Sucheta Govil, Chief Commercial Officer of Covestro. "I am pleased that this will enable us to even better support our customers in large parts of the world in meeting their own sustainability goals and transitioning to a circular economy." Only last December, the company announced the launch of its climate neutral polycarbonate.

Hermann-Josef Dörholt, Global Head of the Performance Materials Business Entity, adds: "Climate neutral products are an important factor in achieving our sustainability goals. Our climate neutral MDI has another major advantage: it is a drop-in solution – so our customers can use it immediately in their production without any changeover and without compromising on quality."

Worldwide, most refrigeration appliances are insulated with rigid polyurethane foam. MDI is an important raw material for this. Covestro now offers it as a climate-neutral variant. © Covestro

Even more sustainable building insulation

This is the case, for example, in building insulation. MDI is an indispensable raw material for the production of polyurethane (PU) insulation boards and sandwich panels, among other products. These have proven their value for many years as highly efficient elements in the thermal insulation of buildings. The heating or cooling requirements of buildings can be reduced by up to 70 percent through the use of PU insulation. This saves CO2 emissions and is good for residents' wallets. Because PU insulation elements can therefore be designed thinner to achieve good insulation performance already, they save resources and make more usable space accessible than other insulation materials.

In addition to the good thermal insulation properties of PU insulating materials, Covestro's climate neutral MDI now provides a further sustainability benefit: By practically avoiding emissions during its production, it even helps to reduce embodied carbon over the life cycle of a building. The use of PU insulating materials made from it in new buildings as well as in the renovation of older real estate can thus make an important contribution to the responsible use of primary resources and to significantly reducing CO2 emissions.

The molded polyurethane foam in car seats is also made from the raw material MDI, and now also from a climate-neutral variant. © Covestro

[1] Carbon neutrality is the result of an internal assessment of a partial product life cycle from raw material extraction (cradle) to the factory gate (of Covestro), also known as cradle-to-gate assessment. The methodology of our LCA, for which an external audit and certification will soon be available, is based on the ISO 14040 and 14044 standards. The calculation takes into account biogenic carbon sequestration based on preliminary data from the supply chain. No compensation measures were applied.

About Covestro:

With 2020 sales of EUR 10.7 billion, Covestro is among the world’s leading polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative, sustainable solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. In doing so, Covestro is fully committed to the circular economy. The main industries served are the automotive and transportation industries, construction, furniture and wood processing, as well as electrical, electronics, and household appliances industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. At the end of 2020, Covestro has 33 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,500 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).

Forward-looking statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at www.covestro.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
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