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From sustainable growth to circular breakthroughs

We nurture strong partnerships across the industry and make sustainability our starting point to help ensure long-term, holistic growth for all. We’re constantly striving to embed circularity in future applications right from the beginning of the production process to help you harness the next circular breakthroughs.

At Covestro, our goal is to embed circular economic principles and to be a pioneer for the coating and adhesives industry. This means we set ourselves increasingly some of the toughest sustainability goals in our industry, not only because we have to, but also because we want to.

Mathias Matner

Head of Sustainability & Advocacy CA

Challenge: going all out for circularity

On a planet of finite resources, the “take-make-waste” principle of the linear economy has to come to an end. This is why we are dedicated to opening new ways into tomorrow’s circular economy through diverse measures and collaborations along the value chain: by using alternative raw materials in our own production, by embracing the use of green energy, and by developing materials that can be recycled more easily.

Reaching full circularity, however, is especially challenging when it comes to coatings, inks, and adhesives. Because the materials themselves, once applied, usually cannot be recycled. This makes it even more important to lower their ecological impact as far as possible, and to turn them into enablers for new, highly sustainable technologies.

Status: materials that keep up the performance and minimize the carbon footprint

For decades, high-performance paints and coatings were almost always solventborne, with a carbon base coming exclusively from fossil resources. Breakthrough material innovations have proven that there is another way. A first step was the introduction of waterborne paints, using water as a solvent instead of oil. Following this, we were able to replace considerable parts of the fossil carbon content with carbon sourced from biomass, or by replacing them with plant-based materials without making compromises in terms of functionality or aesthetic appeal. 

Our products such as Desmodur® eco, Bayhydur® eco, and Decovery® help our partners in the automotive, furniture, and other industries in their quest for more sustainable products and solutions. As a company, it’s a crucial part of our ethos and mission to take a leading role in transitioning toward a circular economy, both in our own products and helping our customers to make that transition, too.

Key drivers for the status next of circular economy

  • Replacing fossil resources

    Replacing fossil resources

    The coatings and adhesives industry can’t fully dispense with fossil resources and other conventional raw materials – yet. But the higher the share of alternative raw materials available, the more sustainable products will become in the future.

  • Remembering that less Is more

    Remembering that less Is more

    What’s the best thing a provider of high-tech materials can do? Make the use of limited resources as efficient as possible, both in the production process and in the final product. Coatings and adhesives have to play an essential role in this endeavor, facilit...

  • Teaming up to tackle upcoming trends

    Teaming up to tackle upcoming trends

    Consumers around the world are becoming more conscious regarding the sustainability of the products they consume and the services they use. Players throughout the value chain need to listen closely to those needs and ideas, and team up with each other, as well...

Next: Ambitious goals to meet

We have set our sights high for the future: net-zero emissions from our own production and purchased energy by 2035, more alternative raw materials and more renewable energies in the long term, making our entire portfolio available in climate-neutral versions. We will leverage all our R&D capabilities to establish and further develop circularity.

Take the Status Next deep dive!

  • Connections

    Circularity in everyday life

    How  coatings realize their full potential in terms of protection, aesthetics, cost-effectiveness, and environmental compatibility for the wooden furniture in our homes.

  • Webinar

    We will be fully circular

    How to shift toward a circular economy in the coatings and adhesives industry. 

  • Webinar

    Solutions for printing and packaging delivering on sustainability

    With the acquisition of DSM’s Resins and Functional Materials business, we’re complementing our portfolio for adhesives, preparation coatings, inks, and top-coat resins with relevant chemistries for all packaging substrates.

  • Webinar

    How barrier coating resins help to create a better environment

    Barrier resins offer a recyclable alternative to LDPE coatings. Our multifunctional resins are easy to formulate and resistant to water (WVTR & COBB*), grease, oil, and moisture. 

  • Webinar

    Enabling circularity: Monomaterials in flexible packaging

    In line with the growing need for monomaterial solutions that retain functional performance, we offer a portfolio of coating resins paving the way to flexible packaging that gets the job done and can be recycled more easily.

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