October 26, 2016 Shanghai – Today, Covestro, a world-leading supplier of high-tech polymer materials, and Tongji University, one of China’s most prestigious universities, hosted a contract exchange ceremony for a Partnership Agreement to create the Covestro-Tongji Chair for Sustainable Development. The Covestro-Tongji Chair for Sustainable Development (SD-Chair) aims to offer excellence in education and research, and to increase awareness about the role that modern plastic materials can play in achieving sustainable urbanization in China. Professor Wu Jiang, Dean of the Institute of Environment for Sustainable Development (IESD) and Executive Vice President of Tongji University and Richard Northcote, Covestro’s Global Chief Sustainability Officer, officially exchanged the duly signed agreement.
“By 2050, one quarter of the world’s largest cities will be in China, and Covestro looks forward to exploring the role of smart materials in the context of creating sustainable urban communities through the Covestro-Tongji Chair for Sustainable Development,” said Northcote at the event. “As the inventor of polyurethane and polycarbonates, we know about the value that innovation brings to businesses and the community. The SD-Chair offers a platform for open innovation to bring together various players across the value cycle to develop a blueprint for modern sustainable urban communities. Covestro contributes its extensive expertise in material science.”
Professor Wu Jiang added, “Tongji University, together with Covestro, is committed to creating awareness for sustainable development among students and peers. The Institute of Environment for Sustainable Development has made great strides since it’s inauguration in 2002 to this end. Now it’s time to take sustainability further and implement. The Covestro Tongji Sustainable Development Chair is an academic-industry-research cooperation that aims at creating practical examples of applied sustainability in the context of sustainable urbanization based on the use of smart materials. “
The core of the Chair for Sustainable Development centers around a project to create a blueprint for modern urban communities based on a low carbon and a concept of net-zero energy. To this end, a systemic approach for modeling best solutions in building and transportation, as well as energy and water systems, has been developed to look at available materials for improved energy and water efficiency. The project offers the opportunity for short-term research assignments for visiting research students from within the UNEP network. Additionally, insights from the core research project will provide the basis for academic teachings, and these insights and milestones are expected to be published and presented regularly in academic journals and at an annual forum, which aims to bring together academia, industry, customers and other partners to jointly define next steps in the development and implementation of the blueprint. The Chair for Sustainable Development is steered by representatives of Covestro and the UNEP-Tongji Institute of Environment for Sustainable Development, and encompasses total financial support of up to 150,000 EUR per year.
“The SD Chair will focus our innovative efforts on education and cutting-edge research in the fields of sustainable urbanism” said Perry Yang, the Chair Professor. “Through carrying out the core research project, we aim to identify key opportunities and challenges, develop solutions and policy recommendations for building future sustainable urban communities based on the use of smart materials.”
Following its goal ‘People, Planet, Profit’, Covestro works diligently to address the challenges of our age through innovative material solutions and collaborations across the value chain. 80% of Covestro’s R&D expenses are for sustainable projects and the company has already set an ambitious sustainability goal to halve CO2 emissions by 2025.
With 2015 sales of EUR 12.1 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has 30 production sites around the globe and as of the end of 2015 employed approximately 15,800 people (full-time equivalents).
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