With 2019 sales of EUR 12.4 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, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 17,200 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2019.
China is Covestro’s second largest market, with sales totaling EUR 2.5 billion in 2019, accounting for 20 percent of group sales. Covestro’s cumulative investment in China exceeded EUR 3.6 billion as of the end of 2019.
Covestro has been in China for a long history, providing high performance materials and innovative solutions to meet customers’ needs with a full range of business activities including R&D, manufacturing and sales. At present, Covestro has 7 production sites, 1 regional innovation hub, 7 offices and more than 3,100 employees in Greater China. Covestro has been awarded Top Employer China 2019 and 2020 for two consecutive years by the Top Employers Institute for its exceptional employee offerings in the country.
In production, Covestro has since 2001 invested more than EUR 3.4 billion into building the Shanghai integrated site, which is the company’s largest site worldwide. Covestro Integrated Site Shanghai (CISS) is now home to 11 plants with the latest technology, covering all major products that Covestro offers and serving industries including construction, automotive and electronics. CISS was granted the National Green Factory certificate by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in 2018 for its continuous efforts in using innovative processes that ensure greater sustainability in manufacturing.
World-class Innovation from China for the World
Covestro embraces a holistic approach towards innovation. Established in 2001, Covestro’s Polymer Research and Development Center (PRDC) in Shanghai has become the regional innovation hub and provides unparalleled support to customers in the APAC region and to the world. The center also explores new business models and digitalization, ventures in e-commerce and fosters incubation of start-ups under the “Open Innovation Hub” concept. Covestro believes in accelerating innovation by opening up and collaborating with industry, academia and partners in the value chains. Propelling collaboration, co-patenting, co-ideation, and co-development spirit in all business segments with customers and ecosystem helps us to push boundaries beyond what is possible today. At Covestro, innovation is everyone and everywhere, and it goes hand in hand with sustainability with a strong emphasis on circular economy.
Industry-Academia Cooperation for Brighter Future
Covestro also established the Covestro-Tongji Innovation Academy with Tongji University, aiming to explore and promote innovative industry-academia cooperation which focuses on industrializing innovation outcomes in the areas of mobility and construction, as well as providing education and talent development programs in related fields. The Academy is expanding its open innovation collaboration by focusing particularly on digitalization, enhancing EV battery performance, and deriving innovative materials to improve car interior air quality as well as exploring the Chinese robotics industry.
Moreover, Covestro has set up an endowed chair in partnership with the UNEP-Tongji Institute of Environment for Sustainable Development for sustainability-related research topics such as circular economy, urbanization and climate change.