What drives us

Modern life and key industries rely on innovative materials. As a leading global material supplier, Covestro drives innovation which is, deeply embedded in our DNA ever since the invention of our flagship products polycarbonate and polyurethane. In constantly developing new products and fresh ideas we are paving the way towards a sustainable future.

No doubt: plastics are the material of the 21st century. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to find answers to the major challenges our planet is facing now and in the future – such as climate change, growing mobility and increasing urbanization. The unique properties of plastics, its versatility and toughness, allow the creation of technologies that make our lives more sustainable, comfortable, and safe.

Learn about our plastic highlights! >

As a key player in the fascinating world of polymers, Covestro is pushing boundaries in the development and production of chemistry-based raw materials that are the basis for plastics in growth industries like automotive, construction and electronics. An ever-growing portfolio of more than 10,000 products and a strong, international network of R&D facilities give testimony to our innovative power.

Innovation, however, for us is about more than developing novel materials and products. We also set benchmarks in terms of customer-focused services, new business models and process efficiency. We embrace all kinds of innovation, as long as they create new value – be it in terms of growth, margin, benefits for society and the environment, or, ideally, some combination of all of these.

Fields of innovation at Covestro


Our material innovations enable or improve countless products and technologies that surround us each day. Often, they replace a traditionally used component, making the overall application more sustainable or efficient. One example is a new hardener we developed for automotive coatings. Because its carbon is sourced from bio-based, renewable materials instead of the conventional fossil fuels, it reduces the carbon footprint of the coating – and, consequently, of the vehicle on the whole.

Customer focus

Customer-focused, forward-looking services are another important aspect in our broad understanding of innovation. Take, for instance, our technical customer services, where we help to optimize individual customer production tasks for the benefit of their business. Or our innovative logistics concepts: Covestro supports its customers’ order management processes by taking external factors, such as extreme weather conditions, into consideration in the delivery process. This enhances the reliability of supply as much as possible and prevents bottlenecks.

Business models

Innovation at Covestro also comes in the form of new business models. Very often it is not revolutionary ideas, but rather simple things that no one has ever thought of before. One example of an innovative business model originated in the fashion industry. Covestro developed a process for fabricating a woven fabric with a polyurethane coating that is suitable for use in clothing and shoes. It is much more eco-friendly and safer than the conventional method. The process is part of a new holistic program that connects the whole value chain – suppliers, manufacturers and brand owners.


Covestro optimizes its own processes by so-called functional innovations. For example, we have developed our own energy management system to run our production plants as energy-efficiently as possible. As a result, our company has reduced energy consumption per facility by an average of ten percent.

Covestro and Team Sonnenwagen

Among other things, Covestro is developing material solutions for electromobility – because global challenges such as climate change and increasing resource consumption require new concepts for the mobility of the future.

Covestro has been the main sponsor of the Sonnenwagen team for many years and is a proud partner of the solar car of the same name. The vehicles, developed by students of RWTH Aachen University and FH Aachen, have already taken part in numerous races. The models can reach speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour. Last but not least, the use of materials is crucial for the success of the Sonnenwagen. Lightweight, strength and aerodynamics play a role in this. In addition, the cars must be able to withstand strong mechanical vibrations as well as extreme climatic conditions such as heat, humidity and high UV radiation. For this reason, Covestro is sending innovative raw materials into the race, which can be found, among other things, in the seat shell and the casing of the battery.

Novel insulating foams improve the cold chain of food

A good third of all food spoils on the way from the harvest to the consumer due to insufficient refrigeration. Covestro manufactures the components for rigid polyurethane foams that can be used to maintain the cold chain in a more energy-efficient way and reduce the deterioration rate of foodstuffs. The material also helps to make refrigerators more energy-efficient.

This is because such insulating foams insulate very efficiently – and are therefore used worldwide to insulate warehouses, trucks, supermarket refrigerated counters as well as refrigerators and freezers in private households. Covestro is constantly working on the further development of the material: With a new microfoam, we have succeeded in reducing the already tiny pores by up to 40 percent, thus increasing the insulating performance of the foam by up to 10 percent.

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