At the K 2019 plastics trade fair, Covestro is presenting innovative products and solutions, particularly for sustainability and digitalization, the key trends of our time. The materials manufacturer is constantly pushing existing boundaries in order to improve people's lives, generate value for customers and, above all, protect the environment. With a strategic program Covestro aims to advance the circular economy and the use of non-fossil raw materials in the plastics industry. At booth A 75 in hall 6, the company will also be presenting products and technologies for key sectors such as the automotive, construction and electronics industries, as well as innovative and functional applications in the healthcare, furniture, sports and leisure sectors.
In addition to digitalization, the UN goals for sustainable development will especially influence the economy and society in the coming years. Covestro is determined to realize these sustainability goals at many levels. Meeting them is not only a prerequisite for a better, cleaner and healthier world, but also has great long-term economic potential.
Change to circular economy indispensable
"Megatrends such as climate protection and population growth require a fundamental rethink in lifestyle and consumer behavior, not to mention in global production," CEO Dr. Markus Steilemann said to journalists. "We need a complete transition from a throwaway to a circular economy in order to handle limited resources more responsibly and protect the climate.”
Covestro is committed to establishing new material cycles throughout the entire process chain with a view to making a tangible contribution to achieving this major goal. "We have set up a comprehensive and long-term program which will also open up new opportunities for value creation," Steilemann explained. "High-quality plastics are and will remain drivers for sustainability and for overcoming global challenges. However, it is crucial to decouple the economic growth achieved from the consumption of fossil resources such as crude oil.”
Turning away from crude oil
A key aspect for developing a circular economy in the plastics and chemical industry is the closure of the carbon cycle through the recycling of raw materials. “In the long term, we want to do as much as possible without fossil resources and use alternative sources such as waste, plants and CO2 instead,” said Steilemann. "In particular, used plastics are a valuable resource. That's why we want to work with partners to intensively develop innovative recycling methods," said the Covestro CEO. Under no circumstances should plastic waste be allowed to enter the environment uncontrolled for longer. The industry is working intensively worldwide for better waste management – for example in the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, of which Covestro is a member.
Given its importance, the company is dedicating a special Theme Day to Circular Economy at its booth on Wednesday, October 23. External and in-house experts present practical examples and discuss with visitors. At the Covestro booth, these will also find many examples of products and technologies that can help close material cycles in various industries.
Covestro is one of the pioneers in the use of the exhaust gas CO2 as a new raw material. A team from Covestro and RWTH Aachen University is now in the final round of the German President´s Award for the development of a corresponding process. Exhibits based on this technology will be specially featured at the booth. With modern materials and technologies, the company also supports the supply of energy from renewable sources.
Digitalization as a growth driver
Another driving force for the development of the economy and society in the coming years is the ongoing digitalization. Covestro wants to take advantage of the resulting opportunities and has started a comprehensive strategic program, which focuses on the customer. To this end, the company is anchoring digital technologies and processes along the value chain – from the supply chain through production, research and all interfaces to customers to the development of new business models. Various developments and exhibits at K 2019 as well as a separate Theme Day on Tuesday, October 22, underscore the great importance of digitalization for Covestro and its customers.
A stage for visitors
"We cordially invite all visitors to K 2019 to our booth in hall 6," says Booth Manager Dr. Ulrich Liman. "We will be providing them a stage for discussions on their themes and wishes. They will also find products and technologies for important key industries.”
"A special experience awaits visitors in our ‘Sample Parcours’," explains Liman. "There they can get to know materials and patterns through their senses, through seeing, feeling and hearing, but also in a playful manner. For example, join our Life Cycle Wheel and learn more about the circular economy! Or test your knowledge of plastics on our Quiz Machine.”
Theme Days from Automotive to Science
On each of the eight days of the fair, visitors can experience how Covestro is pushing boundaries on a different main theme. Lectures and discussions with experts from industry and academia will serve to deepen the topic and promote personal exchange.
Automotive (October 16)
The highlight of Covestro's trade fair appearance is a comprehensive interior concept for future mobility: trends such as autonomous driving, electric drive and car sharing make the automobile a multifunctional, mobile living and working space. It's all about functionality, comfort and design, not least also about efficiency. Covestro has developed the concept together with important partners along the automotive value chain. The main features are newly designed surfaces, the integration of ambient lighting, the latest infotainment systems and forward-looking seating concepts. On Wednesday, 16 October, the company will dedicate a special Theme Day to the automotive industry.
Science Celebration (October 17)
The second day of K 2019 is dedicated to current and outstanding research findings in polymer science. The highlight will be the presentation of the Covestro Science Award to a professor in the presence of invited guests from the world of science. The prize consists of a three-year doctoral fellowship to promote young scientists in materials research at universities. In addition, a researcher from Covestro will be awarded the Covestro Science Medal for outstanding scientific developments.
Start-up Challenge (October 20)
With the Start-up Challenge, Covestro aims to promote the creativity and entrepreneurial thinking of its employees and find the best business idea of 2019. The winners of the first competition will be chosen at the trade fair: they will be able to work as founders, implement their ideas and test their marketability. In return, they will receive start-up financing of up to one million euros, be released from their jobs for up to one year and can work within the company as start-ups. The ideas of the six finalist teams are focused on the development of the circular economy.
Local talent search
At K 2019, Covestro also will be presenting itself as an attractive employer to students, junior employees and experienced professionals. Curious jobseekers will find the right person to answer all their questions at the Career Bar.All journalists are cordially invited to visit Covestro's press center at the A 75 exhibition booth gallery in Hall 6. You will have the opportunity to talk about the innovations and topics on display and receive the Covestro press kit for K 2019. On request, we would also be happy to give tours of the booth or arrange interviews.
With 2018 sales of EUR 14.6 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 16,800 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) as of the end of 2018.
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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. These reports are available at www.covestro.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to make them conform to future events or developments.