CIIE in the eyes of global CEOs | Covestro: Pioneering a circular economy for a climate-neutral future

The CIIE is a demonstration of China's willingness to create easier market access and a fairer, more transparent business environment, said CEO of Covestro Markus Steilemann.
CIIE in the eyes of global CEOs | Covestro: Pioneering a circular economy for a climate-neutral future

Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro

The China International Import Expo is a demonstration of China's willingness to create easier market access and a fairer, more transparent business environment. For foreign companies, the fair is not only an important occasion to increase brand awareness, but will also help to build closer bonds with partners and consumers to jointly drive business growth in China.

Although Covestro is a newcomer at CIIE, we have a long-standing commitment to China. Two decades after we made the first major investments the country has become our largest single market, accounting for more than a fifth of the group's total sales. Meanwhile, Shanghai is home to many important assets, including our integrated production site, regional innovation hub, and global headquarters of one of our businesses, the business entity responsible for engineering plastics.

In 2020, we upgraded our regional headquarters in Shanghai to accommodate more functions and have a greater business scope, including management, innovation, operations, and investment. This year, we are also celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Covestro-Tongji Innovation Academy, which has become an outstanding model of cooperation between industry and academia for Covestro in the Asia-Pacific region.

Under the theme of "Pioneering a Circular Economy for a Climate-Neutral Future," we will showcase materials solutions and technologies centered around circularity. One highlight is a novel breakthrough process for the chemical recycling of polyurethanes. These are versatile materials used in many such areas as furniture, insulation and automotive.

In addition, we'll showcase our innovative CO2 technology that uses the greenhouse gas as an alternative raw material for plastics production. And also our bio-based feedstock can replace fossil resources such as crude oil. In this regard, our mass balance approach is helpful as well.

At CIIE, our new certified mass balanced MDI – a component needed to produce polyurethanes – will make its debut in Asia.

We will also display diverse applications of our materials in various industries ranging from renewable energy and new-energy vehicles to green buildings as well as electrical and electronic devices. We believe they are key for China to achieve a sustainable and climate-neutral future.

In addition, we will demonstrate successful collaboration cases and aim at exploring new cooperation opportunities on all sides to drive the high-quality, sustainable development of the Chinese economy.

For example, we will sign memorandums of understanding with partners such as Chinese automotive assembly company Yanfeng to jointly advance our sustainability efforts and support downstream industries in China in their journey to a low carbon and circular future.

We will also use the opportunity to cement our partnership with the academic circles in China. Among our partners is Tongji University we have been working with for a decade.

We see the circular economy as key to climate neutrality, resource conservation and environmental protection. To help cope with these challenges, we want to fully embrace the circular economy and contribute to making it a global guiding principle.

As China is expected to play a key role in the transition to a circular economy, we look forward to leveraging CIIE to share our innovative and sustainable products, technologies and solutions and to engaging more deeply with our customers and partners here.

We are also strategically positioned and willing to support and contribute to China's all-over sustainable development, especially the nation's carbon neutral ambitions. They call for accelerated efforts to improve the industry and energy structures and enable the peaking of fossil energy while bolstering the development of renewables.

In this regard, our mass balance approach will surely be helpful. We recently received the ISCC Plus mass balance certification for our production site in Shanghai. This means we can now offer customers in the Asia-Pacific region large volumes of the high-performance plastic polycarbonate as well as the polyurethane raw material MDI partly made from alternative raw materials.

In a nutshell, our attendance at the 4th CIIE is further proof of our long-standing commitment to China.

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