Covestro AG and renewable materials maker Neste have started a strategic collaboration in Europe to promote the use of sustainable raw materials in the production of plastics, starting with polycarbonate.
In a May 26 webcast, Covestro CEO Markus Steilemann said the materials maker is committed to making a circular economy that is a model for a sustainable world.
"The circular economy will lead the world as a whole to a sustainable future. It must become the global guiding principle to achieve climate neutrality and protect the dwindling resources of our planet," Steilemann said. "By working together, we can power the shift to circular economy, helping make our planet a more sustainable, healthier, cleaner place to live. In accelerating this transition, the plastics industry has a prominent role to play."
The company launched a strategic program in 2019 aimed at that target.
"By using alternative raw materials and renewable energy, we aim to shrink plastics' environmental footprint, reduce our emissions and eliminate waste. We're also working to develop innovative technologies that improve and promote the recycling of used products and materials," Steilemann said.
Underscoring that commitment, Covestro announced May 27 that it was launching a strategic collaboration in Europe with Helsinki-based Neste, a leading Finnish producer of renewable hydrocarbons derived from renewable raw materials, such as waste and residue oils and fats. The project centers on replacing a "significant portion of the fossil raw materials used to date in the manufacture of polycarbonates."
"The polymers and chemicals industries will play a major role in the circular economy and fight against climate change. That is why Neste is committed to supporting the industry forerunners like Covestro on their sustainability journey," said Neste President and CEO Peter Vanacker.
Over the short term, the collaboration aims to replace several thousand metric tons of fossil fuel raw materials in the production of polycarbonates with raw materials produced with Neste's renewable hydrocarbons.
"Cross-industry collaboration is needed to bring the circular economy forward," Steilemann said. "With this collaboration we are emphasizing our intention to make our production more sustainable and to drive forward the change to a circular economy. Using alternative raw materials more intensively as we are doing is an important basis for this."
The companies plan to expand the scope of their partnership to other types of polymers in the future. At the same time, they are inviting other stakeholders along the value chains to cooperate.
"We aim to collaborate with as many players as possible from across all areas of the value chain. By working together, we will not only realize new business opportunities but will also help make the world a brighter place for us all," Steilemann said.