Covestro has delivered on its April promise to launch a range of climate-neutral polycarbonates before the end of 2021. The company has now introduced a number of Makrolon polycarbonate grades that are climate-neutral from cradle to gate, according to the company’s own assessment. These products are to be shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2022.
Cradle to gate refers to a partial product life cycle assessment, i.e., from resource extraction (cradle) to the factory gate. Covestro says that an external review is still ongoing.
The company has achieved this milestone through the use of renewable electricity for its production processes and by incorporating raw materials derived from mass-balanced bio-waste and residues. Covestro was granted Guarantee of Origin certificates from unsubsidised photovoltaic renewable electricity plants located in Germany for its Uerdingen plant. They are allocated to the specific electricity needs of selected mass-balanced products for both chlorine electrolysis – essential to the production of polycarbonate – and other process steps.
Moreover, since receiving the ISCC Plus mass balance certification for two of its European sites at the end of last year, Covestro has been supplying polycarbonates partly sourced from renewable feedstock. They are attributed via the mass balance approach and lead to a significant carbon footprint reduction.
As a result of this approach, certain Makrolon RE grades may now be labelled as being climate-neutral - another milestone in pursuing our sustainability vision, said Sucheta Govil, Chief Commercial Officer of Covestro.
For Covestro, offering a drop-in, climate-neutral solution is a big step forward to help customers meet their sustainability targets, as well as to pave the way towards a circular future.
“The new Makrolon grades have the same good quality and performance as fossil-based polycarbonates, and are a drop-in replacement without the need to modify existing processes or workflows," added Jimena Ruesta, Venture Manager, Sustainability Solutions at Covestro’s Engineering Plastics segment.
The company is gradually converting to alternative raw material sources, including renewables, as part of a comprehensive program to drive forward the transition of the industry to a circular economy of plastics. To that end, the company has adopted a mass balance approach, which allows alternative raw materials to be introduced into the value chain using the existing chemical infrastructure with its high efficiency and economies of scale.
As well, Covestro is stepping up efforts to source more renewable energy to power its sites. In 2019 Covestro signed the world's largest corporate supply contract with Ørsted for offshore wind energy to cover a considerable part of its electricity demand in Germany with wind energy from the North Sea starting 2025. Additionally, the company has signed a supply agreement with ENGIE for green power in Belgium to cover 45 percent of the electricity demand of the Antwerp site from new onshore and wind turbines.