Covestro’s integrated production site in Shanghai has been granted the National Green Factory award by the Chinese authorities, for its continuous efforts in using innovative processes that ensure greater sustainability in manufacturing.
The Green Factory certificate was granted to the Covestro Integrated Site Shanghai (CISS) by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The selection criteria included rounds of assessments, which evaluated processes, energy and resource consumption, emissions, and environmental performance, among other factors. This award is part of China’s efforts to encourage the development of green and environmentally friendly industries, which is a flagship initiative of the government’s 13th Five-year Plan (2016-2020).
“This national-level award is the latest recognition of Covestro’s efforts in driving sustainability, which is one of our core strategic pillars. It makes us a role model in the chemical industry here in China, at a time when the industry is undergoing tremendous restructuring towards sustainable development,” said Bjoern Skogum, President of Covestro China. “As a multinational company, Covestro will continue to contribute to the sustainable development of China’s chemical industry and leverage our global expertise to make China a brighter place.”
Continuous investments in advanced technologies
Since 2001, Covestro has invested more than EUR 3 billion into building the Shanghai integrated site, which is the company’s largest site worldwide. CISS is now home to 11 plants with the latest technology, covering all major products that Covestro offers and serving industries including construction, automotive and electronics.
For example, the gas-phase process adopted by CISS to produce isocyanates, the essential chemical building blocks, requires up to 60% less energy and 80% less solvent compared to processes based on liquids. The Shanghai site also uses oxygen depolarized cathode technology that can shake up the energy-intensive chlorine production by cutting electrical energy demand and CO2 emissions by up to 30%. Last year, the site also announced it had cut the concentration of nitrous oxide by 65% and nitrogen oxides by 30% in exhaust gases at its nitric acid plant through catalyst upgrades.
“Covestro has deployed state-of-the-art processes and technologies in CISS and other sites across the globe. Through these initiatives, we are well on track to meet our target for 2025 - cutting specific CO2 emissions by half, compared to the reference year 2005,” said Dr. Yun Chen, General Manager of Covestro Integrated Site Shanghai. “The Green Factory honor affirms that the chemical industry could be clean, efficient and sustainable, and a well-accepted neighbor to local communities as long as the right technologies and measures are in place.”
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology initiated a program in 2016 to grant Green certificates, covering four categories, including Green Industry Park, Green Factory, Green Product, and Green Supply Chain. The aim is to identify and promote the best sustainable development practices in the manufacturing sector, as part of the nation’s efforts to move up the value chain in sectors including advanced basic materials, clean-energy cars, and aerospace.
CISS became the first Green Factory inside the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park, which was named the Green Industry Park last year.
Separately, CISS was granted an industry-level Green Factory award by the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation today, in the northern city of Xi’an.
With 2017 sales of EUR 14.1 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 16,200 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2017.
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