Production in the chemical industry is traditionally energy intensive. At Covestro, we take this as an incentive to assume responsibility and minimize emissions coming from our plants and processes. We believe transitioning to renewables is key to creating a Circular Economy and achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. Our strategy ranges from investing in alternative energy to improving infrastructure to operate our manufacturing systems with as little environmental impact as possible. Our short-term goal is to cut our greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2025 compared to their 2005 levels.
Banking on Renewables
As a company, we aim to flip the switch to renewable energy at all of our production plants. And we've already taken our first major step in Germany! We are proud to have signed the world's largest corporate contract for wind energy with power supplier Ørsted in 2019. Beginning 2025, the Danish company will cover a portion of our electricity demand in Germany with wind power from the North Sea for ten years.
The Power Purchase Agreement has a capacity of one hundred megawatts – enough to cover the electricity demand of 300,000 people. This agreement highlights our comprehensive approach to sustainability and paves the way toward more environmentally conscious production across the value chain.
Making Production Energy Efficient
To optimize manufacturing processes, improve efficiency, and play our part in the energy revolution, we're adopting the latest developments in technology, production, and artificial intelligence.
For example, when it comes to manufacturing, we rely on an innovative energy management system that can be used to optimize our production facilities' energy usage. Another example of technological breakthrough is our electrolysis process that reduces the amount of electricity needed to manufacture basic chemicals by 25%. This process will be deployed for the first time on an industrial scale at our site in Tarragona, Spain, and it represents a groundbreaking move towards a more conscious use of energy.
Transforming the Energy System
Society is increasingly calling for industrial production to become more sustainable, and this demand is now yielding results at a political level. For example, the EU aims to be climate-neutral by 2050. One of the first steps to achieving this goal is decarbonizing energy by expanding wind and solar power.
This transition to alternative energy needs to be accompanied by definite plans for infrastructure – from power generation to power grids to energy sources and stores. Fundamental changes in industrial, commercial, and residential infrastructure are also needed. This will enable consumers to benefit from climate efforts and access an increasing amount of renewable energy.
Successfully shifting to renewables requires determined political action, technological progress, and increased societal acceptance of climate-friendly measures. At Covestro, we are committed to working with governments across the world to develop strategies that accelerate the transition to renewable resources.