Covestro: Growing TPU product portfolio based on alternative resources

Covestro’s product range in Europe is to be expanded to include mass-balanced thermoplastic polyurethanes from as early as the beginning of 2022, and in Asia at a later date. This was announced recently by the company.

The new products are produced using bio-attributed raw materials and have a reduced carbon footprint in comparison to their fossil-based counterparts. At the same time, the mass-balanced products boast the same impressive quality and properties and can be integrated directly into manufacturing processes in downstream industries without technical modifications. In this context, the products are to be certified according to the ISCC Plus standard.

„I am thrilled that we will soon be able to help our customers in the electronics, footwear, automotive and other industries reduce their carbon footprint with this drop-in solution,“ said Dr. Andrea Maier-Richter, global head of the TPU business at Covestro. „With the ISCC Plus certification, we aim to achieve more transparency from raw material purchasing to our production and distribution to customer use. This is an important step in achieving our vision of becoming fully circular.“

Covestro has already launched various TPU products based on alternative resources over the past few years, as more and more consumers prefer more sustainable products. Outdoor outfitter VAUDE, for example, plans to use a foam midsole made partly from bio-based TPU in its new Lavik Eco hiking boot. Other product types contain a component that has been manufactured proportionately using CO2 instead of fossil raw materials. Covestro’s range of Desmopan brand TPU plastics also includes a range of fully recycled products. They are used, for example, in smartphone cases from the Dutch manufacturer Fairphone.

Supplying mass-balanced products is part of Covestro’s comprehensive global program designed to fully align itself with the circular economy: In mass balancing, fossil and alternative raw materials are mixed in production but treated separately in accounting. The chain-of-custody method enables materials to be tracked along the entire value chain and allows alternative resources, such as bioattributed components, to be allocated to selected end products. To date, a total of three Covestro production sites in Europe and Asia-Pacific have been certified in compliance with the ISCC Plus standard, with further sites to follow.

ISCC („International Sustainability and Carbon Certification“) is an international system for the sustainability certification of biomass and bioenergy.