Evonik’s contributions often come in small packages, but they make all the difference—and make products more sustainable to use too. That’s because the company’s specialty chemicals help tires save gas, make gearboxes more efficient, and make wind turbines last longer. “Responsible practices and business success go hand in hand for us,” says Stefan Haver, the head of Corporate Responsibility at Evonik. “Sustainability is an important driver of growth for Evonik.”
Sustainability is opening up new, attractive business opportunities for the company and strengthening relationships with its customers. Roughly half of Evonik’s sales are generated with products whose use demonstrably helps preserve resources. One of these is CALOSTAT®, a high-performance, mineral-based thermal insulating material that is non-flammable and highly effective. In addition, the insulation boards developed by Evonik researchers are also completely recyclable and easy to process. Another example is Protectosil®, a building protection agent that protects structures such as bridges and buildings from corrosion, making them last significantly longer.
“In the future we want to emphasize sustainable products that preserve resources, and use that as a way to motivate others to adopt responsible practices,” says Dr. Ralph Marquardt, the head of Strategy & New Growth Business within Resource Efficiency. “That’s why we’re also partnering with the German Sustainability Award.” The German Sustainability Award is a national prize honoring businesses, municipalities, and research institutes for outstanding achievements in sustainability.
The schedule for the German Sustainability Conference includes forums for dialog about current challenges. Stefan Haver, for example, took to the podium for a discussion on “Next Generation Chemicals.” At another booth, Evonik presented sustainable solutions from its Resource Efficiency Segment. The conference was rounded out by a science slam, which included a poetic recording—a format that merges science with verse. Four select startups introduced themselves and their projects, after which poet Dominique Macri blended them into a creative, inspiring summary. “It’s a way to honor the contribution that young companies make to products that conserve resources and to give them an opportunity to introduce themselves,” Marquardt explains.