Improving the lives of low-income populations with innovative solutions

Inclusive Business in ASEAN

With respect to sustainability, Covestro pursues a comprehensive approach that includes the entire product life cycle, taking into account social, environmental, and economic aspects. Sustainability is deeply anchored in the organization’s strategy, and is reflected in all our activities. One of our five sustainability targets is to contribute to improving the lives of ten million people in underserved markets, primarily in developing and emerging countries, by the year 2025. In collaboration with customers and governmental and non-governmental organizations, we are therefore developing affordable solutions, based on our technologies and products, that benefit low-income populations – all this under the umbrella of Covestro Inclusive Business.

In ASEAN, we are focusing primarily on food security and affordable housing applications in which our materials offer significant benefits.

Increasing productivity with our food security solutions

A majority of people in ASEAN depend highly on agricultural production – especially people at the bottom of the income pyramid. Unfortunately, 30-50% of harvested goods are not turned into income.

Covestro is collaborating with unconventional partners from different sectors (customers, NGOs, social enterprises, governmental institutions, and impact investors) in the area of food security solutions, benefiting farmers on the ground by reducing post-harvest-losses, increasing incomes, and improving livelihoods.

Solar Dryer Parabola Domes

Solar Dryer Parabola Domes are designed as Direct Solar Dryers – the result of 30 years of research by our partner Dr. Serm Janjai of Silpakorn University. They are used to dry products such as bananas, tomatoes, chilies, and herbs. Their parabolic shape allows the best use of solar radiation, and water runs off easily. The polycarbonate sheets are made of high-value Covestro polycarbonate, and are UV-protected. The solution is easy to transport, and is installed locally. It significantly reduces the risk of spoilage (resulting in up to 50% less food wastage) and hygiene concerns caused by dust, water contamination, and animals.

In Thailand, more than 500 units have already been installed. Elsewhere, Covestro collaborates with like-minded partners to disseminate the solution and to benefit even more people across ASEAN. For Indonesia and beyond, we are proud to have signed a memorandum of understanding with our trusted partner Impack Pratama.

Inclusive Business

Solar Conduction Dryers

The Solar Conduction Dryer is a solar-powered food dehydrator, invented by Vaibhav Tidke and his team from Sciene4Society. The cover is made of Covestro polycarbonates and, inside the dryer, Covestro polyurethane is applied. The Solar Conduction Dryer reduces moisture content in agri-produce, allowing farmers to preserve their products up to a year, and earn additional income through sales of dehydrated products. The technology developed is based on conduction as the mode of heat transfer, leading to enhanced efficiency.

Inclusive Business

Cold Storage Solutions

The micro Cold Storage Solution addresses post-harvest problems by providing horticulture farmers and other cold-chain stakeholders with solar cold storage systems, based on Covestro’s polyurethanes, which can be used to store their harvest at optimum conditions in order to increase its shelf life. Cold storage facilities are usually mainly accessible in urban areas and to large farming cooperatives, leaving out smaller farmers and forcing them to sell their products at low prices. This solution, developed by the Indian start-up Ecozen, is primarily designed to allow rural farmers to keep their products fresh without the use of chemicals. The Cold Storage is a solar-powered solution without the need for grid connection.

Better living conditions with our affordable housing solutions

Apart from food security, Covestro also engages in building affordable housing solutions together with partners. The aim is to provide the communities and victims of disaster-prone areas with affordable homes made of Covestro’s polyurethanes. Apart from low prices and the fast installation process, the houses also provide good insulation properties, leading to energy efficiency, as well as fire retardancy.