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Climate Neutrality

H.B. Fuller and Covestro: Together towards climate neutrality

Posted 06 Aug 2021 by Annett Linemann, Director Technology Outlook & Sustainability - Engineering Adhesives - EIMEA

Investing in all our futures

At H.B. Fuller, we’re strongly committed to developing the appropriate technical competencies to drive sustainable product development across our three global business units (GBUs) – Engineering Adhesives, Construction Adhesives and Hygiene, Health and Consumables Adhesives. These efforts complement our comprehensive, global responsibility strategy that aims to positively impact the communities where we live and work across the globe – and ultimately respect the world’s finite resources.

We share a common goal with our partner, Covestro: to look after the world around us and reduce CO2 emissions. So do our customers, who also are looking to produce more sustainable products, which is why we have developed an adhesive with a reduced climate impact for the woodworking, composites, textiles and automotive industries. Together with our partner, Covestro, we see this new product as an investment in all our futures.

Bio-based feedstock partly replaces fossil raw materials via the mass balance approach

This adhesive solution uses mass balanced isocyanates in our reactive polyurethane adhesive, which is an evolution of previous sustainable product development and will likely extend into other products and areas of our production process.

The new ingredient in our adhesive is a bio-attributed raw material created via a mass balance approach. Renewable raw materials are used as feedstock at the very beginning of the value chain and processed together with fossil-based ingredients in the same production units. The characteristic of the renewable feedstock process is then partly attributed to the end-product.

Blog The usage of an equivalent amount of the alternative feedstock is guaranteed by Covestro through a third-party-verified certification method. Covestro’s certified materials can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save fossil resources.

During the growth phase, plants absorb CO2 via photosynthesis from the atmosphere. This CO2 uptake results in a reduced carbon footprint of Covestro’s certified materials when compared with fossil-based feedstocks.

“We believe that this process – and the subsequent product – can play a major role in driving the circular economy forward, reducing CO2 emissions and replacing the extraction of finite resources with partly renewable resources,” comments Covestro’s Christos Lecou, Marketing Manager for the sector Industrial Adhesives.

A no-compromise approach

“We’re dedicated to offering products that are as sustainable as possible,” continues Iñaki Sigler, Global Head of Product Management for H.B. Fuller’s Wood and Composites segment. “And, we’re also incredibly customer-centric. That’s why we’ve made sure that the ‘reformulation’ of our adhesive has no impact on its performance, nor on our customers’ own manufacturing procedures. In essence, it can be treated in exactly the same way as the product it replaces.”

Frank Dörner, Head of Strategic Commodities Procurement at Covestro says, “Covestro has also made sure that the supply of its new raw material base is as robust as possible by working with reliable partners. The correct raw material balance, the allocation method, and the raw material sourcing – according to defined sustainability standards – is ensured via an independent third-party certification.”

Joining together to reduce CO2

H.B. Fuller and Covestro believe this could signal a significant step toward a more sustainable industry – and world.

Iñaki Sigler further comments, “We believe that any way CO2 emissions can be reduced should be embraced, no matter how small, because many small steps can add up to a giant leap forward for the adhesives industry.”

For this giant leap to happen, manufacturers across the adhesives industry need to play a part in moving toward more sustainable resources, which is why we’re calling on the industry – and our customers – to join us on this journey and embrace a more sustainable way of doing things.

We’re also realistic. We know that this solution isn’t the adhesives industry’s sustainability silver bullet, but it is a significant step in the right direction. The fact remains that, as an industry, we all need to play a part in making the change to more sustainable resources. We’re proud that our new partnership with Covestro can show the way forward and help make this happen.

To find out more and join H.B. Fuller and Covestro on its journey toward sustainability, connect with us today.


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