New York, NY, November 3, 2016 — Covestro, a leading supplier of high-tech polymers, presented a session at the second annual Fast Company Innovation Festival in New York City, relating a multifaceted innovation story through its involvement as an official partner of Solar Impulse. The session focused on the historic solar-powered flight and its impact on the future of clean technologies, the role of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and the value of skills-based volunteerism (SBV).
The Fast Company Innovation Festival is a week-long celebration that brings together extraordinary personalities for surprising talks, hands-on workshops, unexpected performances and behind-the-scenes tours designed to inspire creativity and innovation. This year’s theme is “Find Your Mission. Deepen your Purpose.” The Festival spans the city’s five boroughs, showcasing the most intriguing stories of creativity, innovation, leadership and more.
Covestro’s session, titled “My Solar Impulse Journey,” highlighted the company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability and innovation. It featured 23-year-old electrical engineer Paige Kassalen, who represented Covestro on the Solar Impulse ground crew, in conversation with Rebecca Lucore, head of CSR and Sustainability at Covestro LLC. Kassalen shared with attendees the excitement of the record-breaking journey and offered an insider’s look at the day-to-day workings of the world’s first-ever 100 percent solar-powered aircraft as it successfully flew around the world.
Covestro’s advanced technologies played a large role in transforming Solar Impulse from a vision to reality, helping to create a lightweight and energy-efficient plane that can fly day and night without using a single drop of fuel. Often called a “flying clean tech laboratory,” Solar Impulse was constructed using Covestro’s state-of-the art polyurethanes, polycarbonates and coatings throughout the cockpit, windshield and wings.
Kassalen, one of only three women and the only American on the 16-person international crew, was also the youngest person responsible for the safe takeoff and landing of Si2. Her assignment was skills-based, part of a new kind of volunteerism Covestro is spearheading in the United States through i3 (ignite, imagine, innovate), its companywide CSR initiative that is reimagining employee volunteerism and engagement, STEM education and corporate philanthropy.
SBV typically involves small teams of employees working on a temporary consulting basis to help nonprofit organizations solve challenges and build capacity. Projects can center on accounting and finance, marketing and communications, IT and sustainability, to name a few. In Kassalen’s case, she spent six months of her professional life as a volunteer with Si2, traveling from Hawaii, across the U.S. to Europe and Africa, lending her skills, talents and expertise as a female electrical engineer to the mission’s ultimate success.
Other featured speakers at the 2016 Fast Company Innovation Festival included Melinda Gates, Philanthropist and Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Cher; Joe Jonas, DNCE; Samantha Bee, Host “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee;” Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo; and Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Chobani.
About Covestro LLC:
Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business with 2015 sales of EUR 12.1 billion. Covestro manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical and sports and leisure industries. The Covestro group has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 15,800 people at the end of 2015.
Find more information at www.covestro.com.
Alice Sox, Phone: +1 412-413-5430
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This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available on the Covestro website at www.covestro.com. Covestro assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
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