Ajay Durani MD Covestro India Developing Sustainable Solutions for Overall Infrastructure Development of the Country
Government of India will surely open a lot of doors of opportunity for all the sectors to explore affirms Ajay Durani, MD, Covestro India in his interaction with Remona Divekar
Tell us more about Covestro role of development in the urbanisation and developmental projects in the city?
We at Covestro India believe in making the world a brighter place to live in by pushing the boundaries. We believe in creating an atmosphere of sustainability by providing valuable substitutes. Constructing buildings using especially light panels that can be manufactured in large quantities at low cost has rapidly given a boost to the developmental projects. Such panels have better insulation and also help to reduce energy consumption. The basis for this is highly-efficient, hard foam, whose components are produced and continuously developed by Covestro. As one of the world’s largest polymer companies, many of our materials are already used in a wide range of different contexts and industries in the urban sphere, including the automotive, construction, furniture, electrical and electronics, sports and leisure, wood processing and furniture, and health sectors. Being so embedded in society, many of our materials can be used across these areas to make urban life even better and build cities that are smart, resource-efficient and regenerative.
What are the major challenges that the civic authorities and developers are facing in waste management and pollution control, Covestro role is sustainable development?
With rapid urbanisation, the country is facing a massive waste management challenge. Over 377 million urban people live in 7,935 towns and cities and generate 62 million tonnes of municipal solid waste per annum. At Covestro India, we want to lead an impactful way by eliminating hazardous elements from the surrounding an eventually building a robust ecosystem. Our goal is to create a healthy space by creating a real circular economy in order to prevent the accumulation of end plastic materials from the environment.
Do you think that automobiles like cars are significant contributors to urbanisation and many other development projects that are underway?
The urban population in India has increased significantly and is estimated to grow to around 540 million by the year 2021. In terms of percentage of the total population, the urban population is expected to increase up to around 37% by the year 2021. Mobility and Accessibility, on the other hand, have increased tremendously in the urban areas which have ultimately created problems like congestion, accidents, air and noise pollution, energy wastage, etc. But, in order to overcome these problems, EV has come into the picture which is now gaining rapid momentum. With government initiatives coming in, EV adoption will become easier and help the ecosystem in a big way.
How does Covestro contribute towards sustainability with its high-performance polymers for the Indian market, which helps them achieve global outreach?
Being one of the leading suppliers of premium polymers, Covestro India produces materials that play an important role in every area of modern life. Innovation and Sustainability are the two most important pillars behind the continuous development of our products, processes and facilities. At Covestro India, we develop sustainable solutions to the greatest challenges of our age: climate change, resource depletion, urban expansion, population growth and the resulting increase in awareness of environmental issues. Covestro aims to meet the increasing demand with long-lasting, light, environmentally friendly and cost-effective materials, which in many cases are suitable replacements for conventional materials such as steel and glass.
Which are the sectors they focused in India or rather any particular state or city and what stages are its developments?
Being a leading supplier of high-end polymers, we cater to Construction, Automotive industry, Lighting, Insulation, Home Appliance and so on, offering an attractive design, a lightweight model, durability, energy-efficiency besides other numerous benefits.
Tell us about smart mobility required for infrastructure development to support E-vehicles and hybrid cars?
The EV industry in India is growing exponentially with government support and initiatives but having said that, on the other hand, we have some issues and challenges existing which are acting as a hurdle for EV to completely gain prominence in India. In the current scenario, different EVs have different batteries which require different charging specifications. It is almost impossible for a charging station to cater to such varying needs. Thus, as an industry, an early solution needs to be developed.
Moving towards affordable housing, how is Covestro developing sustainable solutions in this sector?
In today’s construction industry, there are a lot of factors which go beyond efficiency and sustainability. Having an attractive, inventive and functional design has become the most important parameter for masses today. At Covestro India, we tend to bring all these traits together by creating materials out of polycarbonates. Our materials protect both existing and emerging structures against a multitude of environmental influences, thereby reducing the amount of maintenance required and increasing the buildings’ lifespan. On top of that, they ensure a significantly improved energy footprint thanks to unmatched insulation properties. Finally, architects and building owners profit from unique opportunities in terms of design and functionality.
How does Covestro help Future Cities to address the benefits of high-quality plastics by giving a stage to a variety of indispensable solutions based on the materials that all support sustainable development?
With cities consuming over two-thirds of the world’s energy and accounting for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions while rapidly growing worldwide, sustainable urbanisation is an urgent priority for us all. It’s a big challenge. However, Future Cities is born out of our belief that materials have a crucial, yet currently under-appreciated, role to play in making cities resilient while addressing the challenges and opportunities of our urban systems. We want to highlight the important role of plastics in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and push the boundaries of how we can help cities – both old and new – to address key urban challenges like air pollution, climate change and affordable housing.
Tell us about the effective Government Policies required that will pave the way for uniform development without any lapses?
Government policies are must for the smooth functioning of any sector and the government seems to be working in a direction which is subjected to the development of the nation. The recent government policy on EV where we have seen GST reduction from 12 per cent to 5 per cent by virtue of which we have noticed EV adoption in India. And, with further such policies, the government of India will surely open a lot of doors of opportunity for all the sectors to explore.
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