The ability to act quickly and resolutely is one of Evonik’s outstanding strengths. The past has taught us the need to keep reinventing our company, however favorable or unfavorable the conditions. So much so that we have made ongoing self-renewal a business principle. In applying this principle, we follow the logic of product and operating business life cycles, laying the foundations for sustained, profitable growth. Ongoing self-renewal means that we subject our business models, organization and strategies to a process of constant review and improvement.
No such thing as an old product
For Evonik, self-renewal starts in the product portfolio, by critically appraising and improving products and pinpointing new applications. One Evonik success story that illustrates this process particularly well is PLEXIGLAS® (in North and South America: ACRILYTE®). This classic product has been on the market since 1930, and we have continually developed new applications and functionalities for it over the years. For example, noise barriers made from PLEXIGLAS® are installed along expressways, highways and high-speed rail lines in over 30 countries around the world. A new advancement, PLEXIGLAS SOUNDSTOP® GS CC, is also attracting widespread interest. This has an extra built-in safety feature to prevent falling fragments that opens the door to using PLEXIGLAS® as a strong but lightweight wind barrier on bridges and overpasses. The most spectacular deployment for this new-generation PLEXIGLAS® so far is on the world’s highest cable-stayed bridge, the Viaduc de Millau, over the Tarn valley in the South of France.
Ongoing self-renewal at Evonik also means rigorously gearing ourselves to market needs. A case in point are the ‘industry teams’ we have created to serve specific industries with the combined expertise of specialists from a number of different business units. The Paints & Coatings team, for example, brings together our entire knowledge on paints and coatings from four units. This team has conceived a special approach, Smart Formulating, which spans the entire development chain from requirement specifications to custom-tailored solutions and product delivery. This helps us analyze current and future market trends and develop new formulations and materials in close cooperation with customers. Other industry teams mobilize our accumulated expertise for the automotive, plastics and pharmaceutical industries.