Ludwigshafen, Germany – Ricard Northcote, chief sustainability officer of Covestro has passed away suddenly.
Richard Northcote, Covestro CSO, passes away unexpectedly
Northcote, 58, had a varied career spanning journalism, government affairs and corporate communications before becoming Covestro's chief sustainability officer. He was a regular contributor to Urethanes Technology International and a speaker at many Crain Communications polyurethane conferences, most recently in Amsterdam in 2016.
Northcote was a strong defender of good journalism, and the rights of journalists to publish information that companies may try to hide.
While he was the editor of The Engineer, he supported Bill Goodwin, a journalist who took the UK to the European Court of Human Rights. The case revolved around whether Goodwin had to reveal his source in a report on a company. The European Court found in Goodwin's favour, and the UK's laws on contempt of court were changed.
As an ex-journalist, Northcote was a very conversational person. He revealed to a group of journalists that he received the telephone call from Patrick Thomas, the former CEO of Covestro, appointing him to the job as chief sustainability officer while he was about to watch a rugby match. At the time, Northcote explained, he had been enjoying pre-match hospitality at the event, and the call meant he had to move out of his surroundings into the fresh air and adopt a more business-like tone than he had previously been using.
Northcote was also a staunch believer in the power of polyurethane for good in the world, and was a passionate advocate of the Solar Impulse project. Most recently, we reported on his visit to a technology park in India, where polyurethane insulation is showcased to farming communities.
He also believed that the industry should become more efficient and committed his firm to cutting CO2 emissions by 50% by 2025.
While unable to give more details on Nothcote's passing, a senior Covestro spokesman said: 'He had so many great plans. His death is truly shocking, the whole world will miss him.'