Author: shutterlab

Opportunities for the chemicals, plastics and energy supply industries in times of crisis – October 2020

December 21, 2020

UetlibergPartners hosted two virtual Industry Round Table meetings for key clients and allies in October 2020 to discuss a range of topics, from the economic challenges of the ongoing pandemic to the opportunities presented by a more sustainable society.

While the two debates acknowledged that chemistry has a lot to offer society by, for example:

  • developing technologies to reduce climate change,
  • enabling a hydrogen based economy,
  • supporting a more circular approach to products and services with processes that can close the loop in an intelligent way along the whole value chain,
  • safeguarding the environment,

the participants highlighted the leadership challenges presented by reputation damaging biased information that encourages more stringent regulation and undermines the creation of a high calibre workforce for the future

Opportunities presented by initiatives such as the Green Deal were discussed, including

  • new business models and new technologies,
  • cross industry partnerships,
  • cooperative initiatives along value chains,
  • industry consortia.

Participants were provided with a summary of the debates including the needs and challenges highlighted by over 60 separate discussion points.

It is with deep sadness that we are announcing the passing away of Mark Alan Walton on Sunday, August 30th, 2020.

An early supporter and one of the founding members of UetlibergPartners, Mark was our partner in North America.  Mark’s in-depth experience and knowledge of the chemicals and plastics industry was highly valued; he was one of the best specialists of US environmental policies and issues.  His communication skills were outstanding – he was one of those rare people able to translate complex issues into layman’s language, without losing any of the importance of what was at stake, and he was always able to do so with innate dignity and respect for his speaking partners.

We will miss his quiet but authoritative voice when speaking about industry issues.  To his wife Susan, his children and his grand-children, we offer our most sincere condolences.

In April and May 2020, UetlibergPartners held 4 online dialogue sessions with its key clients and allies, focusing on sustainability in times of crisis.

The April sessions concentrated on an evaluation of the sustainability gaps revealed and enhanced by the COVID-19 sanitary and economic & social crisis, while the May sessions focused on possible action to rebound on the crisis, grab the opportunities it offers, and develop solutions to bring industry on a coherent and continuous sustainability path.

The results of these discussions clearly show that the priority issues bearing the most opportunities for sustainable business growth, innovation and reputation are “Climate change” and “Circular economy”.  The EU’s “Green Deal” was identified as a forward-looking policy umbrella that, if developed in close cooperation with various stakeholders, could enhance such growth.

As the ways of implementation, including measures and timing, are different for each enterprise, individual paths forward will need to be worked into business specific roadmaps; an area where UetlibergPartners’ competences and expertise have often been successfully applied.

In the past few months, UetlibergPartners carried out a variety of assignments, for corporate, academic and association clients.  The two projects detailed below provide a good overview of the type of work we deliver:

1 – AlpLinkBioEco – strategic support to bio-based circular economy project

UetlibergPartners is supporting the AlplinkBioEco project, an EU-funded  network  focusing on the development of Novel Value Chains for a Bio-Based Circular Economy in the Alpine space.

The project will develop a cross-regional circular bio-based economic strategy including a roadmap and demonstrators to assess, select and create innovative value chains piloting four sectors: wood, agriculture, food/pharma packaging and chemistry. AlpLinkBioEco is joined by 14 partners from 8 regions and 6 Alpine States and 11 observers. The AlpLinkBioEco community includes policy makers, cluster initiatives, sectoral agencies, research centres, SMEs and individual actors.

UetlibergPartners is chairing and providing advisory services to the AlpBioLink Project Advisory Board

For more info: 


Youtube Channel –


2 – PlasticsEurope – Polyolefins (PO) Group – Technical and strategic support for the drafting of a report on volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions.

This project demanded a reliable, verifiable and actionable report of VOC emissions from polyolefin processes for use towards EU regulatory authorities.

UetlibergPartners’s support, focusing on an iterative dialogue with the polyolefins experts group, was instrumental in defining a consistent methodology for the collection and presentation of VOC emissions.

This enabled the PO group to build a credible way forward with the EU’s Joint Research Centre, which will use and process this data to develop a BREF (Best Available Techniques Reference Document) for the polyolefins sector.

A look back at 2017 – applying sustainability at an operational level

January 21, 2018

2017 was another year of strategic growth for UetlibergPartners. We expanded our portfolio, adding new clients in various industry sectors and covering new topics around sustainability. In addition to advising individual companies in the chemicals and intermediates sectors, we also supported consortia of companies and trade associations. Here are a few examples of the assignments we worked on for such clients:



  • We supported the take-off of the PolyStyreneLoop organisation, advising its members on the structuring and strategic positioning of this pilot project in the field of polystyrene recycling. The PolyStyreneLoop project is a perfect “beacon” example of applied circular economy within the PS foam value chain, providing closed-loop recycling for insulation materials, while allowing separation and treatment of the bromine component of the legacy POP fire retardant HBCD


  • UetlibergPartners also continued to provide project management services to the ProScale consortium, a group of 7 partners developing a method for assessing the toxicological potentials of product systems from a life cycle perspective. ProScale was developed to address the growing demand for a tool to compare the hazard and exposure performance of chemical substances along the life cycle of products. The method was launched at a conference held in Brussels on 5 October 2017. More information on the method and on the conference is available on the ProScale website


  • Confronted with the challenges of globalisation and digitisation, IFIA, the international federation representing the independent testing, inspection and certification sector (TIC), appointed UetlibergPartners to initiate a strategy review looking at the long-term sustainability of IFIA vis-à-vis both its members and its key external stakeholders. UetlibergPartners facilitated a series of workshops that kicked off an in-depth revision of the IFIA structure, of its operations, and of its relations with sister organisations in the TIC field.

Daum & Walton named full partners

November 24, 2016

UetlibergPartners is proud to announce that Dr. Ulrich Daum and Mark Walton are now full partners.

Walton brings his in-depth knowledge of the American market and over 30 years of experience in chemicals issues management; Daum contributes with extensive senior general management and chemical engineering expertise.

De Bauw to moderate panel discussion at EUROPUR Annual Event

May 30, 2016

The 2016 Annual Event of EUROPUR, the European Association of Flexible Polyurethane Foam Block Manufacturers, will focus on the Circular Economy package of the European Commission and its implications for the PU foam sector. On June 8th, Geneviève De Bauw, Partner, will moderate a panel discussion on «Thinking in Lifecycles – a lot of work ahead». Panelists include Philipp Burgtorf (Recticel and EBIA), Richard Northcote (Covestro), Toni Gallone (Renault), Andreas Ahrens (IKEA), and Tom Mikkelsen (Tempur Sealy).

Sustainable (food) packaging – an overview

February 9, 2015

by David A.M. Russell


Dr. David Russell of UetlibergPartners recently published a paper discussing the conditions for sustainable food packaging. The author underlines the need to go beyond generic environmental considerations to determine the sustainability of packaging over its entire life-cycle, and in particular during service life; taking anthropogenic and holistic aspects into consideration is key to the economic and societal acceptability of sustainable packaging.

Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A
Volume 31, Issue 3, 2014