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 – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWOknu-43q4Q4YI1PfRQnEQ?disable_polymer=true
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.
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.
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.
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).
Effective January 1st, 2016, Dr. Ulrich Daum, Mark Walton, Peter Behrendt and Linda Heughebaert have joined the company’s network of experts as Associate Partners. Their combined experience enhances significantly the service offer of UetlibergPartners. In particular, the new Associate Partners bring additional expertise in the fields of business strategy and development (Daum), strategic communications and advocacy, North American issues management (Walton), plastics and chemicals issue management (Behrendt), and product safety and sustainable development (Heughebaert).
Guido De Wit delivered a presentation on the topic of “Transparency and REACH for more sustainable value chains” at the June 2015 “PVC und Umwelt” (PVC and the environment) workshop organised by PlasticsEurope Germany. The audience included industry and regulatory participants.
As part of its ongoing assignment from BASF, UetlibergPartners just initiated and will moderate another online discussion on the BASF “Creator Space ™” website. This discussion focuses on chemical performance, with a view to reflecting on possible business models to ensure optimised performance and use of chemicals across the value chain. For example, is it possible to complement or even replace the traditional “quantitative selling” business model for some chemicals by a more “qualitative” model?
This discussion can be accessed here