Circular Valley Forum 2023: Videos
Press materials for free use
Nov 16th, Historische Stadthalle Wuppertal
Message from Christian Lindner
Federal Ministry of Finance

Message from Steffi Lemke
Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection

Memorandum of Understanding between North Rhine-Westphalia and Flanders
Waste legislation is often national. Closing material flows across borders is therefore a key challenge for a properly working Circular Economy. The border region NRW/Flanders is the largest cross-border metropolitan area with a strong industrial background in Europe. A Memorandum of Understanding to establish a Circular Economy across borders between NRW and Flanders therefore sets an example for the development of a Circular Economy across borders.

  • Minister Presidents Hendrik Wüst and Jan Jambon

Keynote by the Minister President of NRW Hendrik Wüst

Keynote by the Minister President of Flanders Jan Jambon

  • Keynote from a business perspective - Dr. Harald Schwager (Evonik)

Energy - the basis of a Circular Economy
The availability of renewable energy is an essential requirement for closing value chains (especially reverse logistics, sorting, dismantling and recycling processes), as well as for production in the basic industries. The panel will address the opportunities and risks of the energy transition.

  • Christian Kullmann (CEO Evonik)
  • Patrick Wendeler (CEO BP Europe)
  • Paul Höller (State Secretary MWIKE NRW)
  • Dr. Jürgen Tzschoppe (CEO, Statkraft/Oslo)
  • Markus Hilkenbach (CEO WSW)

  • Philip Krohn (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

Circular Economy at the corporate level
Circular Economy starts at the level of individual companies that use more renewable raw materials or recyclates and are also concerned with the end-of-life of their products. The panel will showcase examples of Circular Valley companies and their pioneering initiatives.

  • Carsten Cramer (Managing Director, BVB)
  • Dr. Dirk Voeste (Chief Sustainability Officer, Volkswagen)
  • Dr. Dorothee Becker (CEO, Becker Group)
  • Felicitas Erfurt-Gordon (Managing Partner, Erfurt & Sohn KG)
  • Matthias Lesch (Managing Director, Pöppelmann GmbH & Co. KG)
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Paetzel (Chairman of the Board, Emschergenossenschaft)
  • Dr. Günter Poppen (CEO, Vorwerk Elektrowerke)
  • Lars Baumgürtel (CEO, ZINQ)
  • Cornelius Laaser (Head Circular Economy, MUNV NRW)

  • Andreas Muth (Head of Consulting, EY Germany)

Cooperation along the value chain
The transition to renewable raw materials as an alternative to fossil-based raw materials is of great importance. This is especially true for post-consumer products that are difficult to recycle. The panel will discuss the possibilities of a bioeconomy to work together along the value chain and use renewable raw materials.

  • Frank Terhorst (Member of the Executive Board, Bayer Crop Science)
  • Dr. Ralf Düssel (President, Plastics Europe Germany)
  • Frank F. Meyer (Corporate Senior Vice President, Henkel Consumer Brands)
  • Thomas Rodemann (Board Member, Vorwerk SE)
  • Dr. Markus Helftewes (Managing Director, DSD/Der Grüne Punkt)

  • Nora Sophie Griefahn (Board Member, Cradle to Cradle NGO)

Financing when conditions change
In a Circular Economy, the economics are changing. Assets that previously had to be completely written off and disposed of at a cost retain their value as "material banks". In the case of traditionally durable products, today's state of the art can be the technology of the past in just a few years. The panel will look at the options for the financial sector to influence production and recycling processes for a Circular Economy, as well as how it deals with financing in the face of uncertainty.

  • Dr. Albrecht Haase (CEO, Société Générale Equipment Finance)
  • Axel Jütz (Member of the Board, Stadtsparkasse Wuppertal)
  • Dr. Andreas Eurich (Chairman of the Board, Barmenia Versicherungen)
  • Matthias Köhler (Ministerial Director, BMWK)
  • Eckart Forst (Chairman of the Board, NRW Bank)
  • Michael Brandkamp (Managing Partner, European Circular Bioeconomy Fund)

  • Marcel Hafke (Member of the State Parliament of NRW)

Construction - Management of large material flows
The construction industry is characterized by numerous large material flows (mineral building materials, glass, metals, polymers,...), which are often difficult to separate and recycle at the end-of-life. The panel will discuss the progress and opportunities for further development in the industry, which has to orchestrate a wide range of stakeholders in the life cycle of its buildings, and provide inspiration for other industries.

  • Gunter Adler (Former State Secretary, Autobahn GmbH des Bundes) (opening impulse)
  • Rolf Buch (CEO, Vonovia)
  • Ina Scharrenbach (Minister, MHKDB)
  • Christian Hülsewig (COO Hagedorn Holding, CEO Schüttflix)
  • Gregor Augustin (Managing Director Vertiko)
  • Thorsten Hahn (CEO, Holcim Germany)

  • Prof. Jan Grossarth (Professor of Bioeconomy and Resources, Biberach University of Applied Sciences, and author for "Die Welt")

Knowledge creates a Circular Economy
In 1971, Earth Overshoot Day happened in the ongoing year for the first time, and in 1972 Meadows and colleagues published "Limits to Growth" - both clear warnings about the finite nature of resources. The panel will discuss what in retrospect science could have done differently so that it would have been listened to earlier. The panel will also look ahead to how science can ensure that its warnings and the opportunities highlighted are understood and acted upon more quickly by politicians and society.

  • Prof. Dr. Anton Grabmaier (Institute Director, Fraunhofer IMS)
  • Prof. Dr. Henning Wilts (Head of Department Circular Economy, Wuppertal Institute)
  • Prof. Dr. Manfred Fischedick (President, Wuppertal Institute)
  • Prof. Dr. Manfred Renner (Institute Director, Fraunhofer UMSICHT)
  • Prof. Dr. Walter Leitner (Institute Director, Max Planck Institute CEC)
  • Prof. Dr. Kathrin Greiff (Institute Director, Institute for Anthroprogenic Material Cycles, RWTH Aachen)

  • Jasmin Bumanowski (Head of Strategy, Lufthansa Industry Solutions)

Sports as a pioneer of a circular economy
Closing material flows to reduce harmful environmental impacts requires not only the commitment of the industry but also the active cooperation of consumers in particular, as the greatest mixing of material flows occurs at the household level. Sports reach consumers in many different ways. Athletes are role models, identification figures and often advertisers. The panel invites top athletes and sports officials who are committed to sustainable and low-emission sporting events and healthy living. They will discuss the role of sports in communicating the transition to a circular economy.

  • Christian Keller (Olympic medal winner in swimming, ODDO BHF SE)
  • Janine Voss (Head of Sustainability, Barmer)
  • Prof. Dr. Hubert Trübel (Chief Medical Officer, AICuris)
  • Dirk Ramhorst (DSV Vice President Olympic Sailing, CIO Evonik)
  • Sarah-Louise Halcour (German boxing champion, Managing Director Halcoura)
  • Jürgen Hingsen (German decathlon champion, BeYounger)

  • Martin Schneider (Sports Editor ZDF)

Incentives for the transition to a Circular Economy
Various mechanisms are currently used around the world to incentivize companies to switch to more circular value creation (bans on existing processes, tax breaks for new processes, subsidies, etc.). The international panel will examine approaches from the USA, Europe and Asia.

  • Lauren Kjeldsen (Member of the Executive Board, Evonik)
  • Marc Ehrhardt (President, BASF Corporation Florham Park, NJ/USA)
  • Peter Schmidt (European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform)
  • Surendra Patawari (CEO, Gemini Corporation)
  • Timo Flessner (Head of Global API Production, Bayer)

International collaboration for a Circular Economy
Large parts of global emissions occur in the Global South/developing countries. Solutions to reduce emissions from the Global North are currently often not affordable in the Global South. The panel will discuss options for development partnerships to ensure that the best technologies for a Circular Economy are implemented globally.

  • Ralf Putsch (Managing Partner, Knipex)
  • Helge Lindh (Member of the German Bundestag)
  • Gerald Knaus (Migration Researcher, European Stability Initiative)
  • Ved Prakash (Director, Gemini Corporation

An "outside-in view" of the Circular Economy
The redesign of value chains across many stakeholders will often require external help. The panel will shed light on the perspectives of various professional services firms that can contribute to a broad industry perspective as they are external and yet have a good understanding of companies from working with them.

Keynote by Minister Mona Neubaur

Accelerating the implementation of a Circular Economy
If technologies, willingness to invest and financial resources are available, how can they be implemented quickly, taking into account the legal framework and necessary approval processes, e.g. for the construction of new recycling plants? The panel will discuss challenges and opportunities from the perspectives of various stakeholders.

  • Oliver Krischer (Minister MUNV NRW)
  • Thomas Schürmann (District President, Düsseldorf District Government)
  • Jochen Braun (Head of Building & Housing, City of Wuppertal)
  • Angela Titzrath (CEO Port of Hamburg)
  • Dr. Gerhard Erdmann (Board Member, Steel Employers' Association)
  • Lothar Leuschen (Editor-in-Chief, Westdeutsche Zeitung)

  • Prof. Dr. Birgitta Wolf (Rector, University of Wuppertal)