Our outlook for 2022

Bild Neuhaus_bearbeitet

from Michel Neuhaus

What happened at Prosperkolleg in 2021:

In the past year, the Prosperkolleg was again able to expand and intensify its work with stakeholders from business, academia, and local communities at various points, which we report on below.

In the course of a Sustainable packaging in the food industry” series of specialist workshops we developed our evaluation matrix for sustainable food packaging together with twelve companies from this industry.

This resulted in a total of 32 evaluation criteria from the areas of product protection, circularity, environment, plant utilization and communication, which can be used as a decision-making aid when evaluating packaging.

After all, sustainable packaging protects the climate and satisfies an existing demand: recent surveys show that around 77 percent of consumers would pay more for more sustainable packaging.

In addition, we created the Circularity Matrix a new tool that helps companies identify potential in the area of the circular economy across four fields of action and derive concrete recommendations for action.

At the same time, we were able to hold topic-specific discussions with numerous companies from the Emscher-Lippe region and identify initial potential for action. Initial joint R&D projects in the areas of recovery, recycling and remanufacturing were also initiated together with our Circular Digital Economy Lab(CDEL) .

In July of last year, we then launched our Circular Economy Company Network, which brings together interested companies from the region every two months and provides suggestions and recommendations for action through good-practice examples. Well-known speakers from companies such as Philips Medical Systems, IKEA, Rockwool and Lorenz GmbH have already taken part and presented their approaches to the Circular Economy. We have compiled summaries of the events in our news section.

As part of our research network “CEresearchNRW”, which now has over 150 active members, we organized nine web seminars on various issues in the Circular Economy. In addition, we published several scientific publications, which have been compiled here.

A highlight was the Circular Economy Hotspot 2021 in Barcelona , in which we participated together with representatives of MWIDE.

Since 2016, world-renowned experts and delegates from business, politics, science and public initiatives have come together every year to visit the so-called Circular Economy Hotspots in Europe.

On site, Prosperkolleg announced to the international audience that the upcoming Circular Economy Hotspot will take place in North Rhine-Westphalia.

“We know all about social change in North Rhine-Westphalia. Over the last 40 years, change has become more and more part of our DNA. We want to actively shape this new transformation and make the industrial state of North Rhine-Westphalia the most modern and sustainable region in Europe. The Circular Economy is an important key topic in this context,” says Reinhold Rünker, Permanent Deputy Head of the Economic Policy Department in the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Economics.

Outlook and events in 2022

We have a lot planned for this year as well: With the Circular Economy Hotspot 2022 which will take place from September 12 to 14 in Bottrop, we have been able to bring a top international event in the field of the Circular Economy to the Emscher-Lippe region.

The patron of the event is NRW Economics Minister Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart. During the three days of the event, there will be an interactive company exhibition, excursions to companies in the region and cultural offerings, among other things.

In addition, this year we are devoting ourselves in the research network to the priority areas of the European Union’s Circular Economy Actions Plan. The starting signal is given with the web seminar on February 03 on the subject of “Circular Economy in the construction industry”.

And our corporate network also continues: On March 17, we have Mr. Witthöft from ZF Friedrichshafen AG as our guest, who will report on the approaches of the automotive supplier on the way to a Circular Economy. Information about the company network can be found here.