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Exploring new avenues in plastics recycling

Plastic waste comes in for strong criticism. The objectives must be to avoid waste, re-use packaging and encourage recycling. And when it comes to recycling, there are different ways of utilizing plastic waste. But which method is suitable, and when?

Innovation symposium (7)

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Upstream Innovation for a Circular Economy

10:05 - 10:25, Halle 2


PhD, MS ChE Sara Lindeblad Wingstrand
Programme Manager - Innovation, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

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Achieving a circular economy for plastic packaging requires upstream innovation - recycling alone will not be enough.

Upstream innovation is thinking and development that happens before a product reaches the customer. For packaging, this, among others, includes new delivery models. More specifically Elimination: New delivery models that eliminate the need for packaging all together Reuse: Rethinking the business model in a way that allows packaging to be reused over and over

These types of approaches have been found to not only come with environmental benefits such as lower GHG emissions and waste reductions but also come with additional business benefits such as higher customer loyalty, optimised operations, superior user experience, etc.

So, while upstream innovation is inevitable if we want to solve the plastic pollution crisis, it also provides an exciting opportunity for businesses to be at the forefront of a rapidly changing packaging landscape and develop the delivery models of the next decades.


Short CV

Sara oversees the Foundation's innovation work within plastic packaging. Based on the principles of circular economy, she works with large corporates as well as emerging innovators from across the industry to rethink and redesign plastics packaging and drive momentum towards upstream solutions.

Most recently, Sara has been working on the publication called Reuse - Rethinking Packaging, that highlights and investigates the benefits of switching to reusable packaging from a business perspective.

Prior to joining the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Sara obtained her PhD in Polymer Physics at the Technical University of Denmark. She has a background in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering and has studied in Denmark, Zürich, Canada, and Belgium.



Accelerating the circular economy through sustainable invest

10:30 - 10:50, Halle 2


Anne-Louise Thon
Partner and co-founder of SDG Invest

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Why the «circular economy» is the ultimate sustainable investment case

The UN Sustainable Development Goals aims to eradicate poverty and deliver a sustainable future for all by 2030. To deliver on this goal, we need to transform from a linear economy, which follows a take-make-dispose pattern, into a circular economy. Anne-Louise has therefore made 'circular economy' a critical investment parameter at SDG Invest, the investment fund she co-founded in 2017.

SDG Invest only invest in sustainable leaders, and here circular business models and solutions stands as a central selection criterion. In 2018, 60 % of the portfolio companies had committed to circular economy solutions, and in 2019 that tendency has only increased.

SDG Invest supports the transition to a circular economy by financing those who are active in the circular economy and particularly big global companies, who are able to impact whole industries while leading the change.


Kurz CV

Anne-Louise has founded two unique concepts within sustainable and impact investing:

  1. SDG Invest, which is the first investment fund in Europe, that uses the SDGs as a proactive tool to invest in listed equity.
  2. The Global Impact Club (GIC), which is a network of families that educate, inspire and co-invest in impact solutions. Anne-Louise has more than 20 years of sustainability experience from a variety of countries and sectors. She has a master’s in communication and economics and has a Cambridge Sustainability Leadership. She has worked as Head of Sustainability and International Development at PwC, Denmark, and sits on various advisory committees.


"EnkelInnentaugliches" Design von kreislauffähigen Produkten

10:55 - 11:05, Halle 2


Hans-Martin Heierling
CEO Heierling AG, Chairman Gipfel Media AG, VP Next-Generations.ch

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Systemdenken, Modularität, die Natur als Vorbild, Logistik-Effizienz, Verzicht auf toxische Stoffe, Standardisierung, Ressourcenproduktivität: diese und weitere Faktoren beeinflussen die Kreislauffähigkeit und Nachhaltigkeit von Produkten. Olaf Holstein liefert Ihnen im ersten Teil dieser Präsentation Ausführungen und Erklärungen zu den Einflussfaktoren und Design-Kriterien.

Im zweiten Teil stellt Hans Martin Heierling mit dem von ihm entwickelten Skischuh ein "enkelInnentaugliches" und kreislauffähiges Produkt vor.


This speech will be held in German. 


Prof. Olaf Holstein
President Next-Generations.ch, B. of Dir., Lecturer, Ad. B. Davos Digital Forum

About the topic

Plastic waste comes in for strong criticism. The objectives must be to avoid waste, re-use packaging and encourage recycling. And when it comes to recycling, there are different ways of utilizing plastic waste. But which method is suitable, and when?

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