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The VinylPlus Sustainability Forum 2019

9 - 10 May 2019


Accelerating Innovation

The sustainable growth of society as a whole is only possible through the balancing of economic, social and environmental sustainability. In this context, innovation is key. As countless new technologies have developed in the past decades, new methods and tools are Accelerating Innovation throughout all industries, encouraging sustainable development.

The PVC industry’s journey towards sustainable development already began nearly 20 years ago. Today, as innovative technologies continue to develop and to impact the PVC industry, the VSF2019 will explore the upcoming opportunities the PVC industry will be seizing to further contribute to achieving a sustainable society.

A number of industry and market experts, as well as distinguished speakers from the European Commission and Parliament, the United Nations, NGOs and academia, will discuss the following topics:

  • Industry and environmental sustainability in the Czech Republic
  • PVC markets in the EU and globally
  • The competitiveness of PVC products over their whole life cycle
  • The right market balance for the use of virgin and recycled PVC
  • Socio-technical paradigm shifts towards sustainability
  • Key drivers of innovation relating to sustainability in the plastics industry
  • The development of efficient technologies and digital solutions that we can trust and use correctly
  • The evolution of societal and educational needs
  • How the building and construction sector is adapting to digital times
  • Digital design in the PVC flooring industry
  • NGO views on the progress of the PVC industry

Full programme coming soon.

What to expect: two days of quality panel discussions, question&answer sessions and sharing of best practices. And also, a hearty welcome to the city, a lively and dynamic Networking Dinner and a visit to a Prague landmark!

VinylPlus looks forward to welcoming you to Prague for an unmissable industry event. See you soon! Brzy na shledanou!


REGISTRATION FEE for The VinylPlus Sustainability Forum 2019: € 485 + VAT

Registration closes March 2019


Start: 9 May 2019
End: 10 May 2019

Hilton Prague Old Town

V Celnici 7
110 00 Prague
Czech Republic


Arab Hoballah

Executive Director
SEED, Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development Platform
  • Arab Hoballah

    Arab Hoballah is supporting SEED since 2017 as Executive Director. Prior to joining SEED, Arab served as the Chief of Sustainable Consumption and Production/SCP in UNEP since 2005. A major outcome of this work is the 10YFP, the 10 Year Framework of Programmes on SCP, adopted at the 2012 Earth Summit/RIO+20; worth noting: it was the only programme adopted in the Outcome Document of "The Future We Want", following the request of Rio 92 and Johannesburg 2002.

    Arab spent 14 years working in the UNEP Regional Seas programme as Deputy Director of the Blue Plan and then Deputy Coordinator of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP). He established and managed the Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development, and assisted several countries in developing sustainable development strategies and coastal areas management plans. Prior to 1991, he worked for several institutions in developing countries, including several years with World Bank projects in Yemen.

    Educated in a multicultural environment (Lebanon, Senegal, France and Colombia), Dr. Hoballah holds a MSc in Economic Tools and Prospective Analysis, a MSc in Law and International Relations and a PhD in Economic Development.

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Martina Dlabajová

Member of the European Parliament (MEP)
European Parliament
  • Martina Dlabajová

    Martina Dlabajová (ALDE/ANO) graduated from the University of Padua, Italy in political science with specialisation in European integration. She founded and managed several companies in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Italy. For seven years, she held the position of the coordinator at the Representation of the Zlín and Olomouc Regions to the EU. In 2012 she was elected the president of the Regional Chamber of Commerce of the Zlín Region. Two years later, in 2014, Martina was elected to be a member of the European Parliament.

    Within the scope of her parliamentary mandate, Martina is Vice-Chair of the Committee on Budgetary Control where she has mainly been dealing with the auditing of EU funds and especially controlling and improving the system of EU funds absorption. She is also an active member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs where she focuses on issues of youth employment, matching skills and jobs, labour mobility, support of SMEs and creative industries.

    Besides her own-initiative report on matching skills and jobs, she was also the rapporteur of the New Skills Agenda for Europe which calls for an improvement of literacy, numeracy and digital skills. Given her field of expertise, she became directly involved in the Czech National Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition.

    Martina holds the position of vice-chair of the SME Intergroup and the Intergroup on Cultural and Creative Industries of the European Parliament and is also a member of the VinylPlus Monitoring Committee. In the Czech Republic, she has launched a motivational project called PročByNe? that offers, to young people under 25 years, the opportunity to fulfill their professional dreams through exclusive traineeships.

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Prof. Dr. Ir. Jo Dewulf

Professor, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering
Department of Green Chemistry and Technology, Ghent University
Prof. Dr. Ir. Jo Dewulf
  • Prof. Dr. Ir. Jo Dewulf

    Jo Dewulf (18/7/1969) works with at the Department of Green Chemistry and Technology, Ghent University, Belgium. He leads the Sustainabile Systems Engineering group and focuses on clean production with a focus on resources, relying mainly on thermodynamic principles and life cycle thinking. His team consists at the moment of 6 Post-doctoral researchers, 12 PhD students and 8 Master students.

    Within the area of clean technology, he searches for preventive actions within production processes themselves. To do so, he makes thorough analyses at the process, plant and overall industrial system level, based on life cycle thinking and thermodynamic principles in order to find out opportunities for.

    Apart from methodological improvements, implementations and collaborations with industrial partners have been put in practice in three areas: fine chemicals and pharma, agro/bio/food, and secondary and primary raw matreials. Work has been done with institutions, e.g. EU KIC EIT Raw Materials, EC-DG JRC, Flanders public materials management authority OVAM and Flemish spearhead cluster on chemistry and materials ... Equally with individual firms research has been undertaken. Since his involvement with the European Commission, he further concentrates on the sustainable use of natural resources, e.g. resource efficiency, resource criticality, integrated sustainability assessment, and use of secondary resources. He is member of the OG EIP Raw Materials (EC) and of the International Roundtable Criticality.

    His work is visible on the international scene, with about 240-250 papers in international peer reviewed journals included in the Web of Science (Science Citation Index Expanded only), with about 7000 citations and an h-index of 44. He assisted to several international conference organisations and international journals, e.g. serving at the RCR editorial board. In 2016, the second Wiley book he edited has been published: Sustainability Assessment of Renewables-Based Products: Methods and Case Studies.

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Alessandro Marangoni

  • Alessandro Marangoni
    Alessandro is an economist, specialised in strategy and corporate finance in the energy and environmental industries both at an academic level and at a professional one.

    Graduating with honors at Bocconi University, he was a researcher at Space Bocconi, since its establishment in 1990, in a joint venture with Boston Northeastern University.

    Allessandro started teaching “Ecology&Safety in Industrial Enterprises”, the first academic course in Italy about environment management.

    He is also a professor of “Technological and market profiles of the environmental services” in the Master in Economy and Management of Public Utility Services at Bocconi University. He teaches or has taught in various academic and master classes, including: “Economy and Management of the Utilities”, “Management of Network Services and Marketing of Services” and “Accountancy and Environmental Evaluation” at the Master in Economy and Management of Environmental Services at Bocconi University.
    He is the scientific Director of Irex Monitor, a think tank on the renewable energies industry, he is the Director of WAS – Waste Strategy, research centre on waste management and recycling sector and of Top Utility, observatory on top public utility.

    With a wide experience in strategic management, Marangoni has been one of the first in Italy to deal with accountancy and environmental reports, sustainability and cost-benefit analysis, becoming one of the main expert in business and financial issues on environment.

    He is specialised in energy industry, utilities, waste management and recycling. He is author of several publications, above all on environment, energy, public utilities and infrastructures. He is a member of scientific committees or referee of various magazines, including Journal of Investor Relations, Management delle Utilities and Waste Management.

    Member of the Renewable Industry Advisory Network of IEA, the International Energy Agency in Paris, member of REN21 of the ONU the International Association for Energy Economics and the Italian Association for Energy Economics and Shared Value Initiative.

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Daniel Martinz

Technical Marketing & Development Manager – Specialty Vinyls
  • Daniel Martinz

    Daniel Ortiz Martinz graduated as a Chemical Engineer from the University of São Paulo (Brazil) in 1998 and joined Solvay Indupa in 1999. For ten years he was involved with Customer Technical Services in South America in different flexible vinyl markets, especially compounds, sheets and paste PVC.

    In 2009 Daniel was transferred to SolVin SA in Brussels as a Technical Marketing & Development for Paste PVC. In 2015 he joined Inovyn as Head of Technical Marketing & Development for Specialty Vinyls.

    Daniel holds both Belgian and Brazilian citizenships, speaks four languages, has a Master Degree in Marketing (2004) and a Master Science Degree in Nanosciences and Advanced Materials (2009).

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Richard Blume

Senior Partner
The Natural Step
  • Richard Blume

    Richard is a long-time representative for The Natural Step, an international non-profit organisation dedicated to helping forward-looking organisations accelerate the transition to a thriving future.

    Richard has spent the last fifteen years supporting SME’s and multinationals integrate sustainability into core business strategy and operations in sectors such as extractive industries, chemicals, construction and the built environment, retail, footwear, apparel and beauty as well as in social enterprise.

    He works closely with business partners to build awareness and commitment to sustainable business, design change processes, engage leadership teams on vision and strategic roadmap development, implement employee engagement programmes, establish indicators and sustainability reporting, as well as evaluate tools, products, materials and value chains.

    Richard has been part of The Natural Step’s team advising and acting as a ‘critical friend’ to VinylPlus and the PVC industry roadmap for sustainability since its launch in 2011. Prior to that he managed the Leading Change for a Sustainable Chemical Industry innovation programme and supported the implementation of various advisory partnerships with major players in the chemical sector.

    He is a dual national from Australia and Sweden. He holds a masters degree in sustainability leadership and a combined bachelors degree in civil/environmental engineering and international relations.

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Carlos Alvarez Pereira

Club of Rome
  • Carlos Alvarez Pereira

    Carlos Alvarez-Pereira is the Founder and President of Innaxis Foundation & Research Institute (Madrid, Brussels); CEO of Telenium (Spain); CEO of Texelia (Switzerland); and Chairman of the Board of CXP Group (France and Germany). Carlos is dedicated to promoting research on socio-technical paradigm shifts towards sustainability, as well as applications of complexity theory to the domains of transport, energy and health.

    Previously, Carlos founded or chaired several consulting companies in Spain, Switzerland, France and Germany, with capabilities in strategic advice, expert assistance, project management, and systems integration and maintenance. He has also been a lecturer and researcher in Applied Mathematics at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM).

    Carlos is now active in the Spanish Fulbright Alumni Association, of which he has been Vice-President and whose monthly conferences he organises, and in a wide network of more than 40 Alumni Associations of American and European Universities.

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Harald Pilz

Senior Adviser
  • Harald Pilz

    Harald Pilz served as Senior Consultant at denkstatt from 1996 to 2014 and is now an independent cooperation partner of denkstatt. He studied technical physics, mathematics, and technical environmental protection in Austria. His projects focus on sustainability assessment of product life-cycles, including LCA studies and cost-benefit analyses. Harald is also a trained moderator of stakeholder dialogs and a mediator for conflicts in the public sector.

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Brigitte Dero

General Manager
VinylPlus, ECVM
  • Brigitte Dero

    Dr. Brigitte Dero holds a PhD in Sciences (Molecular Biology) from the University of Brussels (ULB) in Belgium. Early in her career she worked for a special programme of the World Health Organisation on tropical diseases before moving to the metals industry to work in the occupational health, safety and environment arenas and, subsequently, on waste management and recycling.

    In June 1999 she joined the European Chemical Industry Council to manage the plastic additives sector groups , PVC stabilisers, plasticisers, flame retardants, antioxidants and food contact additives.

    In December 2011 Brigitte became general manager of the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM).

    In January 2014 she became general manager of VinylPlus the umbrella under which 200 companies from the PVC value chain (resin, chemical additives, and plastic converters) work together to increase the sustainability performance of PVC.

    In 2012 she registered VinylPlus in the UN Registry of Commitments and engaged VinylPlus with UNEP/UNIDO. IN 2013, VinylPLus became a member of the UNIDO/UNEP Green industry platform, a global high-level, multi-stakeholder partnership to mobilise action on Green Industry around the world.

    She is Belgian, married and has two sons. Brigitte is passionate about science & sustainability, women in chemistry & education. She supports the ‘Women in Green industry chapter’ of UNIDO/UNEP.

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Stefan Sommer

Vynova Group
  • Stefan Sommer

    Stefan Sommer has over 30 years of consulting, business development and general management experience gained at various leading chemical companies. Having served as CEO of Ticona Engineering Plastics, CEO of ASK Chemicals and President of DSM China, Mr. Sommer brings abundant industry and executive expertise to the management team.

    Stefan is the chairman of the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM) and of VinylPlus®, the European PVC industry’s voluntary commitment programme for sustainable development. In addition, he serves on the board of PlasticsEurope Germany.
    Stefan has a degree in Business Economics from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in München (Germany).
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Cathy Wang

Vice President
Yunnan Zhengbang Technology Co Ltd
  • Cathy Wang

    Cathy WANG has a Polymer Science education background. She spent 4 years in the Chemical Institute of China Academy as an assistant researcher, and worked for 12 years in an international company of the Plastic market.

    She is the Vice President of Yunnan Zhengbang, a local chinese company, and focuses on marketing strategy and technical coordination in order to support local Chinese clients to optimize process and product upgrade via tight interaction and technical support from international suppliers of raw material and additives. She is also Project Coordinator for WPC program, aiming at supporting a sustainable market development of the PVC industry in China.

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Henry Warren

Director, Inorganics Group
IHS Markit
  • Henry Warren

    Henry Warren is director of the Inorganics Group at IHS Markit and is the global service leader for the Vinyls Market Advisory Service.

    Henry performs market analysis of the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) industry and its precursors - ethylene dichloride (EDC) and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM). He is responsible for an annual World Analysis - Vinyls; the in-depth monthly vinyls service; and the three weekly reports covering vinyls in regional markets: the Americas, Asia and Europe. For most of his career, he has covered hydrochloric acid, chlorinated solvents, caustic potash and caustic soda, but his focus has continued to center on vinyls. He joined IHS, now IHS Markit, when it acquired Harriman Chemsult, a highly regarded consultancy specialising in the chlor-alkali and vinyls segment.

    Henry entered the field of chemical market analysis in 1996, analysing feedstocks and several polyolefin value chains in Europe, North America and Latin America. Along with the stakeholder relationships he has built over several decades, his in-depth understanding of the industry contributes to the unparalleled level of insight that IHS Markit brings to this sector.

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Thorsten Beinke

Senior Design Manager
  • Thorsten Beinke

    Thorsten Beinke spent three years as Creative Director at Mobilcom, going on to be Head of Advertising at Terhurne. He then spent 6 years at Witex as Creative Director, during which he gained a Bachelor of Arts in Media Economics at the Fachhochschule Des Mittelstandes Bielefeld in Germany. He is currently based in Luxembourg as Senior Design Manager of Tarkett, a worldwide leader of innovative flooring and sports surface solutions, committed to having a positive impact on the planet.

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2018 Recap