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The VinylPlus Sustainability Forum 2019

May 9 – 10, 2019

2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Registrations are closed

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, we ask ourselves: how is innovation supporting the PVC industry's targets in the context of the circular economy? What challenges and opportunities are today's innovative technologies providing the PVC industry? How are they Accelerating Innovation towards sustainable development throughout the industry?

A number of industry and market experts, as well as distinguished speakers from the European Commission and Parliament, the United Nations, NGOs and academia, to name but a few, 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 society 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

What to expect: two days of quality panel discussions, question & answer sessions and sharing of best practices. And, 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

Hotel booking available during registration.


Start: May 9, 2019
2:00 PM
End: May 10, 2019
4:30 PM

Hilton Prague Old Town

V Celnici 7
110 00 Prague


Richard Brabec

Ministry of the Environment of Czech Republic
Richard Brabec
  • Richard Brabec

    Richard Brabec was born on 5 July 1966 in Kladno, Czech Republic. He graduated from the Faculty of Natural Science, Department of Geology, at Charles University, combined with foreign languages. He has held the position of director at the Czech-Moravian Commodity Stock Exchange Kladno, has worked in various positions in the financial section of the company Unipetrol, and operated as Chief Financial Officer in Spolana Neratovice and as CEO of Lovochemie company. Since 2007, he deals with issues relating to European and domestic legislation on the environment, particularly the issue of REACH, an integrated permit system and emission allowances. In elections to the Chamber of Deputies in October 2013, he was elected from the political Movement ANO 2011. On the 29th January 2014 he was appointed as Minister of the Environment by Milos Zeman, President of the Czech Republic at the time.

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Vladislav Smrž

Deputy Minister
Ministry of the Environment of Czech Republic
Vladislav Smrž
  • Vladislav Smrž

    Vladislav Smrž was born in 1977. He graduated from the Socio-Economic Faculty of the University of JE Purkyne in Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic. He has worked in the chemical and automotive industries, where he was largely responsible for human resources, security, and asset management. Before joining the Ministry of the Environment (MoE), he worked as a personnel director at the Lovochemie Company. He is currently Deputy Minister for Section of Environmental Policy and International Relations at MoE. In his leisure time, he enjoys doing sports, especially skiing, and riding horses.

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Fulvia Raffaelli

Head of Unit
Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW)
  • Fulvia Raffaelli
    Fulvia Raffaelli is the Head of GROW Unit ‘Clean Products and Technologies’. Fulvia joined the Commission in 2002 as responsible for Waste Management and Recycling related issues in DGENTR. From 2005, she worked on REACH, first as a policy advisor on the legislative process, then as responsible for the implementation of the Authorisation and Restriction processes and for the first REACH review. In 2012, she became Deputy Head of GROW Strategic Policy Unit, in particular in charge of Relations with the Council and implementation of COSME (SMEs supporting programme). Since 2015, she is leading the Commission’s unit in charge of the competitiveness aspects of Circular Economy, Energy efficiency and Climate related policies. The implementation of the Ecodesign Directive, the Construction Products Regulation and the Construction 2020 strategy are also part of her portfolio.
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Ilcheong Yi

Senior Reseach Coordinator
United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)
  • Ilcheong Yi

    Ilcheong YI is Senior Research Coordinator in the Social Policy and Development Programme and the Social Dimensions of Sustainable Development Programme at UNRISD. Ilcheong was trained as a political scientist (B.A. and M.A. from the Department of Political Science, Seoul National University, Korea) and as a social policy analyst (D.Phil from Oxford University, UK). His specialization is in the issues of poverty, social policy, labour policy, social
    economy, and the historical analysis of the economic and social development process.

    Prior to joining UNRISD, Ilcheong was Associate Professor at Kyushu University, Japan (2004-2008), Korea Foundation Visiting Professor in the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Malaya, Malaysia (2003- 2004), and Visiting Research Fellow at the Stein Rokkan Centre, University of Bergen, Norway (2002-2003).

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Martina Dlabajová

Member of the European Parliament (MEP)
European Parliament
  • Martina Dlabajová
    Martina Dlabajová was coordinator at the Representation of the Zlín and Olomouc Regions to the EU. In 2012, Martina was elected President of the Regional Chamber of Commerce of the Zlín Region, and 2014 saw her elected as member of the European Parliament. Martina is Vice-Chair of the Committee on Budgetary Control, dealing with the auditing of EU funds and controlling and improving the system of EU funds absorption. She is also an active member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs. Martina was also rapporteur of the New Skills Agenda for Europe which calls for an improvement of literacy, numeracy and digital skills. She then became directly involved in the Czech National Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition. Martina is vice-chair of the SME Intergroup and Intergroup on Cultural and Creative Industries of the European Parliament, and is also member of the VinylPlus Monitoring Committee.
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Arab Hoballah

Team Leader
EU-SWITCH-Asia Sustainable Consumption and Production Facility (SCP) | Ex-Chief SCP UNEP
  • Arab Hoballah
    Arab Hoballah is Team Leader of EU-SWITCH-Asia SCP Facility since October 2017, aiming to further develop policies leading to sustainable consumption and production in 24 Central, South and Southeast Asian Countries. Arab served as UNEP Chief of Sustainable Consumption and Production from 2005 to 2016, focusing on Lifestyles, Cities and Industry. Arab served in senior positions for 20 years in the UNEP/Mediterranean Action Plan and development projects. He has launched various global Initiatives and Partnerships related to buildings, cities, tourism and food. He has contributed to putting SCP at the highest level in the UN and Government strategies; to establishing the International Resource Panel; to the adoption of the 10 Year Framework of Programmes for SCP and SDG12; and to establishing the Mediterranean Commission for Sustainable Development. Arab is specialised in systemic and prospective analysis, and he holds a Master in international relations and a PhD in economic development.
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Carlos Alvarez Pereira

Executive Committee Member
Club of Rome
  • Carlos Alvarez Pereira
    Carlos Alvarez Pereira is Executive Committee Member of the Club of Rome since 2017, a global think tank promoting sustainability since 1986. Carlos is also Founder and President of Innaxis Foundation & Research Institute (Spain, Belgium); 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. 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 was also lecturer and researcher in Applied Mathematics at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM). Carlos is also active in the Spanish Fulbright Alumni Association, of which he was Vice-President and whose monthly conferences he organises. He is also active in a wide network of more than 40 Alumni Associations of American and European Universities.
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Sophi MacMillan

Chief Executive Officer
Vinyl Council Australia
Sophi MacMillan
  • Sophi MacMillan
    Sophi MacMillan has worked with the Australian PVC sector’s industry association, the Vinyl Council of Australia, since its establishment in 1998. Based in Melbourne, she has been its Chief Executive since 2002. Sophi has been instrumental in the establishment and management of the Australian industry’s PVC Stewardship Program and in developing the Best Practice PVC accreditation scheme for PVC manufacturing, recognised by the Green Building Council of Australia. She has also initiated a successful recycling program with Australian hospitals for PVC medical waste, now being adopted in various countries. She is director and recent past Chair of the Asia Pacific Vinyl Network, and an active participant in the Global Vinyl Council. Sophi is a member of a number of advisory panels for Australian ecolabels and rating tools, and the Global Product Stewardship Council. She has Masters degrees in Environmental Science and Economics.
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Jo Dewulf

Professor, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering
Department of Green Chemistry and Technology, Ghent University, Belgium
Jo Dewulf
  • Jo Dewulf
    Prof. Dr. Ir. Jo Dewulf works with the Department of Green Chemistry and Technology, Ghent University, Belgium. Jo leads the Sustainable Systems Engineering group and gives attention to clean production, focussing on thermodynamic principles and life cycle thinking. Jo has worked with many institutions including EU KIC EIT Raw Materials, EC-DG JRC, Flanders public materials management authority OVAM and Flemish spearhead cluster on chemistry and materials. 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.
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Alessandro Marangoni

  • Alessandro Marangoni
    Prof. Alessandro Marangoni is specialised in strategy and corporate finance in the energy and environmental industries. Alessandro was a researcher at Space Bocconi and teaches various academic and master classes. Alessandro is the scientific Director of Irex Monitor, a think tank on the renewable energies industry. He is also the Director of WAS – Waste Strategy, a research centre on waste management and recycling, and is the director of Top Utility, an observatory on top public utility. He is also a member of many associations and initiatives, including the Renewable Industry Advisory Network of IEA, the International Energy Agency in Paris and a member of REN21 of the UN the International Association for Energy Economics.

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Jenny Walther-Thoss

Policy Officer of Sustainable Biomass and Sustainable Certification
World Wide Fund (WWF) Germany
Jenny Walther-Thoss
  • Jenny Walther-Thoss
    Jenny Walther-Thoss graduated in 2005 from Humboldt-Universitat Berlin with a Master of Science in International Agricultural Science. Jenny then worked as Auditor for Organic Farming at Agro-Oko Consult GmbH, acting as freelancer for the control and certification of organic agriculture and researcher for studies in the topics of organic farming, renewable energy and rural development. Jenny then acted as Deputy Managing Director and Auditor and Certifier for PCU Deutschland GmbH, a member of the Control Union World Group. In 2013, Jenny Walther-Thoss joined World Wide Fund (WWF) Germany, as Policy Officer of Sustainable Biomass and Sustainable Certification and then became involved in WWF Global, working in the Market Transformation Initiative as part of the Standard and Certification team.
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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 dialogues and a mediator for conflicts in the public sector.

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Henry Warren

Director, Inorganics Group
IHS Markit
  • Henry Warren
    Henry Warren is Director of IHS Markit’s Vinyls Market Advisory Service. Henry’s primary focus is EDC through to PVC and downstream, in Greater Europe and parts of the Middle East. In 2001 he joined Harriman Chemsult (a highly regarded niche consultancy in the chlor-alkali and vinyls segment), which was acquired by IHS Markit in September 2010.

    Henry entered the field of chemical market analysis in 1996, working in areas including feedstocks and several polyolefin value chains. Henry’s expertise in vinyl has also led him to be involved in many projects looking at investment decisions, purchasing reviews, strategic supply projects and competitive analysis. Most recently he was a collaborator in IHS Markit’s multi-client Plastics Sustainability Study, which was completed in late 2018.
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Cathy Wang

Vice President
Yunnan Zhengbang Technology Co Ltd
  • Cathy Wang

    Cathy Wang has an academic background in Polymer Science. Cathy 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. Cathy is the Vice President of Yunnan Zhengbang, a local Chinese company that focuses on marketing strategy and technical coordination to support local Chinese clients to optimize process and product upgrades via tight interaction and technical support from international suppliers of raw material and additives. She is also Project Coordinator for WPC programme, aiming at supporting a sustainable market development of the PVC industry in China.
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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 has a Master Degree in Marketing (2004) and a Master Science Degree in Nanosciences and Advanced Materials (2009).

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Joe Papineschi

Joe Papineschi
  • Joe Papineschi

    Joe Papineschi has been a Director of circular economy policy, strategy and operations consultancy Eunomia Research & Consulting since 2002. Eunomia has been at the forefront of supporting the EU’s drive towards a more circular economy in both policy development and implementation, including the key projects on recycling targets, measurement, EPR, marine plastics pollution and microplastics.

    Joe has spent over 25 years applying the resource management hierarchy to global challenges such as climate change, plastic pollution and sustainable communities through working at local, national and international level. He has an in depth knowledge of waste management and resource efficiency policy, coupled with many years of practical work with cities, municipalities, businesses and social enterprises to implement policies on the ground and drive materials away from disposal and into reuse and recycling.

    He is Eunomia’s senior specialist in municipal waste management, cross-sectoral partnership working, green procurement, waste management logistics and recycling technology, with wide-ranging knowledge and experience, from vehicle design to EPR to global secondary materials markets.
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Ettore Nanni

  • Ettore Nanni
    Ettore Nanni holds a PhD in Industrial Chemistry, obtained in 1983 from the University of Bologna, Italy. He is CEO and the main shareholder of the Reagens group, a world-wide producer of additives for PVC and other thermoplastics. Since 2007, Ettore is Chairman of ESPA, the European Stabiliser Producers Association, and is also member of the VinylPlus Board, where he actively contributes to its successful achievements. Since 2014, Ettore is also leading its Additives Task Force. When he’s not travelling following Reagens business, or participating in VinylPlus and ESPA activities, he returns to his home in Bologna, to his wife and three children. Ettore spends as much of his spare time as possible hill walking in the mountains.
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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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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 that is committed to having a positive environmental impact.

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Brigitte Dero

General Manager
  • 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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Richard Blume

Senior Partner
The Natural Step
  • Richard Blume
    Richard Blume is a long-time representative for The Natural Step, a global NGO organisation dedicated to helping forward-looking organisations accelerate the transition to a thriving future. 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. Richard holds a master’s degree in sustainability leadership and a combined bachelor’s degree in civil/ environmental engineering and international relations.
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Lawrie McLaren

Chairman, Corporate Purpose
Burson Cohn & Wolfe
Lawrie McLaren
  • Lawrie McLaren
    Lawrie McLaren has been based in Brussels for over 20 years helping corporations and organisations navigate the development of European and International environment policy.

    He is currently on the board of Burson Cohn and Wolfe (formerly Burson-Marsteller) Brussels office and leads the company across Europe in helping clients with sustainability and their purpose within society.

    Lawrie has acted as an industry observer to various EU and UN Environment Programme working groups. He authored “Taking European Environment Policy into the 21st Century” on behalf of the European Commission.

    Lawrie is on the Editorial Board of the International Chemical Regulation and Law Review. In a private capacity he serves as a Trustee of the Nepalese Education charity Classrooms in the Clouds.
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Tobias Webb

Innovation Forum
Tobias Webb
  • Tobias Webb
    Tobias Webb is founder of Innovation Forum, a London- based company aiming to ask the most difficult questions facing business today, and to do so through debate-based fora. Their focus is innovation and sustainability, particularly, but not exclusively, in supply chains.

    Currently Tobias is a visiting lecturer in corporate sustainability at King’s College London and he spent 7 years as Lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London, teaching Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability.

    In 2011, Tobias founded Stakeholder Intelligence Ltd, an advisory, training, contract publishing, facilitation and research company, based in London. In 2000, Webb also founded Ethical Corporation, a business intelligence company, for which he acted as chairman for almost 14 years.
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2018 Recap

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