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The VinylPlus Sustainability Forum Goes Virtual

October 15, 2020

9:00 AM - 1:15 PM (UTC/GMT +01:00 - Europe / Rome)

Registrations are closed


 The VinylPlus Sustainability Forum 2020 goes virtual


Focused on the theme #CIRCULARVINYL, the VinylPlus Sustainability Forum 2020 will feature keynote speeches, interactive debates and live polling sessions that you will be able to participate in from anywhere in the world. The VSF2020 will be held online as a half day event on 15 October and will bring together industry and sustainability experts as well as speakers from the European Commission, NGOs and academia.
Over the last 20 years, we have witnessed the profound impact that a global awareness of sustainability has had on business. As a united industry we have worked together to tackle the challenges of circularity, taken an active lead on environmental issues, adopted innovation and new technologies and forged partnerships across the industry.
Sustainability, accountability and transparency have always underpinned our programme and enabled us to embrace policy initiatives impacting the plastics sector, as shown by our active participation in the Circular Plastics Alliance. Through the VinylPlus® Product Label, the sustainability certification scheme for PVC products in the building and construction sector, VinylPlus also recognises companies delivering the highest sustainability performance and contribution to the Circular Economy.
 It has been an amazing journey and one VinylPlus is proud to continue with all our partners and stakeholders looking to 2030 and beyond. With the culmination of the voluntary commitment to sustainable development and the achievement of our targets in sight, the hard work is not behind us. The dynamic policy landscape covering the European Green Deal, Circular Economy, sustainable development, energy efficiency, climate change, preservation of biodiversity, and much more makes #CIRCULARVINYL more relevant than ever.


Main topics will be:

- VinylPlus® – A united PVC industry’s voluntary commitment to sustainability, transparency, and leadership
- Embracing the EU’s Circular Economy ambitions
- #CIRCULARVINYL - Contributing to the success of the Circular Plastics Alliance
- Rewarding and recognising sustainability - The VinylPlus® Product Label
- Building together the PVC industry of tomorrow and addressing our stakeholders’ priorities
- Paving the way towards 2030 and beyond 

Contact Noelle Tracey for any additional information.

Join us at #VSF2020 - Registration fee: 150€

IMPORTANT: Please note that each registrant will receive a personalised link to join the VSF event. This link is not shareable and will not function when used by anyone other than the registrant. 


Start: October 15, 2020
9:00 AM (UTC/GMT +01:00 - Europe / Rome)
End: October 15, 2020
1:15 PM (UTC/GMT +01:00 - Europe / Rome)

Online event


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 and environmental engineering and international relations.
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Stijn Brancart

  • Stijn Brancart
    Stijn is educated as an architectural engineer at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). After his studies, he started a PhD on transformable structures, adaptable structures and structural reuse. After his PhD, I joined the H2020 BAMB project (Buildings as Material Banks) and worked on the Circular Retrofit Lab pilot project, the circular renovation of a block of student houses on the VUB campus. As such he focused more on circular construction on the building level. The VUB Architectural Engineering research group has a strong expertise and experience with circular design, especially design for change, design for disassembly.
    Stijn is still linked to the VUB, but mainly works as an expert in sustainable and circular construction at VIBE. VIBE is a non-profit organisation that disseminates knowledge about sustainable construction to a broad group of stakeholders: architects, contractors, manufacturers, municipalities… VIBE writes publications, organizes and presents at events, seminars and lectures series and co-organizes two postgraduate programmes, one on circular construction. VIBE also does consultancy and advises architects, developers, municipalities in specific construction projects.
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Brigitte Dero

Managing Director
  • 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 and sustainability, women in chemistry and education. She supports the ‘Women in Green industry chapter’ of UNIDO/UNEP.

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Jo Dewulf

Professor, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering
Department of Green Chemistry and Technology, Ghent University
  • Jo Dewulf
    Jo works at the Department of Green Chemistry and Technology, Ghent University, Belgium. He leads the Sustainable Systems Engineering Group and focuses on clean production with a team of 20 doctoral and postdoctoral researchers and 10-15 master students. After engineering studies and a PhD at Ghent University and post-doc research at Ghent University and Delft University of Technology, he became assistant professor (2003), associate professor (2007) and full professor (2012) Clean Technology at Ghent University.
    He was on leave for two years from his full professor position to join the European Commission – Joint Research Centre as senior scientist in the Sustainability Assessment Unit (2013-2015). He is currently guest professor at ETH Zürich with the Ecological Systems Design group (2019-2020). For his scientific work, he obtained the prize of the laureate of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Belgium in 2008. In his research, he heavily focuses on clean technology, i.e. searching for preventive actions within production processes and values chains. 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 improvement. 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 materials. Work has been done with institutions, e.g. EU KIC EIT Raw Materials, EC-DG JRC, Flanders public materials management authority OVAM ... Equally with individual firms research has been undertaken, e.g. with Johnson&Johnson-Janssen Pharmaceutica, Oleon, Organic Waste Systems, Syral, Indaver, Umicore, Solvay, Arcelor and others. His team is also partner of the Flemish Policy Research Center on Sustainable Materials Management ‘Circular economy’ and runs several projects within the Horizon 2020 programme (RePair, Glopack, C123, INCITE …) and EU KIC EIT Raw materials (SUPRIM, PANORAMA …).
    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. It is in this context that the expertise of Jo, i.e. life cycle and thermodynamics based sustainability analysis at process, plant and cradle-to-gate level, is of value in developing and assessing new technologies. He is member of the OG EIP Raw Materials (EC) and of the International Roundtable Criticality. The work has been also oriented towards southern countries, with finished and running MSc and PhD projects in collaboration with Cuba, Chile, Brazil, Kenya, Vietnam...
    His work is visible on the international scene, with about 270 peer reviewed papers in international journals included in the Web of Science (Science Citation Index Expanded only), with over 8000 citations and an h-index of 48. See at for a bibliography. 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 was published: Sustainability Assessment of Renewables-Based Products: Methods and Case Studies.
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Stefan Eingärtner

Technical Director
  • Stefan Eingärtner
    Stefan started his professional career in the chemical and plastics business of Hoechst AG Frankfurt. After assignments in Japan, France and the US he joined Kalle, a producer of rigid films for packaging and technical applications as sales director. In the joint venture between Kalle and Klöckner, formed in 1996, he held a number of key senior management positions before taking over as MD of the technical films division of Klöckner Pentaplast. In 2007 he decided to set up his own consultancy business. Stefan is involved in the European VinylPlus® programme since 2010.
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Kirsi Ekroth-Manssila

Head of Unit, DG Grow
European Commission
  • Kirsi Ekroth-Manssila
    Kirsi Ekroth-Manssila is the Head of the “Chemicals and Plastics Industries” Unit in the European Commission’s DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. In this function, she is responsible for supporting the competitiveness of the chemicals industry and the further completion of the Internal Market for chemical substances and products. In particular, her
    unit is responsible for the Circular Plastics Alliance and the Plastics Strategy, the Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures (the 'CLP Regulation'), the Directives on Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and product-specific chemical legislation: fertilisers, detergents, pyrotechnics articles, explosives, and drug precursors.
    She has previously managed the “KETs, Digital Manufacturing and Interoperability” unit, the “Clusters and Emerging Industries” Unit and the “Sustainable Industrial Policy and Construction” Unit in the same Directorate-General.
    Since joining the Commission in 1996, Kirsi has worked for several years on SME policy. Her work experience before the Commission includes the banking sector and the paper industry.
    Kirsi holds a Master of Science degree in Economics from the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration.
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Paul Hohnen

Founder and Principal
Sustainability Strategies
  • Paul Hohnen

    Amsterdam-based Paul Hohnen has been a sustainability strategy consultant for two decades. A former diplomat and international lawyer, his clients have included governments, international organisations and corporations. His work with the private sector has been mainly aimed at exploring the opportunities of social, environmental and economic change to re-think business goals, models and strategies. Paul has been closely associated with the VinylPlus® journey, having moderated its Rome (2014), Cannes (2015), Vienna (2016) and Madrid (2018) sustainability events. Paul is currently a consultant to the German Environment Ministry on the preparations for the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM) to be held in Bonn in October 2020.

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Andy Jones

Global Head of Business Unit PVC Additives
  • Andy Jones
    Andy joined Baerlocher’s UK subsidiary in 1991 and spent his early career in technical service, sales management and multinational key account management roles, primarily servicing customers in North West Europe. In 2006, he was appointed Managing Director of Baerlocher UK Limited and continues in this position today. Andy joined the management team in Baerlocher GmbH in Munich in 2009 and in his role as Head of PVC Additives EU/MEA, he has been responsible for steering Baerlocher’s business development from all of its European sites through significant technological change and regional expansion. In 2013, Andy joined the Global Management Committee of the Baerlocher Group as Global Head of the Strategic Business Unit PVC Additives and represents the company on a number of subsidiary boards. 
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Lawrie McLaren

Chairman, Corporate Purpose
Burson Cohn & Wolfe
  • 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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Peter Mrosik

Owner and CEO

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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Vincent Stone

Technical & Environmental Affairs Senior Manager
  • Vincent Stone

    Vincent Stone graduated in Plastics Engineering at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, where he also earned a PhD. He later earned a part-time MBA degree from the Solvay Brussels School Economics & Management. He joined UCB Group (later Cytec Industries) in 1998, where he led several resin and additive development projects for coatings, inks and adhesives applications. He joined in 2010 ArcelorMittal, where he developed and managed a portfolio of pipe coating technology development and testing services for a range of clients along the oil and gas value chain. He then joined in 2015 the Ferro’s Polymer Additives business (later Synegis) where he led the customer and manufacturing support activities, as well as the global product stewardship activities for the benzoate and polyadipate plasticizers portfolios. Since May 2018, he has joined the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM). ECVM delivers a broad range of technical, sustainability, advocacy and communication services to the leading European PVC resin manufacturers. As Technical and Environmental Affairs Senior Manager, he is mainly in charge to develop the activities of the PVC4Pipes platform. He is also actively involved in the Additives and Sustainable Product Label activities of VinylPlus®, the association managing the voluntary sustainability commitment of the PVC value chain.

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Michael Ulbrich

Managing Director, Global Lead for Circular Economy in Chemicals
  • Michael Ulbrich

    Michael is a strategy consulting executive with broad experience in business strategy, commercial and operational excellence. He focuses on chemicals and natural resources. He is very passionate about taking the chemical Industry into the circular economy. He also focuses on deploying analytics/ AI across various enterprise functions within chemicals and natural resources. He is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt.

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Tobias Webb

Innovation Forum
  • 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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2019 Recap

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