What will it take to transform industries, the engines of European wealth creation, for the age of sustainability and a circular economy?
“For me, ‘Rewiring Industry’ is really the perfect title” for the session, Ilka Horstmeier says. “We could also call it ‘The Perfect Storm’. I haven’t experienced such a transformation in the 30 years of my career in the automotive industry.”
For BMW, it’s “pretty clear what our mission is”, Horstmeier continues. “We want to sustain individual, joyful mobility for our customers. We have to make it more human, more intelligent and of course more sustainable.”
The chemical industry is also facing a transformation towards green and circular practices – which is “a challenge per se”, Melanie Maas-Brunner notes.
“Chemistry, chemical production needs heat, needs energy”, she says. “We are the biggest user of electricity and gas in Germany. For that reason we have to bring down our CO2 footprint to make this environmentally sustainable.”
Collaboration will be key to success, all participants agree. At the same time, change opens the door to new opportunities.
“Circularity helps us to increase our competitiveness and our resilience with regard to critical raw materials, and it helps us to be more attractive for talent”, Ilka Horstmeier says. “We can disconnect growth from resource consumption. And I think this is really the key.”