After four busy days of business sessions and meetings by members of the global chemical business community, the EPCA 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting has concluded with its annual closing lunch featuring Herman Van Rompuy, former President of the European Council (2009-2014) who outlined his views on the future with all the influences globalisation is having on the world, and what that means for Europe.
The EPCA 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting was, as usual, punctuated by several Business Sessions covering the key issues of concern for the industry both today and tomorrow amongst the thousands of individual meetings that have taken place between delegates from the EPCA company members of the global chemical business community. On Sunday the 2nd of October 2016, EPCA hosted the Final debate of the European Youth Debating Competition (EYDC) which brought together 30 pre-selected winners from across 9 European countries. The 16-19 year old students debated around the theme "How would you imagine your future – with or without the petrochemical industry and plastics?", thereby challenging both public perceptions and the industry. The students delivered well thought out speeches with innovative arguments, astonishing an audience of industry experts.
The opening business session on Monday (03.10.2016) morning tackled the theme “50 Years of Global Chemical Industry Evolution: What’s Next?”. It brought together Dr. Martin Brudermüller, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors & Chief Technology Officer, BASF SE; Thierry Le Hénaff, Chairman & CEO, Arkema and Bob Patel, CEO & Chairman of the Management Board LyondellBasell. Together they broke down the upcoming issues facing the petrochemical industry. The development of digitalization which will bring untold optimization and efficiency of processes leading to more sustainability; emerging markets shifting global demand as well as innovation which remains the competitive advantage for Europe were put at the forefront. The speakers strongly agreed that amongst all keys to success, the adoption of an adaptable and flexible mind-set open to cooperation is paramount.
Continuing its work over the past two years, EPCA had its third Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) session “Diversity Inclusion: Key to Business Success between Now and 2040”.
During this session, Nathalie Brunelle, the Chairperson of the EPCA Talent & Diversity Inclusion Council (TDIC), as well as General Secretary, Total Refining & Chemicals introduced the session referring to the trailblazing work of the International Dual Careers Network (IDCN). The latter facilitates the job-search for mobile employees’ partners and provides its member companies with access to a turnkey pool of talent in corporations across multiple sectors. Eelco Hoekstra, Chairman & CEO of Royal Vopak, a company celebrating its 400-year anniversary, discussed and presented his company’s efforts in developing D&I practices and the reasons why Royal Vopak signed the World Economic Forum “Call to Action Charter”. The aim is to improve the participation rate and development of women in their organization. Accenture shared information on EPCA members’ D&I best practices, whilst Prof. Stefan Gröschl, Professor Department Management, ESSEC Business School emphasised the importance of alignment of D&I initiatives with corporate strategic goals and of creating teams to implement these initiatives with full commitment to these goals through cooperation.
Lastly, the Tuesday morning (04.10.2016) session “50 Years of Chemical Logistics and Supply Chain Evolution: What’s Next?” brought CEO’s of leading logistics providers companies Essa Al-Saleh, President & CEO of Agility Global Integrated Logistics, and Hans-Jörg Bertschi, President & CEO, Bertschi Group, and member of the EPCA Executive Committee & Board of Directors. They were joined by Peter Marshall, Logistics director for Europe, Middle East, Africa & India (EMEAI) at DOW and Dirk Jan de With, Chief Procurement Officer for Covestro Deutschland AG. These high level speakers were challenged by Patrick Dixon, Futurist and Business Thinker, Chairman of the Global Change Ltd. Together they tackled the pressing upcoming trends for improving the efficiency of transportation and handling of goods across the globe and the solutions to these challenges.
The overarching message of cooperation and innovation in the global chemical business community underscored that this industry in Europe has the opportunity to utilize its technology & innovation capacity, strong & energy efficient asset base as well as its knowledgeable people to face the current and upcoming global challenges whilst continuing to develop sustainable solutions. The same message was conveyed in the EPCA History Book “Petrochemicals & EPCA: A Passionate Journey” distributed to delegates of the event, showing the huge evolution of this industry over the past 50 years, preparing for a bright future.
04.10.2016 Tom Crotty, Director of Ineos Group and President of EPCA thanks delegates
during the closing lunch for making this one of the best Annual Meetings yet.
As per tradition, the delegates eagerly awaited the location of the 51st EPCA Annual Meeting
which was announced during the closing lunch as being in Berlin (30th September – 3rd October 2017).
Students of the European Youth Debating Competition (EYDC) attend the EPCA 50th
Anniversary Annual Meeting (1-4 October 2016) Business Sessions with great enthusiasm
04.10.2016 Patrick Dixon, Futurist and Business Thinker, Chairman, The Global Change Ltd.
wowing the crowd with his analysis of the current world, and his predictions for the future during the
“50 Years of Chemical Logistics and Supply Chain Evolution: What’s Next?” session,
also attended by Herman Van Rompuy, former President of the European Council (2009-2014)
The European Petrochemical Association (EPCA)
EPCA is the quality network in Europe for the global chemical business community consisting of chemical producers, their suppliers, customers and
service providers. It operates for and through more than 700 member companies from 53 different countries that represent an aggregate turnover of over €4.4
trillion and employing over 5.6 million people. EPCA serves as the platform to meet, exchange information and transfer learning, as well as a think tank
for its members and its stakeholders.
PlasticsEurope is one of the leading European trade associations with centres in Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan and Paris. We are networking
with European and national plastics associations and have more than 100 member companies, producing over 90% of all polymers across the EU28 member
states plus Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.