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Vienna 8th October

Europe’s largest gathering of the global petrochemical business community takes place in Vienna - the EPCA 52nd Annual Meeting

Conference theme:
"Petrochemicals and the Low-Carbon Economy: Versatile Solutions for Greater Sustainability"

Brussels/Vienna, 8th October 2018. The largest gathering of the global petrochemical business community is taking place in Vienna between the
7th and the 10th of October, bringing together more than 2,700 delegates from all over the world. The theme of this year’s Annual Meeting is
"Petrochemicals and the Low-Carbon Economy: Versatile Solutions for Greater Sustainability". The delegates will hear from diverse thought provoking speakers, exchange views with their peers and stay abreast of innovative practices.
 At the 52nd EPCA Annual Meeting which is themed “Petrochemicals and the Low-Carbon Economy: Versatile Solutions for Greater Sustainability”, Captains of Industry together with reputable speakers from the civil society, academia and consultancy will look at how the petrochemical industry contributes to the transition towards a low-carbon economy, providing innovative and sustainable solutions in cooperation with its suppliers, customers and other stakeholders that support smart cities, smart mobility and climate-resilient society at large.
More than 2,700 representatives of member companies, from 54 different countries, are attending the 52nd Annual Meetings in Vienna. They are opinion makers, business leaders, executive directors, CEO’s or owners of the companies they work for.
On Tuesday 9th October the Opening Session themed “Systemic Solutions to Energy-Efficient and Climate-Resilient Cities", will be officially launched by EPCA President Marc Schuller, Executive Vice President, ARKEMA FRANCE. During this session, Carlo F. Ratti, Director MIT Senseable City Lab, Founding Partner of CARLO RATTI ASSOCIATI, Saori Dubourg, Member of the Board of Executive Directors, Responsible for Crop Protection, Construction and Chemicals, Bioscience Research as well as the region Europe at BASF SE and Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan, Vice Chairman & CEO of SABIC will discuss the challenges and opportunities that the transition to a low-carbon economy can generate in terms of changes in business models, diversification of energy and feedstock sources, development of innovative processes as well as changes in culture and mindset.
On Tuesday afternoon the Talent & Diversity session, themed “Talent & Diversity, Essential Elements to be a Sustainable, Innovative & Attractive Employer” will explore topics related to Talents & Skills and Employer Branding. The Keynote Address will be delivered by Dr. Wayne Visser, Holder of the BASF-Port of Antwerp-Randstad Chair in Sustainable Transformation at ANTWERP MANAGEMENT SCHOOL. For the panel debate, Nathalie Brunelle, Chairperson of the EPCA Talent and Diversity Council (TDIC) and Senior Vice President Corporate Affairs, TOTAL PETROCHEMICALS & REFINING will be joined by Dr. Wayne Visser, Frederika Tielenius Kruythoff, Managing Director, Senior Client Partner EMEA Chemical and Agri practice, KORN FERRY EXECUTIVE SEARCH NETHERLANDS and two representatives of the petrochemical industry at the dawn of their careers; Gabriella Isidro, Business Development Manager, INEOS OLEFINS & POLYMERS Europe North, and Charlotte Fryer, Digital & Social Media Strategy Adviser, SHELL.
On Wednesday 10th October 2018 in the morning the Logistics and Supply Chain Session will tackle the theme of “Innovation and Innovative Concepts for a more Sustainable Supply Chain “. After the welcome address by Johan Devos, Chairperson of EPCA Supply Chain Program Committee (SCPC) and Sales Director Europe, BERTSCHI AG, a discussion will take place between Prof. Yossi Sheffi, Elisha Gray II Professor of Engineering Systems at MIT, author of “Balancing Green. When to Embrace Sustainability in a Business (And When Not To)” and Director of the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics, Jörg Erdmann, Senior Director of Sustainability Management, HAPAG-LLOYD and Dr. Christoph Gürtler, Head of Catalysis & Technology Incubation, COVESTRO DEUTSCHLAND AG.
For the Closing Lunch with Keynote Address, EPCA is honoured to welcome Professor Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy during the first term of Barack Obama’s Presidency, Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist and Professor at Stanford University. The theme of his Keynote Address will be “Challenges and Opportunities in solving the climate change challenge.
Commitment for the future: the European Youth Debating Competition (EYDC)
On Monday afternoon the delegates get the chance to meet, support and get inspired by the new generation. For the third time, this European wide debate is organised jointly by the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) and PlasticsEurope, one of the leading European trade associations. The theme of this year’s EYDC competition is: “Living, Learning, working and moving in Smart Cities of the future: with or without plastics and petrochemicals?” The debaters are invited to research and discover industry-linked topics which might be new to them and to learn about expressing themselves in a convincing way. For the petrochemical and plastic industries, it is an opportunity to connect with the new generation, to listen and learn about their views. Beyond the importance of promoting STEM education, EPCA and PlasticsEurope are convinced that empowering students with soft skills can certainly help them in their future careers, irrespective of their role or paths.

“People underestimate how refreshing it is to listen to young people”
EPCA President Marc Schuller, Executive Vice President, Arkema France

Some 30 previously selected finalists from the nine National Finals represent their countries. Among the 10 winners of the European Finals, the top 5 will be rewarded by Professor Steven Chu during the Closing Lunch on Wednesday 10th October.

For the third time, the EYDC is organised jointly by EPCA and PlasticsEurope. This year the European Finals took place on the 8th of October afternoon in the framework of the 52nd EPCA Annual Meeting.                   
                                                                                                          Picture source: EPCA
To learn more about EPCA and its education initiatives, please visit:

Based in Brussels, EPCA is the primary European Business Network for the global petrochemical business community consisting of chemical producers, their suppliers, customers and service providers. It operates for and through more than 700-member companies from 54 different countries that represent an aggregate turnover of over €4.7 trillion and employing over 6.2 million people. EPCA organises conferences and events in Europe offering members all over the world the opportunity to meet industry leaders and selected external stakeholders and stay abreast of international market developments as well as technological and societal trends. EPCA also supports members on specific topics that underpin the sustainable development of the global petrochemical industry by developing knowledge via research projects with external partners (e.g. academic institutions and consultancies).




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