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16/09/2015

“The Petrochemical industry used to be seen as bringing pollution, but is now at the forefront of bringing solutions for a cleaner future”

Chemical industry meets in Berlin to discuss topics of business, cooperation, diversity, energy and talent development

Brussels/Berlin, Oct 16th 2015. Once again the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) held its now 49th Annual Meeting for its company members in Berlin. The theme of this year’s edition, “Hydrocarbons and the Chemical Industry: Shaping a Better World Together”, featured throughout the different sessions, which included captains of industry as well as speakers with global reach such as Bertrand Piccard, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Daniel Yergin and Gillian Tett.


The EPCA Annual Meeting brought together approximately 2,850 delegates from around the globe including executives, board members and other high-ranking guests from some of the biggest companies worldwide including ExxonMobil Shell and Total as well as German chemical giants BASF, Evonik or Lanxess. During the four-day meeting several sessions gave the opportunity to discuss trending topics that move the industry. Dr. Mirjam Mayer of McKinsey & Company demonstrated in the Diversity and Gender inclusion session how diversity can improve the business success of modern companies, especially within the petrochemical industry. At this point Gillian Tett, Managing Director and Columnist at Financial Times US underlines Mayer’s point and stresses the importance of diversity: “tunnel vision is deadly for companies and one of the best ways to combat that is to have diversity and different points of view”.


Other sessions dealt with the important link between oil and the chemical industry to enable sustainable solutions for all. How to deal with oil price volatility and the supply chain was answered as well. Another highlight was the education session of Bertrand Piccard whose current project – a circumnavigation with a solar powered air plane – is based on achievements of chemical research and development. “The Petrochemical industry used to be seen as bringing pollution, but is now at the forefront of bringing solutions for a cleaner future”, states Bertrand Piccard and points out that without the chemical industry, his project would not be possible.


Stressing this point, Philippe Sauquet, President Refining & Chemicals, Member of the Executive Committee, Total, added “renewables are growing but oil is still key to the energy mix with fossil energies representing more than 70% of energy supplies by 2040”. Petroleum derivatives and the chemical industry will continue to be a big supporter of the daily lifestyle and help to shape a better future.


Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former NATO secretary general and geopolitical expert, held the closing part of the lecture program of the Annual meeting. He gave precious insights in geopolitical developments and how they affect the chemical industry.


Unique global networking event in Europe for the chemical business
community

As one of the most important and frequented meetings of the chemical business, the event is widely used as a networking platform. Facilitated by a variety of activities the delegates had a lot of opportunities to talk about the latest trends in the business, the future of the industry and common challenges.


This 49th EPCA Annual Meeting was a successful opportunity for EPCA member delegates to hear from high-level and thought provoking speakers and to meet inEurope with their peers from the global chemical business community.


Next year, EPCA will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with the Annual Meeting being held in Budapest, Hungary from 1st – 5th October 2016.


EPCA’s commitment to STEM-education
EPCA has made it a priority project to inspire young people and foster their interest in the sciences. As part of this engagement for STEM, EPCA created a series of education films whereof the third one “Petro & Chemistry: Partnership for a Better Life” was launched in the run-up of the annual meeting during the mini-MARATHON in Berlin. The computer-generated animation film – unique for the petrochemical industry – shows how our daily lives rely on petroleum derivatives and the chemical industry in one way or another, all of which with respect of sustainable development principles.


EPCA also acted as the official partner of the mini-MARATHON which took place on September, 26th in Berlin, where more than 10,000 kids took up the challenge of a 4.2195 km long run. The two fastest runners of the mini-MARATHON were presented with their winner’s prizes awarded by EPCA Secretary General, Cathy Demeestere.



Picture Captions

[Picture: epca_annual_meeting_piccard]
Inspiring speech by Bertrand Piccard, President and Initiator of the Solar Impulse Project.
Picture source: EPCA


[Picture: epca_annual_meeting_piccard]
Inspiring speech by Bertrand Piccard, President and Initiator of the Solar Impulse Project.
Picture source: EPCA


[Picture: Berlin mini-MARATHON, 26.09.2015]
Moritz and Marie Horn, fastest runners of the mini-MARATHON presented with their
winners prizes awarded by EPCA Secretary General, Cathy Demeestere.
Picture source: EPCA


About EPCA

Based in Brussels, 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 54 different countries. EPCA provides a platform to meet, exchange information and transfer learning, and serves as a think tank for its members and stakeholders. EPCA promotes STEM education, with a clear focus on gender and diversity inclusion. EPCA also underscores that the chemical industry is a good industry to work for.

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