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ALUMINIUM Business Summit: Start of a new era

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Author: Editorial Office

ALUMINIUM Business Summit: Start of a new era

08.09.2021. The industry is undergoing a transformation process. Ecological goals and targets, new rules of the game on international markets, new forms of mobility, rapid digitalisation. All of these are also massively affecting the aluminium industry. The ALUMINIUM Business Summit will accompany the industry in tackling the biggest challenges constructively and proactively.

“Shaping a new Industrial Era” – this is the title of the first ALUMINIUM Business Summit on 28 and 29 September 2021 at the Altes Stahlwerk in Düsseldorf. The new, hybrid format is the result of collaboration between ALUMINIUM, Aluminium Deutschland, the CRU Group and European Aluminium. Visitors can expect – on site or via live stream – a packed program with experts presenting and discussing current and visionary topics on four central themes: mobility, sustainability, digitalisation and market development.

Mobility: Where is the journey heading?

The mobility revolution affects the automotive and aluminium industries alike. Speakers from the heart of the automotive industry will provide insights into current events at the ALUMINIUM Business Summit.

Alois Winkler, Project Manager in Strategic Purchasing at Audi, will explain what role aluminium will play in the future at the premium manufacturer – and the considerations behind it. Blanca Lenczowski, materials technology expert at Airbus Germany, will address the question of how sustainable materials will change the aerospace industry. Manuel Kallweit, Head of Economic Intelligence & Economics Department at the VDA, talks about the automotive industry’s responses to the disruptive developments we are currently experiencing.

Digitalisation: Managing the transformation

The boost that the digitalisation pandemic has given will help to sustainably accelerate the process that began long ago – also and especially in industry. Ridding the term “digitalisation” of its arbitrariness is one of the concerns of André E. Barten, CEO of Achenbach Buschhütten. Barten will explain in more detail at the summit why the topics of lean, green and digital form an inseparable unit.

Mike Goertz, Sales Enterprise Software DACH at ABB Germany, will address the question of how artificial intelligence can help meet the challenges of digital transformation. And what the future of a completely automated company might look like is the topic of Jonas Moßler, CEO of SUSI & James.

Sustainability: Big plans

A cross-cutting theme is sustainability. A topic that none of the speakers and discussants are likely to get around. “The aluminium industry is in a period of transformation. Sustainability is driving technological developments in primary and secondary markets, new demand applications, product development and changes in China’s position in export markets,” says CRU’s Dominic Halahan.

The ALUMINIUM Business Summit is therefore also dedicated to the topics of sustainability and the international markets. Experts such as Serge Gaudin, Director Sustainability & Strategy at Novelis, will show how recycled aluminium has become a key factor in the circular economy and decarbonisation.

Sustainability expert Carsten Gerhardt from Kearney presents the “Circular Valley”. This is an initiative that aims to create a “Silicon Valley” for circular value creation in the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.

Circular economy is also the topic of Claudia Bierth. The sustainability manager at Ball Beverage Packaging Europe talks about the increasing importance of the aluminium can as a sustainable, circular packaging. And about a topic that is likely to increasingly occupy the industry: How do you deal with composite packaging, how do you manage to separate the components, recycle them and thus turn them back into components of equivalent products?

Markets: Industrial policy in focus

Last but not least, the ALUMINIUM Business Summit will also address the role and future of the European aluminum industry per se. “Aluminium is one of the most important materials for Europe’s transition to a carbon-neutral and circular economy,” says Gerd Götz, Director General of European Aluminium. “Our contribution to climate protection and sustainability is always influenced by political framework conditions.”

The Summit will therefore focus on the impact of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) on the aluminium industry, as well as on the role of efficient take-back and sorting structures in achieving new, even higher recycling targets. Ken Ash, consultant and Visiting Fellow at the Institute for International Trade at the University of Adelaide, will devote special attention to the topic of CBAM.

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