Dr. Bourdon: As an argument, sustainability has lost none of its force. In the US, shale gas extraction has produced euphoria on a grand scale. Energy prices really have fallen quite considerably there. It remains to be seen just how long the upbeat mood will last. Basically, we would all be well advised to use resources as sparingly as possible. That has always been the case.
But sustainability is a relatively new concept.
Dr. Bourdon: The world's population is growing very fast, but natural resources are not keeping pace. That has made the issue more pressing. On the other hand we have to recognise that we now have the technology to do things we thought impossible in the past. We are now better off than we used to be because technology has improved.
Key question: Why is the Blue Competence Initiative important for you?
Dr. Bourdon: The VDMA Blue Competence Initiative points in the same direction as our own, which we used to call BluePower. We are convinced that German and Central European manufacturers of plastics machinery were trailblazers when it comes to sustainability and should remain so. Blue Competence allows us to demonstrate that we have state-of-the-art systems across the board, especially as regards sustainability. Blue Competence is not aimed at a particular industry or even directly at our customers. They already know that we offer sustainable solutions. The target is rather the public at large. It is about improving our industry’s image. With this initiative we are showing that we as machinery manufacturers have always been making our contribution to the efficient production of sustainable plastic parts, for example by developing plants for the manufacture of energy-saving lightweight components.
The public often equates plastics with waste. That creates a bad image. With Blue Competence we are in fact showing that plastics bring sustainability into everyday life. The Initiative will have a powerful knock-on effect and will further strengthen German machinery manufacturing on the international stage.