Sustainability and recycling are playing an increasingly important role in the plastics industry. As a climate protection company, the SKZ Plastics Center has now expanded its activities in this area and established a separate department with research and education topics.
As an important part of the global economy, the plastics industry is also undergoing a process of transformation to ensure a future worth living in Germany and beyond. The Green Deal, the Circular Economy Action Plan and numerous national targets, for example in climate protection, specify the requirements. In many cooperation projects with the plastics industry, SKZ has successfully expanded its expertise in the diverse topics of sustainability and the circular economy. The establishment of a dedicated division is the logical next step.
Sustainability research group established in 2005
The development of an environmentally and resource friendly plastics industry has long been a high priority at SKZ. The Würzburg-based institute was a pioneer in this field with the establishment of a sustainability research group in 2005. The team has built up a great deal of expertise, particularly in the areas of life cycle assessment, increasing energy efficiency in plastics processing and sustainability management.
Strong focus on circular economy
Due to the strong focus on the circular economy in recent years, the focus has expanded to include areas such as the development of design for recycling tools, scientific support for digital platforms in the circular economy, and the creation of fundamental analysis on the transformation of the plastics industry.
"We are very pleased with the tremendous response from our customers, members and partners and want to ensure the future viability of the plastics industry by expanding our activities in our own area of sustainability and circular economy", says Dr. Benjamin Baudrit, Deputy Managing Director Research and Education at SKZ.
New division consists of two operational research groups
The new division is divided into two operational groups. With the Transformation of the Plastics Industry research group, SKZ is focusing on holistic change. The aim is to play a visionary role in shaping the future of plastics production and use. SKZ's expertise is being bundled for this purpose. In research projects and services, the group supports companies in the plastics industry in the transformation of their processes towards climate neutrality, the establishment of circular (digital) business models, the implementation of energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable raw materials.
Providing sound evidence on the environmental impact of plastic products
Through the Sustainable and Circular Products research group, SKZ helps companies in the plastics industry find specific solutions for their products. Scientists with many years of experience are also available to provide sound evidence on the environmental impact of plastic products. Through research projects and services, the group supports the reduction of the environmental impact of plastic products, the preparation of carbon footprints and life cycle assessments, the development of design for sustainability solutions and the development of sustainability criteria for products.
Developing topics in an even more "targeted" manner
"With our new structure and the bundling of our expertise, we want to develop individual topics in an even more targeted manner and build up specific expertise among our employees in permanent teams", explains Dr. Hermann Achenbach, Head of Sustainability and Circular Economy. The new department has ten employees. In addition to research and development, the program already includes training activities to enable customers to drive forward issues such as energy conservation, climate protection and the environmental assessment of their products.