IFAT | What impetus do you expect from the national circular economy strategy contained in the coalition agreement of the new German government?
Clemens | Basically, the VDMA is committed to the goal of establishing a mixture of innovation-driven improvements, common standards for sustainable product design and a well-functioning secondary raw materials market. We want to reward companies for circular innovations and provide inspiration and solutions for a sustainable, forward-thinking and functional circular economy. The framework and a circular economy concept should therefore be open and work towards global approaches. As an industry, mechanical and plant engineering operates on global markets and is thus part of complex value chains. The sector's direct contribution to the circular economy derives from the provision of technological solutions to environmental challenges. This involves designing durable and resource-efficient products as well as optimizing our own production sites and processes.
IFAT | What role can the European Green Deal play for the water industry?
Clemens | By publishing the European Green Deal, the EU Commission has set itself the overarching goal of making Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The VDMA believes that striving for an expansion and more consistent implementation of the circular economy is a key element in achieving this goal. The same applies to increasing resource efficiency and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Engineering and technologies are a key factor in achieving these objectives, which is why we regard the European Green Deal as a catalyst for the further development of the environmental technology sector.
IFAT | What importance do you attach to IFAT Munich 2022?
Clemens | IFAT Munich is the world's leading trade fair for presenting the most innovative environmental technologies. Here, with us in Germany. Technologically, the products of our exhibiting member companies of the mechanical and plant engineering industry are at the top level. IFAT Munich's mission is to prsent these and to signal to the world that innovative solutions and products are available to meet global challenges in the environmental sector. I am therefore very excited about the showcase for our industry, especially after the 2020 show had to be cancelled due to pandemic.