Helga Zollner-Croll

Prof. Dr Helga Zollner-Croll, chairwoman of the ZELLCHEMING Association.

In this edition of the Spotlight, Packaging Europe spoke to Prof. Dr Helga Zollner-Croll, chairwoman of the ZELLCHEMING Association, and her deputy Dr.-Ing. Frank Meltzer about the event, which will take place from 18 to 20 June 2024, at the RheinMain CongressCenter (RMCC) in Wiesbaden.

In your words, what makes the ZELLCHEMING-Expo special, and why is it relevant?

Helga Zollner-Croll: Our trade fair provides information and contributions to discussions on the latest developments in the European pulp and paper industry and its suppliers. The Expo takes place in Germany, the main production location for this industry within the EU.

We offer a platform for the professional exchange of technology users and suppliers across the entire value chain and form the bridge between engineering expertise, pilot projects and commercial application. The ZELLCHEMING-Expo is always a showcase for the optimal use of valuable natural resources.

The specialist congress will once again focus on the topic of sustainability. How do you manage to give this perennial topic its own approach?

Zollner-Croll: According to a recent report by the Zukunftsinstitut, no other megatrend triggers such fierce debates as the issue of sustainable consumption, resource conservation and energy supply. Apparently, it is becoming increasingly clear that efficiency is the path to green prosperity and economic stability. While sustainable consumption was a driver for the markets at the beginning of the century, pragmatic, holistic thinking is now taking its place, the researchers say.

ZELLCHEMING has recognized the signs of the times: after I took office, the topic of sustainability was placed directly on the association’s board, and we are now in the process of dovetailing it with the work of the technical specialist committees.

What are you planning for the ZELLCHEMING Forum on the first day of the Expo?

Zollner-Croll: Our opening panel is titled ‘The paper and fibre-based industry on the way to climate-neutral production - political framework conditions, successful investment projects and promising prospects!’

The panellists include Dr Uwe Knotzer, managing partner of Knauf KG; Dr Markus Wildberger, corporate director of Technology at Koehler Paper; Jessica Nordin of Södra; Michail Ginsburg from OutNature/Schwarz Gruppe; and Hans-Christoph Gallenkamp, CEO of Felix Schoeller and president of the Federal Association of the German Paper Industry.

The framework will be set by Dr Ekkehard Griep, federal chairman of the German Association for the United Nations (the DGVN) - he will describe where we stand at the halfway point on the way to the 17 sustainability goals of the United Nations Agenda 2030.

Frank Meltzer

Frank Meltzer, deputy chairman of the ZELLCHEMING Association

What other highlights will attract visitors to the trade fair?

Frank Meltzer: The topic of sustainability will continue to be a recurring theme throughout the event. For example, ZELLCHEMING’s Technical Committee DATA will take a closer look at the practical aspects of sustainability and explain the impact of new EU directives about documentation.

The CO2 footprint of the products that our industry manufactures is becoming increasingly important. Customers are demanding more transparency and digital tools are well suited to meet this growing demand. The session will present different perspectives and show concrete solutions.

Zollner-Croll: Start-ups will also be increasingly involved in the ZELLCHEMING-Expo. Previously, they were only represented as exhibitors and speakers in the lecture program, but now they will play a greater role in the so-called Start-up Flash.

Prof. Dr Markus Biesalski from TU Darmstadt, also main committee chairman of ZELLCHEMING, will lead the format with entertaining presentations and audience participation. Innovative materials, products, and processes relevant to the industry will be presented and - as always - intensive networking between speakers and the audience will be facilitated.

Visitors and exhibitors can find out more about the event on the website: https://www.zellcheming.de/en/events/zellcheming-expo.

This content was sponsored by Zellcheming.