Review: General Assembly Meeting Gütegemeinschaft and QKE

On May 11, 2023, around 50 members, partners and media representatives gathered at the Dorint Hotel in Halle an der Saale for the joint general meeting of the two associations. In addition, online participants also followed the half-day event.

The meeting of GKFP and QKE was divided into a public and an internal part.

The presentations in the public part in the morning focused on three different topics that will affect our industry now and in the future. For example, geopolitical developments in Asia and their impact on supply chains were on the agenda, as well as the two sustainability topics dealing with resource-efficient buildings and new recycling technologies.

The event was opened by Patrick Seitz, Chairman of the Board of QKE.

He was followed by a presentation by Thomas Drinkuth (Representative Office Transparent Building Envelope). Mr. Drinkuth spoke about "minimum energy standards for existing buildings" and about the current political debate demanding that more needs to be done in building renovation. In his digital presentation, he explained the reasons for the impending building crisis and backed up RTG's call for strong political support to stimulate new construction. The same applies to renovation construction, he said. In this context, the Building Energy Act deserves special attention.

Dr. Karl Waldkirch, Managing Director of ASC, Asia Success Company described in his presentation the development of the Asian market as well as the geopolitical and economic conditions. He also provided background information on socio-demographic change and its impact on Asia's economic development. Roles have changed over the years. China is now a global investor and is becoming increasingly independent of foreign investment. Consequently, those who want to invest in Asia need to understand the local markets and pay attention to the cultural conditions. Access to local markets is usually through bridgeheads, such as Vietnam. He also contrasted globalization and de-globalization and spoke about long-term difficulties, especially in supply chains, if countermeasures are not taken here.

In the third presentation, Florian Riedel of APK AG) introduced Newcycling, a novel physical recycling process developed by APK. It can be used to produce high-quality plastic recyclates, which are obtained by means of solution-based recycling, as an alternative to chemical recycling. He compared the chemical and physical recycling methods, describing the recycling process and procedure from initial recycling tests to the development of the industrial solution to achieve an optimal  result. The advantage of the Newcycling process is that the polymers are dissolved while the chains are preserved. Furthermore, he held out the prospect of APK applying the process to PVC. In response to a question from the audience, he confirmed that the process certainly has the potential to remove heavy metals as well.

After the lunch break, the internal part of the meeting began for reporting as well as voting and clarification of regulations and formalities. Only members of QKE and the Quality Association had access to this part. Among other things, it was decided to rename the QKE to EPPA Germany with the aim of simplifying the association structure and representing the industry from now on by a strong industry association EPPA and a strong quality association. For this purpose, the quality association wants to work out the content-related orientation in a strategy workshop, which is to take place at the end of October.

The complete presentations as well as the presentation on the general meeting of the quality association and the quality association can be found in the password-protected member area.