terratec - for more than 20 years in the exhibition city Leipzig

The terratec trade fair for waste management, circular economy and the protection of environmental resources took place under the auspices of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in the impressive glass hall of the Leipzig Trade Fair from 05 to 07 April 2017.

Founded as a trade fair for the East-West transfer in the western part of the Federal Republic in 1992 and as a counterpart for the major environmental fairs, such as the Entsorga in Cologne or the IFAT in Munich, the Leipzig trade fair asserted its position despite great competition. One main reason for this was its establishment right next to the motorway A 14 in 1996. Following the big rush in the early years when Leipzig turned into the gateway to the West, in particular for the East European countries, and when Western companies saw great opportunities to establish contacts and to set up businesses, the numbers of exhibitors and visitors declined considerably. However, visiting the fair is still worthwhile, as last year’s 3000 professional visitors demonstrated. Above all, due to the realignment as a meeting point for waste management, circular economy and resource management and with the streamlined profile resulting from it, a successful restart was possible.

Appealing exhibition area

The focus of the trade fair was on the concepts and measures for an efficient and sustainable resource and circular management. Among the 128 mainly German exhibitors, even some foreign companies and institutions active in the field of waste and recycling took part. Renowned companies, such as the Max Aichinger Umwelt GmbH, Meitingen (project office Schkopau) or the MVV Umwelt GmbH, Mannheim, but also plant, machine, and equipment manufacturers, as the THM recycling und solution GmbH, Heimsheim or the Pumpenfabrik Wangen GmbH, Wangen presented their products and services. Many research facilities took the opportunity to show their competences and to arouse the companies’ interest in the realization of their ideas, for example, the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, the TU Hamburg or the TU Dresden. However, even institutions acting on an international or national level, such as the ISWA - the International Solid Waste Association, the VKU - Verband kommunaler Unternehmen (German Association of Local Utilities), waste management division and the Stadtreinigung VKS, Berlin, the DGAW - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Abfallwirtschaft (German Association for Waste Management), Berlin, the InwesD - Interessengemeinschaft Deutsche Deponiebetreiber, Cologne, or the ITAD – Interessengemeinschaft der Thermischen Abfallbehandlungsanlagen in Germany, Düsseldorf,  showed their professional expertise and informed visitors about their current projects. Furthermore, also the initiative “Research for the Future” and the Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung UFZ, Leipzig were among the exhibitors.

Versatile and current scientific program

The trade exhibition was accompanied by two open panels, which took place directly in the glass hall of the exhibition center where they became an integral part of the event. The topics of the lectures were complex and ranged from the presentation of companies that use recycling products to the energy change in France and the related opportunities for German companies.

The agenda of the professional program also included many recycling topics, such as the problematic recycling of carbon fiber reinforced waste material, the gap between expectations and reality of end-of-life vehicle recycling or the phosphorus and energy recovery from sewage sludge, to name but a few. The main actors were the DGAW, the VKU, ISWA, Vienna and the ITAD.

International benchmarks set by Green Ventures

This year again, the „Green Ventures“, Germany’s largest cooperation exchange for energy and environmental technology, which was hosted by the Potsdam Chamber of Industry and Commerce was embedded in the terratec, with Japan as this year’s partner country.

The event which took place within the framework of the terratec for the fourth time celebrated its 20th anniversary. This year, the organizer hosted guests from 30 nations, among them Central America, Great Britain, Poland, Finland and the Ukraine. The representatives from Japan took the opportunity to present their country to the participants of the international business meeting. Within the context of a round-table event held in the form of a seminar, the possibilities for entering the Japanese market and for business start-ups in Japan were presented, the energy and environmental sector was discussed and information on strengths and opportunities in this country were provided.

Conclusion

Although today, after the heights of previous years, terratec bears strong regional characteristics, it is still an excellent industry platform for all those dealing with resources and circular management in the broadest sense. Last but not least, this is reflected in the result of a study: 93 % of the exhibitors emphasized the high quality of the contacts made and conversations held on the spot, and 86 % said they had reached their goal and were glad to return again. This impression was confirmed in personal conversations.

Markus Geisenberger, Managing Director of the Leipziger Messe, logically concluded: “The realignment of the terratec and the resulting enhancement of the event profile met with positive feedback in the industry. As a communication platform with an appealing exhibition area and high expertise in the scientific program, the new industry meeting point was successfully established and clearly illustrated its benefits for disposal management, circular economy and resource management.” (Announcement of the Leipzig Fair from 07 April 2017) The next terratec is scheduled from 03 to 05 April 2019.

Author/Autor

Dr. Brigitte Hoffmann, Consulting Kreislaufwirtschaft/Umweltschutz, Oberschöna

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