Successful continuation of the “Metal Meets” series

Headlining the industries’ hot topic “Green Future”, B&C invited the leaders of the metals industry to re-start face-to-face meetings after a corona-induced break in the last year. To discuss the transformation of the industry towards CO2 neutrality, Metal Meets took place on Feb. 23, 2022, with highly interesting presentations, exciting discussions and good conversations.

Marc Hartmann, Senior Partner at B&C, opened the event. He explained why the topic of climate neutrality is certainly one of the most important challenges for the industry in the next 2-3 decades and addressed the central questions that also guided the presentations and discussions of the day:

  • Stable and affordable technical solutions
  • Availability of sufficient green energy
  • Demand for green-produced metals
  • Regulations that sufficiently protect pioneers on the path to green production
  • Capabilities to accompany and manage such a large change program within the company

Prof. Stefan Lechtenböhmer from the Wuppertal Institute kicked off the event by outlining key points for the steel industry on the road to CO2 neutrality from an economic perspective. In addition, he highlighted the considerable financial dimension of this transformation and the necessary political framework conditions.

Afterwards, Dr. Herbert Eichelkraut, CEO of H.E.B and formerly managing director of HKM GmbH, followed up by describing the technical and energetic requirements for a successful transformation of the industry. He concluded his presentation with an interesting thesis: The steel industry should start a joint project to build up a common raw material base for DRI/HBI, since the supply security of DRI pellets in the required quality and quantity cannot be ensured individually.

The technical requirements for the transformation to climate neutrality was complemented by a presentation from Dennis Becher, CEO of Enplify. In his presentation, Mr. Becher outlined the status quo of the energy industry as well as the challenges on the way to a sustainable energy supply.

The morning session was concluded by focusing on the customer side. Mr. Oliver Santelli, CSO of GMH BU Mobility, took up the question: “Green – The sales argument today and in the future?”. He elaborated on how the demand for green steel in the metal industry could develop in the coming years and how an individual product carbon footprint might serve as an additional pricing parameter.

After a networking lunch break, conference participants were able to contribute their views to the question “Where does the metals industry stand today on the road to CO2 neutrality?” in an online panel study.

In particular, participants were asked to indicate to what extent concrete plans to achieve the climate targets already exist in their company, but also whether the existing funding opportunities are sufficient:

In the subsequent panel discussion, Thomas Perterer (Vice President Operations, Lhoist Germany), Dr. Markus Oles (Head of Carbon2Chem, thyssenkrupp Steel Europe) and Dr. Jens Lauber (Head of BU Colors, Tata Steel Europe) answered Marc Hartmann’s questions:

  • How to successfully organize the path to Green Future in the metals industry?
  • What are the success factors for the (project) organization of the transformation process?
  • What can and still has to be learned from pilot projects for the future set-up of a “green” company?
  • What is the influence of digitalization on a successful green transformation?

The panel discussion was supported by lively participation from the audience, confirming that B&C had succeeded in catching the spirit of the time with its selection of the topic “Green Future”.

In particular, the role of employees on the transformation journey was highlighted: All participants agreed that clear and open communication coupled with the transfer of responsibility for the realization of projects as early as possible is particularly important for a successful transformation. By defining measurable targets and short project durations, employees are involved and can make a recognizable contribution.

The afternoon was rounded off with a presentation by Christian Germeroth, Partner at B&C, who presented a management approach on how uncertainties during the transformation path to a green supply chain can be identified and managed proactively through simulations.

The day ended with exciting discussions to deepen the gained impulses in a convivial round with Kölsch and culinary delights, combined with a fantastic view over the Rhineland from the 27th floor of the KölnSKY.

Attendees-Statements Metal Meets Green Future

„I’d like to thank B&C for a day that excellently summarized all relevant topics for our industry on the road to CO2 neutrality – from political and infrastructural requirements, to the customer perspective, and last but not least to the question which project organization is needed – and provided the opportunity for intensive discussion on that subject.“

Rainer Verhoeven, Chief Financial Officer
Aurubis AG

„Given the innovation leap to come, it is absolutely necessary to have the people with us. This will be a major challenge for all managers and cannot be ignored! I’m happy that this topic – among many others – was also discussed intensively at Metal Meets.“

Carsten Rokitt, Head of Supply Chain Management
thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG

„Metal Meets Green Future perfectly summarized the important key points for the industry’s transformation to carbon neutrality and provided the opportunity for what I consider to be a very valuable exchange in a greatly organized event.“

Dr. Heiko von Hagen, Head of Supply Chain Management
Salzgitter AG

„With this round of Metal Meets, B&C provided an excellent overview on the challenges of the transformation to carbon neutrality for our industry.“

Dr. Lutz Ernenputsch, Member of Management 
Deutsche Edelstahlwerke Services GmbH

„CO2 neutrality is not just a technology issue, but one that requires the involvement of functions within the company to be successfully managed – much alike digitalization. Metal Meets Green Future provided an excellent platform for in-depth discussions.“

Dr. Jens Lauber, Head of Business Unit Colors
Tata Steel

„Metal Meets Green gave a deep insight into the challenges the metal industry is already facing and will face in the coming years. In addition to the presentations, I was also excited by the opportunity to “network” during the event. I will definitely come again next time.“

Thomas Perterer, Vice President Operations
Lhoist Germany

„A very well-organized event with perfectly interlinked contributions – I was able to take away a lot of new insights.“

Martin Kießling, Member of Management
Lech-Stahlwerke GmbH

„I always enjoy joining Metal Meets events because B&C manages to select the most relevant topics in the industry coupled with excellent lectures and speakers – this was once again proven by the topic of transformation to CO2 neutrality. There are a lot of topics that affect the metals family as a whole. Another important aspect are the open discussions, showcasing the views of the individual industries on the subject of CO2.“

Dr. Matthias Simon, Managing Director
Gesamtverband der Deutschen Buntmetallindustrie

„Metal Meets Green Future was particularly exciting for me because it brought together scientific analysis with practice. During the discussions with managers, a wide variety of ideas on how to successfully tackle climate neutrality – from setting up pilot projects to personnel organization and communication – were discussed.“

Prof. Dr. Stefan Lechtenböhmer, Head of Department Zukünftige Energie- und Industriesysteme
Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie GmbH

„Once again, I perceived Metal Meets as an excellently organized industry meeting that promotes the exchange immensely.
The specific topics were, as always, perfectly timed and the different contributions and discussions were and are very valuable for me personally and for Isabellenhütte as a company.“

Jens Hartmann, Head of Business Unit Legierung
Isabellenhütte Heusler GmbH & Co. KG