Blue Competence, the sustainability initiative launched three years ago by the VDMA German Engineering Federation is now also supported by the plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers association. With nearly 40 machinery companies in the sector having already joined the initiative, it seems clear that sustainability, albeit blue instead of green, has struck a chord in the machinery sector.
But why only now? The official answer: the time was ripe, with this year's Fakuma trade fair offered a perfect opportunity. The unofficial answer, as it later appeared, was a horse of a different color.
The industry launch was accompanied by a panel discussion, mediated by Thorsten Kühmann, the association's managing director, between heavyweight VDMA members Karlheinz Bourdon (KraussMaffei), Ulrich Reifenhäuser (Chairman of the Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association and managing director Reifenhäuser Group Company), Peter Neumann (Engel) and Helmut Heinson (managing director Arburg), all of whom were asked about their reason joining the initiative and, more fundamentally, what sustainability meant to them and their companies....