IFAT : IFAT's Philipp Eisenmann: “IFAT Munich provides the network to drive sustainable transformation”

IFAT 2018 WB 0954
© Messe München GmbH

After its Covid-related cancellation two years ago, IFAT is returning to Munich this year. Visitors can expect not only an unparalleled exhibition, but also a comprehensive supporting programme on water, sewage, waste and raw materials management, Exhibition Director Philipp Eisenmann tells Waste Management World.

Can you tell us a little bit about IFAT and your role in a cleaner, healthier planet? What are your ambitions for the upcoming years in terms of promoting the circular economy?

The sustainable use of resources is the central theme of the world’s leading trade fair for water, sewage, waste and raw materials management. IFAT Munich brings together the international decision-makers, experts and market players in one place to tackle the major challenges in environmental and climate protection together. Preparations for the trade fair, which will take place from 30 May to 3 June at the Munich Exhibition Centre, are in full swing. All 18 exhibition halls and a large part of the outdoor area are occupied. Over 2,500 exhibitors from more than 50 countries have registered. And of course we will not only be promoting the circular economy at the world’s leading trade fair in Munich, but also at our spin-offs in the international markets.

Philipp Eisenmann, IFAT
Philipp Eisenman, Exhibition Director - © Messe München GmbH

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the waste and resource industry today?

The Covid pandemic and the current uncertainties in international politics naturally also have an impact on the environmental industry. We are currently conducting an online survey among trade fair participants. Once we have evaluated the survey, we will be able to provide very in-depth information on this. The focus will certainly be on disruptions in the supply chains and the extent to which climate and environmental protection could once again take a back seat.

Where do you see the major market opportunities for the waste and resource industry?

In principle, the urgency of environmental, resource and climate protection is more firmly anchored in the consciousness of the global community than ever before. The new government in Germany has put the topic of circular economy much higher on the agenda and the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan of March 2020 has also made it clear that the circular economy is not a nice-to-have, but a must-have. The declared goal of a carbon-neutral, ecologically sustainable and pollution-free circular economy by 2050 is a huge opportunity for the whole of Europe. In addition, the well-known regions such as China, India, the Eurasian or South Asian region and southern Africa remain important markets for sustainable development of the environmental technology industry. IFAT is also active in these markets together with ISWA.

Why should readers join IFAT this June and what are the opportunities you can help create?

The global community needs environmental technologies – and IFAT Munich brings them to life and provides the network to drive sustainable transformation. All the exhibition areas at the trade fair are well booked by technology suppliers from all over the world. In addition, there are international joint stands.
The trade fair programme also includes a variety of special shows, live demonstrations, solution tours and lectures. For example, one special show will illustrate the various stages of plastics recycling using a used shampoo bottle on its journey from the yellow recycling bag to its ‘rebirth’ as a new packaging material. Another prominent topic is the intelligent recycling of mineral waste, from the professional and environmentally sound disposal of pollutants to the securing and use of recyclable building materials in civil engineering. And we have a start-up area, booked like never before, to network young innovators and established companies.

What were your main motivations for joining ISWA?

IFAT thrives on networking with its customers and partners, especially the associations. ISWA is a very valuable link to the international community.
We have had a very close, friendly exchange for many years. This is a great asset for us to successfully develop IFAT further.