Welcome! Unfortunately, your browser is no longer supported. To use the full functionality of the site, we recommend that you use the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari or Chrome, for example.

Select brand and country

Select language

Coroplast Global | Insights Circular economy – we focus on cooperation and exchange

In the context of the Coroplast Group Sustainability Initiative, we aim to explore opportunities, possibilities and innovative approaches in the field of circular economy, because we want to find out how we can make this model usable for our products and processes. At the heart of our activities are cooperations with various partners, first and foremost the Circular Valley Foundation.

Our commitment to Circular Valley

As a foundation member of Circular Valley, we have been involved in the topic of circular economy financially, organizationally and conceptually since 2021. The initiative brings together startups from all over the world with companies, associations and scientific institutions in our region – and seeks to rethink and advance product and material flows. Here are three examples of collaboration formats with the foundation:

Circular Valley Forum

At this event, decision-makers from politics, business and society meet in Wuppertal to discuss the opportunities, risks and next steps of circular economy in the region – and far beyond.

At the last Forum in November 2022, our CEO Natalie Mekelburger took part in the panel on "Regulatory Developments," which also included board members from Bayer, BASF, Evonik and Stadtsparkasse Wuppertal, as well as a representative of the EU Commission and the Wuppertal Institute. In a lively and sometimes controversial debate, the different views of the representatives of business on the one hand and science and politics on the other became apparent. A clear sign of how important the active participation of all social groups is in order to find viable solutions. The next Circular Valley Forum will take place in November 2023.

Circular Valley Forum at the Historische Stadthalle in Wuppertal, Germany
In the beautiful ambience of the Historische Stadthalle in Wuppertal, representatives from politics, business and society held lively and animated discussions.

Start-ups on a visit

One of the most important activities of the Circular Valley Foundation is the so-called start-up accelerator. Twice a year, selected founders from all over the world are invited to Wuppertal to further develop their business ideas. This also involves the unique ecosystem of hidden champions in our region introducing themselves to the start-ups and giving them insights into production, strategy and management. We had the pleasure of welcoming the start-ups of the third batch to our company premises in June 2022 and engaged in a joint exchange in numerous sessions.

Group picture of the founders of start-ups in the field of circular economy on the terrace of the Coroplast Group.
Visibly impressed by so much entrepreneurship in the guise of a soon-to-be 100-year-old family business: the founders of the third batch on our terrace. Photo: Circular Valley / Jan Turek

The visit created concrete links between our strategy, development and sustainability staff and the start-ups. Together, we fine-tuned ideas and concepts, such as an adhesive formulation, plastic footprint compensation, or plastic bottles made from bio-based, compostable material.

Even if a lasting collaboration with a start-up has not yet materialized, we are very grateful for the impetus and ideas – and welcome proposals and pitch decks on our own start-up platform CoroVentures. 

We want to help shape and develop key issues at an early stage – which is why sustainability is both a corporate and a personal concern. The exchange with the startups means important feedback for us.

Natalie Mekelburger | Chairwoman of the Management Board of Coroplast Group

Circular Insights – Workshops with students

Coroplast Group was involved in a workshop at the University of Wuppertal as a source of ideas. We presented our products and processes and worked with the students to find new solutions. To this end, we supplied textile cuttings from adhesive tape production and silicone residues from cable production. The team of students examined a variety of possible applications and finally presented the idea of cutting sealing rings from the silicone offcuts – so a new product was created through upcycling.

A nice success that also shows how challenging it is to really think of existing products in a circular way. However, the value of the workshop went far beyond this result: the students got to know employees from the Coroplast Group's development departments personally and thus both sides deepened their understanding of the Circular Economy way of thinking.

To all cases of the Circular Insights

Group picture of the participants in the Circular Insights workshop of the Coroplast Group.
Spending a day developing new ideas for the circular economy – the participants in the Circular Insights workshop with the Coroplast Group. (Photo: Neue Effizienz gGmbH / Bastian Glumm)

University of Wuppertal Scientific exchange and projects in the field of circular economy

We are also pursuing solutions in the area of circular economy in direct cooperation with the University of Wuppertal. Here are two examples:

Master thesis on circular economy

In order to better understand their own value chains from a circular economy perspective, a master's student from the Sustainability Management program is currently writing her thesis at the Coroplast Group.

Among other things, the aim is to ascertain the status quo and to work out the general conditions and possible areas of application continuously and in depth over a period of months. This collaboration will also provide us with further important insights into the topic of circular economy at the Coroplast Group.

Seminar Circular Business Innovation

Three students from the "Public Interest Design" degree program have set out to collaborate on a circular economy topic with case donor Coroplast Group. Their goal is to find even more sustainable solutions inspired by the CoroUpcycling project. The seminar is part of the research project "Educating Future Sustainability Leaders and Innovators" of the UNESCO Chair of Entrepreneurship at the University of Wuppertal.

Your contact person Media Contact

Would you like to receive further information or press photos? You are welcome to contact us at any time.
Verena Rheinberg
Specialist Corporate Communications

Your contact person Sustainability – Social and Governance

Do you have questions about our social sustainability or governance? Please feel free to contact the Teamlead Sustainability of the Coroplast Group.
Kerstin Häusler
Teamlead Sustainability