The Strategic Dive 2020 was a disruptive intercluster space with live presentations and more than a hundred B2B meetings, among the more than 400 registered professionals

Submitted by Serena Rebollo… on 25 November 2020

  • On the second day of the Strategic Dive, the current trends of the sectors of each of the organizing clusters of the event, the Clúster de l'Energia Eficient de Catalunya (CEEC), the Foodservice Cluster, the Cluster of the Catalan wine sector INNOVI and the Packaging Cluster were discussed.
  • The transversal axes that will determine the future of the companies that make up the four clusters will be sustainability and collaboration.

The second day of Strategic Dive 2020, a virtual intercluster meeting, offered four parallel sessions on current trends in the sectors of each of the event's organizing clusters: Clúster de l'Energia Eficient de Catalunya, Cluster Foodservice, Cluster of the Catalan wine sector INNOVI and the Packaging Cluster.

On the one hand, the packaging sector explained how leading companies and entities throughout the value chain face the consequences of the Covid19 pandemic, with a prospective and holistic vision. In this sense, the Smithers Pira expert, Adam Page, explained the trends in the packaging industry which are leading to new business models, new developments and brand owners committed to finding new solutions in the market. The importance of integrating sustainability into the leadership and culture of companies as a lever for innovation and competitiveness was also put on the table, according to Sonia Ruiz, founder of NOIMA.

In this same field, it was detected that collaboration and corporate activism are necessary, which define the value model close to circularity and social innovation. Similarly, leaders with a strategic vision and knowledge of the legislative framework in which we find ourselves are needed, as Axel Darut, from CITEO, and Alex Walker-Love, from CEFLEX explained to us.

The Responsible for Sustainability of AECOC, Cinta Bosch, introduced the round table through the vision of consumers in the face of the pandemic crisis: "Consumers demand that companies make an effort to improve the impact of their actions on the environment" . In the minds of companies is also prioritizing sustainability, food safety or local commerce in their business strategy.

In the round table with experts from Danone, Nestlé and Coca-Cola, representative examples of the work that these companies are doing in this regard were given, such as the case located in France, where the Danone company facilitates the ferments so that anyone can make their own yogurt at home. This is a sustainable way to reduce household waste. And is that, according to Pedro Ruiz, Environmental Sustainability Engineer at Nestle, "the packaging of the future will be marked by characteristics that improve its recyclability in line with eco-design, such as less inks or gloss, for example".

In the presentations and round tables pertaining to the efficient energy management sector, Santiago Blanco, from DNV GL, argued that “the energy transition encounters difficulties in sectors such as transportation, since it has a much slower transformation and also in the domestic systems such as heating and electrointensive, at an industrial level”. For his part, Miguel Rodrigo, IDEA, explained that "to achieve the energy transition we need to involve all citizens." According to Manel Torrent, ICAEN, “in Catalonia we have all the fronts open in relation to the energy transition (building, mobility ...) and a response must be given quickly to each sector from the Government. The sectors want to do things and expect the Government to give signals. In Catalonia we are already behind, because we have a complex country problem: only 8% of energy is renewable".

In the round table on circular economy, it was concluded that any economic system must take into account the planet's resources. Until now a linear economy has developed: extract, produce, consume and discard, but now we are at the "end of this era" and a transformation is necessary. With regard to the round table on digitization of energy, it was agreed that digitization is not a technological change, but a social one because it has gone directly to the needs of people.

In the interventions referring to the wine sector, it was found that women have substantially increased their consumption of wine and that it is a very good time to advertise, since competitors are not doing so. Maurici Olivé, from DAMM, explained that regarding strategic changes, it is necessary to go from large industrial investments to technological changes, that is, digitization and investments that allow companies to anticipate market changes. "For DAMM, digitization begins in the field, where they have integrated all agronomic data obtained through remote sensing systems into a single platform," according to Olivé.

For his part, Raúl García, from Inèdit, has highlighted that with regard to packaging, only with small changes in materials or in its conception can the impact be reduced. In addition, it also made a great impact on the analysis of the life cycle of the product "as a tool to substantially reduce the impact it has on the environment."

According to Carlos M Gasol, from Inèdit, the ReWine project, a four-year demonstration project with European funding (LIFE), reuses bottles for the wine sector. “Through this process, a notable reduction in the carbon footprint has been demonstrated. Therefore, it is important to keep it in mind as a solution to implement as soon as possible”.

Finally, on the challenges and opportunities of the foodservice sector, the reality and the evolution of retail to foodservice were shown through examples that were carried out throughout these years. Emphasis was placed on family work and the importance of issues such as sustainability and the circular economy. In his speech, José Luis Cabañero, Eatable Adventures, explained the innovative idea of Eatable Adventures highlighting the importance of startups in innovation and adaptation to the changes that today's society is experiencing.

Finally, sustainability issues in the packaging field were discussed. The new models and work formats that the Inèdit company has for the coming years in terms of sustainable and circular packaging were presented. Next, the packaging project that will be carried out next year 2021 with the Packaging and Foodservice clusters was shown. And, finally, Mar Güell, from the Danone Sustainability Department, offered the vision of her company in this field, explaining the B Corp system of which they are part and is linked to the idea of Shared Value that Europe and the Foodservice Cluster aims to empower.

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