The circular economy is everyone’s commitment
The circular economy, the anchor theme of the 41st Congress, is more than an isolated business initiative, it is a joint action of society in benefit of a cleaner and more sustainable planet, highlighted, on the second day of the congress, the speakers of the plenary “The role of innovation in the circular economy”. The speakers of the plenary were Etienne Acedo, from INTA; Fabiana Quiroga, from Braskem; Hugo Bethlem, from Instituto Capitalismo Consciente Brasil; Marco Alemán, from WIPO; and David Kellis, from the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office), with the participation of Jorge Ávila and Peter Eduardo Siemsen, from ABPI.
Fabiana Quiroga, Director of the Circular Economy Business at Braskem, spoke about the importance of plastic in the production chain and the challenge of managing waste. She detailed how Braskem has been working with renewable raw materials throughout the chain through various projects and partnerships with universities, research centers, and NGOs. The company already does mechanical recycling, which reuses plastic waste, and has a project for chemical recycling, which replaces fossil naphtha with circular naphtha. The company’s goal is to expand the portfolio with recycled products and go from the 300 thousand tons registered in 2015 to one million tons in 2050. “To create a circular economy, we have to work in partnerships because collaboration and innovation have to walk together”.
Alemán, Assistant Director-General of WIPO, considers that the concept of open innovation, in which a product can be developed by more than one company, is essential for all companies operating in the circular economy. He recalled that WIPO is linked to trademark and patent offices worldwide and can act as a platform to promote the circular economy. “We need to show the benefits of innovation and improve the innovation ecosystem so that companies can communicate with customers”, he added.
In his presentation, Bethlem defended that companies cannot practice capitalism only for the shareholders but for the stakeholders as a whole, including, among others, the community, employees, and consumers. “Circular economy is not done alone, but through partnerships. It is an ongoing commitment to renewal and cooperation between companies and everyone involved”, he explained.
According to Kellis, the USPTO will encourage innovation through the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) governance system in partnership with companies and also through the granting of Intellectual Property rights, with faster examinations for patents aimed at innovations in favor of humanity, especially those that contribute to the quality of the environment and the preservation of energy resources.
For Acedo, INTA’s CEO, being green is no longer an option but part of the business guide. “Environmental, social and corporate governance has become a central component of corporate brands”. He noted that it is necessary to work to sensitize society about the positive role of trademarks and fight against smuggling. “We must deal with this anti-intellectual property feeling that still exists in society and explain that smuggling puts public health at risk, harms the government, and betrays consumer confidence”.