Over the past few weeks, our employees have been travelling a lot and have been able to establish an impressive presence at various international trade fairs and conferences in the field of recycling and waste, be it through our own trade fair stands or through interesting presentations by our experts. Our involvement covered the entire spectrum of the industry – from waste management to the waste wood sector.

In a presentation at Profu in Sweden, an independent consulting company for energy, waste and transport issues, Lukas Klapp, Team Leader International Business Development Recycling & Waste, examined developments in the German waste wood market over the last three years. The analysis ranged from the pre-Covid-19 phase to the current situation, with the drastic rise in energy prices playing a key role. Many of our customers and competitors attended the event to gain an insight into the current market situation and followed the developments presented with great interest.

The growing demand for sustainable energy, particularly in Germany, is reflected in an increased focus on renewable resources. With the phase-out of nuclear energy and the planned phase-out of coal, biomass, including waste wood, is increasingly becoming the centre of attention.

In view of the complexity of the challenges in the waste wood sector, a clear trend can be recognised. Before the pandemic, annual waste wood production in Germany alone was around 8.5 million tonnes. This figure has since fallen to around 7 million tonnes. The problem is that the amount of waste wood accumulated cannot simply be increased, as it depends on the extent of human activity.

With regard to this development, the tapping of new sources for waste wood is of crucial importance. The American market is one of the focal points here. In the USA, a country where wood is used intensively and natural disasters regularly generate large quantities of waste wood, there are promising procurement opportunities.

An important aspect when looking at the American market is that waste wood is separated comparatively little in the USA and is usually disposed of in landfills, which is not considered very sustainable. Even if the waste wood is transported over long distances, the energy can still be utilised effectively, which is a convincing argument in favour of the transatlantic use of waste wood energy. We also believe that importing waste wood from the USA is a much better alternative than importing coal from Singapore or Colombia, for example. The USA also has a shortage of power plants, which in turn increases the interest in exporting waste wood to Europe. Against this backdrop, we primarily view the East Coast and New York metropolitan area as a promising purchasing market for the Brüning Group.

In this context, Lukas Klapp spoke at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) as part of a series of presentations focussing on the market development of construction and demolition materials, including wood. His presentation focussed on the export of wood chips from construction and demolition wood as a biomass fuel for power plants in the EU, addressing similar topics to those previously discussed at Profu in Sweden.

Another highlight was Ecomondo in Rimini, Italy, an international trade fair for recycling, energy and sustainable development. The trade fair regularly offers insights into new findings and trends in various areas of the circular economy. We had our own stand there, which was of great interest to many visitors. Numerous suppliers took the opportunity to meet us and talk about a wide range of issues, with logistics being a key topic. We were also visited by a number of customers, e.g. from Germany and Denmark, to exchange ideas with us. Overall, the trade fair was extremely successful from our point of view, characterised by many constructive discussions and a great atmosphere. We are delighted that we have now been able to further expand our activities in Italy by opening an office in Rome and have already welcomed several Italian native speakers as team members.

Our conclusion: The past few weeks have shown that our presence on international platforms and the positive response not only reflect the high reputation that the Brüning Group now enjoys, but also underline our constantly growing internationalisation. This global networking gives us a broader view of the bigger picture and opens up new opportunities for forward-looking projects and collaborations.