For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in the last two TBE Annual Congresses to take place online, around 100 TBE members, executives from the tiles and bricks industry and from the national associations from all over Europe gathered in person for a 2-day Congress to discuss important information and key updates pertaining to the tiles and bricks industry at the European level.
First day: Meeting of Work Groups and the Executive Committee
The Congress opened on Thursday 23 June with a presentation on the LIFE Superhero Project – “Permeable and Ventilated Roofs: An Emerging Solution for Building Comfort and Climate mitigation in Urban Centres” and the Joint Meeting to discuss, Product Group Roofing Tiles, Product Group Masonry and Technical & Environmental WG took place. In the afternoon, the TBE Executive Committee was held where administrative matters, priorities and challenges in the upcoming period and mid- and long-term topics were discussed.
Following the meetings TBE members were welcome to take part in the cultural programme by Bundesverband der Deutschen Ziegelindustrie e. V. which ended with a gala dinner in the evening.
Second day: Challenge Decarbonisation
The second day’s main topic was framed by the title ‘Green Deal and Decarbonisation of the Brick and Roof Tile Industry’. Following the formal welcome by TBE president, Miroslaw Jaroszewicz, Malte Bornkamm, Head of Division ‘Market framework for decarbonisation of Industry, international cooperation’ at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs & Climate Action gave a keynote speech, highlighting the key economic and regulatory issues, hurdles and directions of ‘Germany’s way to become Climate Neutral by 2045 in European Context’.
After the speech, Mr. Bornkamm joined a panel with Holger Lösch, Deputy Director General, Federation of German Industry, Viviane Raddatz, Head Climate and Energy, WWF Germany, and Dr. Heimo Scheuch, CEO, Wienerberger AG. Among the topics discussed most controversially by the four panelists was the impact of the current energy crisis and war in Ukraine and the consequences it may have on the decarbonisation process of the bricks and roof tiles industry. Opinions on how competitiveness, energy supply and climate protection can be brought together varied between cautious and optimistic.
The Congress closed with the TBE General Assembly. Discussions surrounded the successes of the past year and the priorities and challenges of specific dossiers in the upcoming period. These included climate and energy dossiers, namely the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), the European Green Deal and the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). Furthermore, the renovation wave, ceramic BREF, the revision of CPR, the New European Bauhaus, and the Campaign for a fair competition on sustainability parameters in construction were also presented as upcoming priorities. Finally, the financial reports to closed off the General Assembly.
TBE president Jaroszewicz thanked the attending TBE members. Next year’s TBE Congress, he announced, will be held on 1-2 June 2023 in Spain.