Press release: Indaver welcomes Karl Vrancken as Chief Sustainability Officer

Indaver is delighted to announce the appointment of Karl Vrancken as Chief Sustainability Officer. Mr. Vrancken will assume his new role at Indaver starting from October 1, 2023. Karl Vrancken has been actively involved with VITO (Flemish Institute for Technological Research) for the past 26 years, with the last 7 years serving as the Research Manager for Circular Economy. He also holds a part-time position as a professor of Waste Management and Circular Economy at the University of Antwerp. Until the beginning of this year, Karl Vrancken, as the PFAS Commissioner, also played a crucial role in the PFAS debate. Indaver is confident that Karl Vrancken will bring valuable knowledge and expertise to further embed sustainability within our organization and continue the transition from a sustainable waste management company to an essential player in the circular economy.

Sustainable collaboration with a shared vision
Indaver and Karl Vrancken are convinced that their profiles are a perfect match. While Indaver has already achieved a lot in terms of sustainability, with a deep-rooted commitment within the organization, Indaver recognizes the importance of further strengthening sustainability, particularly in light of the challenges posed by energy, materials, and climate in Europe. Together, with Karl Vrancken as the Chief Sustainability Officer, they are wholeheartedly dedicated to shaping a sustainable future and contributing to the achievement of European objectives. This collaboration is based on a shared vision. Indaver supports the transition to a circular economy, where waste is seen as a valuable source of materials and energy, and Karl Vrancken brings valuable experience and expertise in materials management, sustainable consumption and production, and the safe closure of the loop.

Sustainability embedded in Indaver's activities
Since its inception 35 years ago, Indaver has focused on sustainable waste management. Sustainability is ingrained in the DNA of our organization. Indaver has built decades of knowledge and experience to provide sustainable and safe solutions for waste streams to both government and industrial clients. Value creation is at the core of our approach. For Indaver, waste is not an end product but a source of new raw materials and energy. We invest in new technologies to recover raw materials at a molecular level from often complex waste materials. A recent example is the construction of the Plastics2Chemicals facility, which will extract raw materials for the industry from end-of-life plastics. We successfully close loops in a CO2-efficient manner. Indaver also focuses on valorizing non-recyclable waste by recovering energy during the processing phase. We supply this energy in the form of steam or electricity to businesses and households, enabling the circular economy, where resources and energy are kept within the loop.

Paul De Bruycker, CEO of Indaver, stated, "We are very proud that Karl will assume the role of Chief Sustainability Officer. He will contribute to strengthening our position in the circular economy and sustainable waste management. We believe in the transition from a linear to a circular economy, and value creation from waste is essential in that regard. Karl Vrancken brings a wealth of experience and expertise in materials recovery and closing loops safely. He will also be supported by a dedicated team of colleagues who work tirelessly to give value to waste every day."

Safe solutions for hazardous components
Indaver also provides solutions to ensure the safety of the circular economy. Certain substances released in our society cannot re-enter the loop due to their toxic properties. Indaver possesses facilities and processes to neutralize or destroy these substances at high temperatures. When destroying large quantities of toxic or hazardous substances, a minimal residual fraction remains. Indaver always applies the Best Available Techniques to minimize and safely process this residual fraction, with utmost care for our employees, the local community, and the environment. In the past year, particular attention has been focused on the sustainable and safe treatment of PFAS. Mr. Vrancken will also contribute to this domain, as he served as the PFAS Commissioner for the Flemish Government, providing multiple reports, recommendations, and policy advice to address the PFAS issue. He played an essential role in listening to all stakeholders and creating public support by collaborating with knowledge institutions, governments, and industries to develop a scientifically supported framework for managing and monitoring PFAS in our society.

Karl Vrancken stated, "I know Indaver as an innovative company that looks ahead and actively tackles new challenges in waste management and the circular economy. Even in crisis situations, Indaver remains focused on finding solutions. The company now offers me a new and exciting opportunity to put the circular economy into practice in the business world and shape the changing role of waste management companies in sustainable materials management. This completes the circle of my career, which started in an engineering firm and led me from research to government advice and policy. Over the years, I have learned that knowledge and collaboration are the foundations of innovation. We need this innovation to address the sustainability challenges we face. I am thrilled to be able to contribute my expertise to a company that plays a leading role in sustainability and innovation at the European level."

Strengthening sustainable goals
As Chief Sustainability Officer, Karl Vrancken will focus on further strengthening Indaver's sustainable goals. Indaver is committed to achieving the European Green Deal, where member states aim to be climate-neutral by 2050. In its Carbon Management Plan, Indaver outlines strategic guidelines for avoiding CO2 emissions throughout the chain. Karl Vrancken will contribute to shaping this plan and translating the strategy into concrete objectives across various areas.

Collaboration and partnerships
Indaver is a technology-driven organization that places a strong emphasis on people. Collaboration is crucial for a circular economy, and this holds true for Indaver as well. We operate in a complex sector strongly influenced by external factors. It is crucial that we can respond quickly and flexibly to provide innovative and sustainable solutions. This is achieved through collaboration with colleagues, companies, universities, and sector organizations. Karl Vrancken will strengthen Indaver at this level as well, thanks to his extensive network with universities, research institutions, and the industry.