Industry Tours

Tuesday, 13/09


Departure of the buses at 9:00 from Gleiwitzer Platz, Bottrop
Return around 16:00

Registration for a Industry Tour is requested in advance. In your confirmation e-mail after successful registration in the ticketshop, you will receive a link to register for one Industry Tour.

1. World Heritage

In a roundtrip you will visit four stations of Circular Economy innovation at the former colliery and UNESCO World Heritage Site „Zollverein“

sapor GmbH, Essen

A (not so) hidden champion of the Circular Economy

sapor GmbH is a SME that produces sustainable and circular solid soaps and bar soap dispensers. sapor’s soaps are grated into powder by means of a soap grinder, allowing hygienic removal in individual portions. The “water-free” soaps save transports and related emissions. The durable sapor bar soap dispensers are designed according to principles of circular and sustainable design.  At the end of the long product life cycle, the materials are recycled in an own cycle. A compound of 75% grass fibers with recycled plastic is used as material for the housing and can cycle up to 5 times.

RAG-Stiftung, Essen

The smart circular building of the foundation RAG-Stiftung

The RAG-Stiftung bears responsibility for financing the perpetual obligations that the German hard coal mining industry has left behind, and generates the funds that are needed to fulfil these obligations. In 2020 the foundations office building was honoured with the German Sustainable Building Award and with the German Sustainability Award in the special category “digitalization”. It was designed based on the sustainability standards of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) and Cradle-to-Cradle principles. Further, it makes use of a material passport that allows to use the building as a material bank after its lifetime has passed. It was completed in 2017.


The building was realized by the real estate project developer Kölbl Kruse:


For more than 20 years, we have been successful as a real estate project developer. It is our goal and our motivation to bring people and ideas together to create something very special. In close dialogue with our clients, we realize project vision with heart and mind. We do not present you with a wide range of possible real estate, already elaborated blueprints, cost tables, etc., with confidence that they will fit in some way. Rather, we attach great importance to custom-made products. In addition, our “tailor-made suits” not only fit much better, they are also cheaper. In contrast to off-the-shelf solutions, we offer you individual solutions that are far ahead and can be flexibly adapted to new requirements in the future without great effort.

Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen

Circular & Sustainable (Industrial) Design

Folkwang University of the Arts approaches Industrial Design as a process leading to the generating of innovations through a merging of disciplines. The objective is to train design personalities – with general professionalism and specific expertise in Industrial Design, with solid abilities to implement design processes independently, and with comprehensive problem-solving capacities. Central concepts and keywords in the area Design for Sustainability & Circularity are: Design for Sustainability, Design for Social Change, Design for Circularity and Transition Design.

Zollverein Foundation, Essen

From linear to circular economy at the Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site and in the Ruhr Area

The former colliery Zollverein is a perfect symbol of the transition from the linear to a circular economy. Zollverein was inscribed into the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2001. It aims to be a future location both for culture and business, whereby sustainability and circularity become more and more important. Zollverein is today an icon of the industrial age and a tourist attraction, and at the same time a business location, educational campus, and a young, growing powerhouse of the creative industry. A total of around 1,500 new jobs have been created at Zollverein by 2018 – and the numbers are growing!

2. Transform to Zero

BLEISTAHL Produktions-GmbH & Co. KG, Gelsenkirchen 

BleiStahl is a 3rd generation family business and a global Tier 1 supplier with plants in China, US, Brazil, South Africa and two in Germany. 

We have established ourselves as a reliable partner for the automotive industry, manufacturing materials that enable our customers to meet current and future regulations. We strive to support our customers achieve their CO² targets through our products.

The automotive industry is reinventing itself. We want to play an active role in shaping this transformation. That’s why we are challenging our own business model and have launched some exciting projects in collaboration with other leading industrial companies, Westphalian University of Applied Sciences and the city of Gelsenkirchen to create a blueprint for other companies. We call it TTZ – Transform to Zero!

ZINQ GmbH & Co. KG, Gelsenkirchen

Specializing for more than 130 years in hot-dip galvanizing and related coating services, the ZINQ group today operates 50 sites in Europe and provides surface protection solutions for more than 25,000 clients from all sectors in steel fabrication. ZINQ focuses on developing and manufacturing innovative, Cradle to Cradle certified surfaces used in a wide range of steel processing applications. As a result, more than 650,000 tonnes of steel are protected from corrosion with ZINQ every year. ZINQ is the first surface technology company to implement a circular business model (Planet ZINQ) based on an integrated sustainability and innovation strategy.

3. Upcycling waste materials

GENAN GmbH, Dorsten/Marl

The largest tyre recycler in the world

Environmental company Genan is the largest tyre recycler in the world. Sustainability is the core value of the Genan group; and by utilising the resources of vast amounts of end-of-life tyres, Genan helps solve a wide-ranging, global problem – for a circular economy. Genan operates 6 technologically highly advanced recycling plants in 4 different countries. The annual production capacity of the company totals more than 400,000 tonnes of tyres; and with continuous optimisation of production and technology, Genan is constantly striving to run all plants, so they are as environmentally friendly and energy-saving as possible.


The world leader in stone wool solutions

DEUTSCHE ROCKWOOL is part of the ROCKWOOL Group. With 4 factories and 1,300 employees, we are the local organisation offering advanced insulation systems for buildings.
Our expertise is perfectly suited to tackle many of today’s biggest sustainability and development challenges, from energy consumption and noise pollution to fire resilience, water scarcity and flooding.
With approx. 11,700 passionate colleagues in 40 countries, we are the world leader in stone wool solutions, from building insulation to acoustic ceilings, external cladding systems to horticultural solutions, engineered fibres for industrial use to insulation for the process industry and marine & offshore.

4. Heating applications

WILO SE, Dortmund

Circular value chain of high-efficiency pumps

The supply of industrial plants is a very extensive and economically complex segment with highly specialized pump systems. Wilo proved itself in this field decades ago and has remained true to all requirements with consistently high quality.

Get an insight into the take-back system and the remanufacturing of pumps! What are the challenges? What are the opportunities for the manufacturer? How does a multi-partner value chain cooperations look like?


Kelvion Holding GmbH, Bochum

Circular economy business model: Heat exchange as a service

What if waste heat recovery is available to plant operators on demand per hour of operation rather than being sold to them? Kelvion, as a system provider for heat exchangers, has addressed this question. With the help of agile product development and support from the Effizienz-Agentur NRW, a circular business model was developed that will be presented at this event.
Kelvion is one of the leading global manufacturers of heat exchangers and have been providing products and services for almost every industrial application imaginable since the 1920s, specializing in customized solutions suitable for extreme environmental conditions.

5. SME transformation

RATTAY Metallschlauch- und Kompensatorentechnik GmbH, Hünxe

Circular approaches in the metal sector

In the now more than 30 years of company history of RATTAY, tradition and family values such as loyalty and reliability have always played a major role. Founded in 1978 with only two employees and a lot of commitment, the ambitious family business developed within a few years from an extended workbench for the steel industry to a leading supplier and partner in the field of metal hoses and expansion joints for a wide range of industries. With a steadily growing staff, RATTAY now export their products worldwide.

They manufacture metal hoses, hose assemblies and expansion joints in a wide range of dimensions, designs and sizes for all industrial sectors. Comprehensive advice, absolute deadlines and complete service are among our principles. Whether in the Chemical or Petrochemical Industry, the Gas Industry, Power Plant Construction, the Steel Industry and Energy Suppliers, our aim is to develop solutions to problems.

SBRS GmbH, Dinslaken

Refurbishment for a longer life for trains and e-mobility

SBRS GmbH is a medium-sized company based in Dinslaken. The history of SBRS goes back to Pintsch Bamag (power supply, lighting and control systems), founded in 1843, and to Schaltbau (high and low-voltage equipment), founded in 1929.
The company consists of the two divisions “rail” and “road”. In the unit “road” or better “charging solutions” they deliver charging equipment for e-buses and e-trucks. All the projects they have realized are sustainable. It goes without saying that they use green electricity at the company’s site.
Although it is very difficult to avoid CO2 emissions altogether because for instance the supply of materials needs to be guaranteed and the employees have to somehow get to work, they succeeded in achieving climate neutrality in 2021!

6. Textiles

Grubenhelden GmbH, Gladbeck

Fashion with history and sustainability

Grubenhelden is a fashion label from Gladbeck, in the Ruhr area, Germany. It tells the story of its roots in mining with modern styles. Sustainability is particularly important to the company. This includes the upcycling of fabrics for individual unique pieces as well as the processing of original mining utensils and also fair production of the clothing in Germany and Portugal. Short, CO2-friendly transport routes and the best working conditions for sewing workers and everyone involved are thus ideally guaranteed.

Maibom GmbH Textilvertrieb, Gerhard van Clewe Gmbh & Co. KG, SaXcell BV, Hamminkeln

Circular cotton finishing for trousers

Maibom Textilvertriebs GmbH is selling cotton blend fabrics mainly for trousers. Every day they are working after their four main guidelines: Quality, Innovation, Delivery capacity and sustainability. The part sustainability is becoming more and more important and Maibom is working to offer circular fabrics without any waste or downcycling. At the moment they have production cotton waste of 90 tons per year. Their aim together with Saxcell is to recycle the cotton waste chemically to the Lyocell fibre Saxcell. This Saxcell fibre should be reused in their fabrics with 20 to 30% of total composition.

7. Consumer goods

Janado GmbH, Düsseldorf

Refurbished electronic goods

Janado is the go-to platform for high-quality premium consumer electronics. Janado offers a wide range of high quality refurbished electronic goods with the aim to raise the image of sustainable electronics to a new level through top quality, comprehensive services and smart communication. By purchasing used goods, Janado is not only saving costs but furthermore saving important resources of our environment – in line with the standards of the circular economy, sustainable electronics becomes “the smarter new” together with Janado.

Verbraucherzentrale Nordrhein-Westfalen e.V., Düsseldorf

Educating consumers

The consumer association informs and advises citizens on many everyday consumer issues. During a visit to the NRW head office, we will gain an insight into the work of the organisation with a focus on environmental advice and political lobbying on consumer aspects related to resource consumption, waste reduction, repair, product labelling and circular economy. Teaching materials used in schools and at information stands will be shown and discussed. Please note that the materials are only available in German language.

8. Research & industry

Circular Digital Economy Lab of the Hochschule Ruhr West University of Applied Sciences, Bottrop

With the Circular Digital Economy Lab, the Prosperkolleg project offers a research, development and demonstration laboratory that focuses on the value creation of material flows. The core of the CDEL is a flexibly adaptable, digitized robotic pre-separation line of small electrical appliances. The goal is to divide appliances into fractions so that they have lower material complexity. These fractions can be more effectively utilized in traditional recycling processes. In addition, the CDEL offers regional companies the opportunity to examine their products with regard to circular value creation.

FabLab of the Hochschule Ruhr West University of Applied Sciences, Bottrop
FabLab – How to make (almost) anything

How to Make Almost Anything” is the motto of the Fablab at Ruhr West University of Applied Sciences. From 3D printing to laser cutting and metalworking to microelectronics, robotics and prototyping, The FabLab offers a wide range of possibilities. The target group includes students, teachers and employees of the university, startups and founders, but also pupils and teachers. The lab is also open to the public every Wednesday. The fablab employs 30 people from various disciplines. From electronics, computer science and mechanical engineering to product design and pedagogy. This ensures that the right contact person is available for every project.

RHEINZINK GmbH & Co. KG, Datteln

RHEINZINK has been a manufacturer of titanium zinc “Made in Germany” for more than 50 years. As a supplier of systems for roof drainage, metal roofs and façade cladding, RHEINZINK is a leader in know-how and innovation. The product range is characterized by constant further development, based on the practical requirements of the respective applications. RHEINZINK has subsidiaries and sales offices in 30 countries and on five continents. Production sites are Datteln in the northern Ruhr area and Neulise in France. Homeowners appreciate the durability of the ecologically high-quality material; international architects praise its design qualities.

9. Industrial ecosystem

Evonik Evonik Industries, Marl

The Marl Chemical Park is one of the largest chemical sites in Germany and also Evonik’s largest production location. The site covers an area of more than six square kilometers and provides around 10,000 jobs.

The roughly 100 production plants from Evonik and 17 other companies are linked in a tightly integrated material and energy network. Every year, over four million metric tons of products start their journey here on their way to destinations throughout the world.

The production focus is on the conversion of petrochemical raw materials into basic, fine and specialty chemicals. We encounter all these products in various areas of our daily lives – whether it’s wallpaper or paint, hygiene products or pharmaceuticals, components for the automotive sector or fuel additives.

10. Urban Development

EPEA GmbH – Part of Drees & Sommer, Düsseldorf

The Cradle – Cradle to Cradle timber hybrid construction in Düsseldorf

The Cradle designed by HPP Architects for the INTERBODEN Group, is the city’s first office building in timber hybrid construction in Düsseldorf – a circular pilot project in many respects. With its futuristic sustainability concept and striking architecture, the Cradle-to-Cradle® (C2C) inspired building stands for innovation, openness and a new perception of architecture. The holistic value-adding concept has been central right from the start, so that in all processes the thinking is cyclic and equal consideration is given to economic, ecological and social aspects – along the entire value chain and the entire life cycle.

Emschergenossenschaft / Lippeverband, Bottrop

Wastewater treatment plant

The German water management associations Emschergenossenschaft and Lippeverband (EGLV) are self-governed organizations of public law in Germany. One of the core tasks of the associations is wastewater treatment at the ap-proximately 60 wastewater treatment plants with a capacity of about 7.3 million population equivalents.

The Bottrop wastewater treatment plant, with a capacity of 1.34 million inhabitants, is one of the largest plants in Germany and is home of the central sludge treatment of EGLV. The digested sludge of three large wastewater treatment plants (Emschermouth, Duisburg Old Emscher and Bottrop) as well as the sludge of some Lippeverband plants is dewatered, dried and incinerated afterwards. During the last years the world’s largest solar-thermal sludge drying plant has been built on an area of approx. 60,000 m². In future up to 220,000 Mg dewatered sewage sludge will be dried on the site. Approx. 60,000 tons of CO2 emission can be saved by renouncing the use of fossil coal primarily used for sewage sludge conditioning and the enrichment of heating value.

11. Recycling


Keeping resources in the loop

Remondis’ Lippe Plant is the largest center for industrial recycling in Europe.
For decades, the company has been closing material cycles by collecting and recycling an upcoming number of different waste streams. Complex processing methods are used to recycle various types of waste and form the basis for new products and raw materials. Remondis’ recycling therefore contributes to the reduction of environmentally harmful emissions and lowers the demand for primary resources.

TRIMET Aluminium SE, Gelsenkirchen

As an innovative, medium-sized, family-owned company, TRIMET develops, produces, recycles, casts, and sells modern light-metal products made of aluminium at nine locations. A staff of about 2,400, together with our customers, that automobiles are more economical, aircraft are lighter, wind turbines and electricity plants are more efficient, buildings are more modern, and packaging is more ecological.

12. Discovering Metropolis Ruhr: Excursion for international Circular Economy start-ups

As part of the Circular Economy Hotspot Event in Bottrop, we offer international startups the opportunity to get to know the Ruhr Metropolis.

Are you looking for a place to settle or expand your startup in the heart of Europe? Let us convince you in just 7 hours that the Ruhr region offers everything Circular Economy startups are looking for: FabLabs, funds as well as necessary networks.

Join us on a journey through three cities accompanied by an exciting program and we will show the potential of the region: 

1. Essen Bryck: Breakfast & Talk with sponsors/investors and funds

2. Bochum MakerSpace: FabLab, incubators & spaces + lunch

3. Duisburg KS36: Co-Working Spaces & Networks