bir arnaud brunet
BIR Director General Arnaud Brunet says tight cost controls helped BIR make its way through 2020.
Photo courtesy of the Bureau of International Recycling.

BIR says it weathered financial impacts of 2020

Association Director General Arnaud Brunet also expresses confidence in likelihood of in-person event sometime in 2021.

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January 8, 2021

The Brussels-based Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) says it was able to “limit the financial impact” of having to cancel both of its conventions because of COVID-19 in 2020 and that its finances “remain solid.”

In a letter to BIR members, the association’s Director General Arnaud Brunet says BIR “has faced the strong winds of the past year, standing firmly by its members, supporting them more than ever before, reinventing its way of operating when necessary.”

Writes Brunet, “2020 is a year that we all want to forget, and while we most certainly will keep in our hearts and thoughts those who suffered from the pandemic, it is time to look ahead and decide what our future will be, with a strong determination.”

Regarding BIR’s finances, Brunet comments, “2020 has been hard from a financial point of view, and we sorely missed our convention revenue. But thanks to the incredible loyalty of our members and a very tight cost control we were able to limit the financial impact and keep our investment capacity, and our finances remain solid.”

Acknowledging that online communication has become vital to the association and that vaccines are just starting to make an impact, Brunet nonetheless predicts, “I am confident that we will be able to have an in-person convention this year, and we at BIR are already getting prepared.”

The director general credits BIR staff and officers for the 2020 effort to “modernize our communications tools as well as the way we engage with our members and other stakeholders.” On Jan. 14, the BIR’s International Trade Committee is going to introduce a new online meeting format intended to offer an informal discussion on emerging global trade issues and conditions.

Regarding market conditions, Brunet writes, “The geography of recyclables is changing, becoming probably more regionalized, except for products that will be of higher quality. The call for quality that we have been supporting for some years now will more than ever be vital.”