Hillenbrand to organize circular plastics competition

Indiana-based manufacturer will work with California-based Net Impact on the 2022 Plastics & Circularity Case Competition.

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Hillenbrand Inc., headquartered in Batesville, Indiana, and California-based nongovernmental organization Net Impact have announced a partnership to create the 2022 Plastics & Circularity Case Competition. The two entities say the competition is “aimed at continuing to innovate and promote sustainability within the plastics value chain.”

The Plastics & Circularity Case Competition has been designed to bring together “next generation innovators to rethink the challenges the plastics value chain faces from creation to collection,” Hillenbrand says in a news release.

Hillenbrand says it brought the concept to Net Impact “to engage the future generation in how we can further shape the responsible life cycle management of plastics.”

Hillenbrand, which has several business units that make plastic molding and compounding equipment, says it will guide the topic and goals of the competition, while Net Impact will “facilitate the competition by bringing together its global network of social impact and sustainability leaders to address the challenge.” The Plastics & Circularity Case Competition will take place in the fall of 2022, say the two partners.

“Our partnership with Net Impact continues our commitment to sustainability and pulls forward the next generation into helping us collaborate and solve challenges in new ways,” says Kim Ryan, president and CEO of Hillenbrand. “Plastics support many sustainable trends, from the light-weighting of vehicles, to extending the life of food, to electronic capabilities and medical advancements. How we address the circularity of plastics is critical for many of our customers and we are excited to partner with Net Impact and the next generation on this important initiative.”

Net Impact CEO Peter Lupoff says, “Business can no longer focus solely on profits. Business plans must prioritize environmental and social factors as well. The Plastics & Circularity Case Competition activates next generation leaders, in partnership with business, to solve one of our world’s most critical issues. Having a company with a reputation as an innovator like Hillenbrand to serve as a partner and mentor for this year’s participants should assure another exciting and effective program.”

Net Impact describes itself as focused on inspiring, equipping and activating “emerging leaders to build a more just and sustainable world.” The group says it has more than 130,000 members in 300-plus chapters worldwide.