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A Venture Capital Fund & Sustainable Packaging

3 Questions to Ascan, Janina, and Norbert

As part of our transformation towards sustainability, we are investing in a venture capital fund. The aim is to tap into new potential in the field of sustainable packaging and environmentally friendly technologies.

We spoke to Dr. Janina Zippel (Senior Scientist R&D Open Innovation Start-up Scouting), Norbert Menzel (Principal Packaging Technology) and Ascan Voswinckel (Head of Venture Capital) why Beiersdorf made this investment and what this has to do with sustainability.

Ascan Voswinckel (Head of Venture Capital)

Ascan, why and how did we decide to invest in a venture capital fund?

Ascan: Sustainability is one of the biggest topics of our time, and Beiersdorf is following ambitious targets. And in the area of packaging, there is a lot going on in the market right now – very challenging to stay on track of all developments without specialized partners. That is why we have been involved with “open innovation activities” for some time now, which makes new technologies accessible for us.

The investment in this venture capital fund is an additional component of our strategy. The strategic partnership with the fund gives us valuable access to the start-up ecosystem and new innovation partners. With “Emerald Technology Ventures” we meet a professional partner with unique expertise who understands our needs.

Dr. Janina Zippel (Senior Scientist R&D Open Innovation Start-up Scouting)

Janina, why was the sustainable packaging sector selected for this fund investment and what was the selection process like?

Janina: For our fund investment strategy, we selected areas in which we could make a significant contribution to Beiersdorf’s key areas of innovation through start-up technologies. It quickly became clear that we could make a huge difference with more sustainable packaging, and that this would also contribute well to our sustainability targets.

When Norbert’s team signaled back to us a great deal of enthusiasm for pursuing this new path, we got started. We evaluated 120 funds before deciding for “Emerald Technology Ventures”. It’s important to mention that not only will the Global Packaging and Corporate Sustainability teams be working with the fund, but colleagues from Purchasing and various other functions will be involved as well.

Norbert Menzel (Principal Packaging Technology)

Norbert, what concrete results do you expect from this investment and how does the collaboration work?

Norbert: First of all, we get a broad view of the “start-up landscape” and the chance to identify technological innovations at an early stage and evaluate their potential. We hope this will give us an information and competence edge. But the other side, the start-ups also benefit. Because they are interested in building a network with large companies that can bring their solutions to market.

By the way, we are not the only investors, there are companies along the entire value chain involved, also from other industries. It is also possible to work cooperatively with other investors, for example, to drive innovation faster or more broadly.

Thank you very much, Janina, Ascan and Norbert, for the interview. I am now curious to hear about the first results on this exciting journey together with “Emerald”!

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