Richard Blume is a senior sustainability strategist and a long-time representative of The Natural Step. He is a co-founder of the Sustainability Collaborative, an office of The Natural Step and a hub for sustainability practitioners to drive systems change initiatives together using proven methods for sustainability-driven innovation. With 20 years’ experience supporting small and medium enterprises and multinationals to integrate sustainability principles into strategy and operations, Richard is a versatile trainer, strategist, project manager and analyst who likes to connect the dots between detail and the big picture. Richard holds a master’s degree in strategic leadership towards sustainability from Sweden’s Blekinge Institute of Technology and a combined bachelor’s degree in engineering (civil and environmental) and international studies from the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.
Jane Gardner has been the Managing Director of the European Resilient Flooring Manufacturers’ Institute, ERFMI, since 2018. She is actively involved in standardisation and is the Convenor of WG 7 resilient floor coverings within CEN TC 134 and the Chair of ISO TC 219 textile, resilient and laminate floor coverings. Jane is actively involved in the Circular Plastics Alliance, an Alliance set up by the European Commission with the target of achieving the uptake of 10 million tonnes of recycled plastics into new products placed on the EU market by 2025. ERFMI is a signatory of this pledge. Prior to joining ERFMI, Jane worked for 14 years for Axion, a UK based resource efficiency consultancy. Her work focused on the collection and recycling of resilient floor coverings and carpets, as well as other plastic construction products. Jane helped to set up Recofloor, the vinyl flooring take back scheme and was the UK Regional Representative for Recovinyl®, the European organisation for data collection on PVC recycling and uptake within the framework of VinylPlus®, the European PVC industry’s commitment to sustainable development. Jane was also responsible for setting up Recommend the collection scheme for PVC medical waste from hospitals in the UK. The scheme received an INOVYN Award in 2016. Jane is passionate about the development of a circular economy for floor coverings in Europe.
Zdenek Hruska started his career at Solvay where he held various management positions in Germany and France. He then moved to Brussels in 2013, to work first at SolVin and later at INOVYN as an Advocacy Manager. Prior to that, Zdenek had been responsible for the PVC Promotion and Environmental Affairs, first at SolVin France and later at SolVin GmbH & Co.; before, he was Development Manager for Alkor Kunststoffe GmbH in Munich, Germany. He joined the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM) as Public Affairs Senior Manager in 2016 and since mid-2022 is an independent consultant. Zdenek holds an Engineering Diploma in Plastics Technology from the Prague Institute of Chemical Technology, and a PhD in Polymer Chemistry from IMC in Prague.
Oscar Vandevelde is a PhD chemist. He has gained extensive international experience working in marketing and technical roles in the Plastics Additives Industry in companies like Synegis and Ferro Corporation. He is now Sector Group Manager within Cefic Specialty Chemicals clusters, dealing with Rubber Chemicals and Light Stabilisers and Antioxidants and he is acting as Technical Manager for European Plasticisers.