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In the name of circularity: Gilles Le Moigne about his first 100 days at Siegwerk

In April 2024, Siegwerk established the new business unit “Circular Economy Coatings” and appointed Gilles Le Moigne, an experienced packaging coating expert, as its head. We talked to Gilles about his first 100 days in this new role and his future plans for the new division.

How have the first 100 days at Siegwerk been for you?

Gilles Le Moigne: The time has really flown by. I’ve traveled around, got to know my new colleagues, had numerous great and informative conversations, gained valuable insights for my new role and, above all, learned a lot about the company. It has been a very busy but also very exciting and inspiring time. Especially, the dedication and creativity of the people I met left a lasting impression. I am already thrilled to see what we will achieve together in the future.

As Head of BU CE Coatings, you took over a completely new business unit. What have been your first steps?

Gilles Le Moigne: Yes, it's a new business unit that I've taken over, but Siegwerk already was very active in the coating sector before. In addition to its broad portfolio of renowned printing inks and varnishes, the company has already been focusing on the development of functional coating technologies for several years now. With solutions for various substrates, processes and performance requirements, Siegwerk was already well positioned in the field of coatings before I joined the company. Now it is a matter of consolidating and structuring everything to further build on this excellent work and take the coating business to the next level. This is why the new business unit has been set up and I am more than grateful for being trusted to lead the formation and development of this new division. And to do so, my first priority was, and still is, to find the right people to build a robust team of experts to further develop the company’s coating business. Therefore, I am looking for a diverse and highly motivated team that is forward-thinking and willing to challenge the status quo and promote innovative solutions that prioritize packaging recyclability and circularity.

And what is next on your agenda once your team is ready to go?

Gilles Le Moigne: Focused on the development of specialized functional coating solutions that enable sustainable packaging design in the sense of a Circular Economy, the new business unit will serve as a cross-divisional hub of excellence, adding specialized circular coating expertise to all other business units. Going forward, we aim to establish a solid technology platform complementing the existing product portfolio of the company and comprehensively meeting the diverse requirements of the market. As packaging sustainability is a complex topic, cross-industry collaboration is vital for progress. That’s why we will not only collaborate with existing customers but also will forge relationships with new partners across the entire packaging value chain. We even plan to expand our recent cooperation radius to the entire packaging ecosystem to also include for example equipment producers or external labs as this will help us to continue paving the way for an increasing circularity of packaging worldwide.

What makes functional coatings so relevant for realizing circular packaging solutions?

Gilles Le Moigne: Well, rethinking the design of packaging has never been more important than today - not least considering ever stricter packaging regulations worldwide. Just look at the PPWR which sets a highly complex regulatory framework aiming to make sustainable packaging the new norm in Europe. That's why we as business unit are primarily focusing on the European region, but also on the India market, which is subject to constant regulatory changes due to its highly dynamic and rapid growth. The need to simplify packaging complexity and improve recyclability is already more than apparent today. Subsequently, key trends include switching from multi- to mono-material structures and enabling the use of renewable materials like paper for a broader range of packaging. Here, functional coatings play a key role for the realization of corresponding packaging solutions: They can for example help to replace extra layers of material or provide renewable materials with the necessary functional properties to enable their use for completely new applications. Today, Siegwerk can already look back on several successful development projects with customers and industry partners that have resulted in advanced packaging solutions with improved performance and recyclability. And this is where we as new business unit will build on by focusing on the development of new functional coating technologies for a circular packaging design, further complementing Siegwerk’s conventional coating and ink offering.

And what does your new role mean for you personally?

Gilles Le Moigne: Sustainability is very important to me, not least with regard to the future of my own children. I deeply believe that a Circular Economy can help to solve some of the most pressing challenges in this context. That's why I am honored to be able in my role at Siegwerk to lead the charge in driving sustainable solutions within the packaging industry. I am very excited to be part of this journey and contribute my experiences to further drive the next innovations and strengthen our position in the coating space.