At the beginning of the new year, the copper division of the Gesamtverband der deutschen Buntmetallindustrie e.V. (GDB) merges with the absorbing Deutsches Kupferinstitut Berufsverband e.V. to form the “Kupferverband e.V.”. This is the first time that a central association of the copper industry with a European orientation has been created that deals with all aspects of copper under one roof. With Alexander Dehnelt from Diehl Brass Solutions Stiftung und Co. KG, an experienced copper expert is also taking the helm as Chairman of the Board of the new association.
With the founding of the Kupferverband e.V., the copper industry has the opportunity to bundle the different specialist interests of the companies. Alexander Dehnelt is confident: “The new Kupferverband will be the voice of the copper industry. It offers the opportunity for the copper-processing member companies to position themselves more strongly in the public and in political arenas and thus allows for greater clout. We are repositioning ourselves to be more than before!”
European voice of the copper industry
The combination of the technical-scientific expertise of the Kupferinstitut with the profound copper market knowledge of the GDB provides an optimal basis for this. In addition, the new Kupferverband is also a trade association of the Wirtschaftsvereinigung Metalle, i.e. its members have access to all the services of the Wirtschaftsvereinigung on the topics of environmental policy, energy policy, responsible sourcing, climate policy and sustainability. Dehnelt: “From a materials science perspective, the Kupferinstitut has been doing excellent work for decades and will continue to do so under the new umbrella. However, not least due to the European Green Deal and the focus on topics such as energy and sustainability, the industry is increasingly forced to consider the technological developments and applications of copper materials more and more from the aspect of regulatory requirements: the hurdles must not become too great for our industry in order to pave the way for Co2 neutrality, which copper materials in particular are taking as enablers of the energy and mobility turnaround. A central association of the copper industry makes sense not least for this reason.”
Exploring new paths
Alexander Dehnelt knows what he is talking about: the Venezuelan-born 51-year-old married business graduate has been in the copper business for over 20 years and has made a career at the Diehl Group. Since 2014, he has been a member of the management board at Diehl Metall Messing – now Diehl Brass Solutions – where he is responsible for sales, business development, development and supply chain management. He graduated from the University of Mannheim in business administration with a focus on marketing and international management.
Michael Sander, Managing Director of the Kupferverband e.V., is pleased to have with Dehnelt a copper expert at his side: “The new Kupferverband has to face numerous challenges. And the team of the Kupferinstitut is also challenged to optimally implement this restructuring and reorientation. We want to make it clear that copper is not only a valuable industrial metal, but also a significant element in circular economy and decarbonisation processes.”
The merger has been well received by the copper processing companies of the GDB as well as the members of the Kupferinstitut. As a result of the merger, the number of member companies in the new Kupferverband has risen to 36, all of which can draw on the familiar services of the Kupferinstitut and GDB in the new association.