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HKI President Christiane Wodtke awards HKI Future Prize to Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer

On 30 and 31 May 2022, the HKI Industrieverband Haus-, Heiz- und Küchentechnik (Home, Heating and Kitchen Technology Industry Association) once again held its annual members' meeting as a face-to-face event in Berlin after 2 years. The industry association consists of the trade associations for heating and cooking appliances as well as commercial kitchen equipment with around 200 members.

The motto of the event: Sustainable Technologies - Sustainable Future

The highlight of the event was the festive reception on 30 May 2022 with the awarding of the first HKI Future Prize to Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer during a ceremony. "The award winner is to be commended for his lifetime achievement and his commitment to a sustainable future. He is one of the formative personalities in terms of sustainability of our time," said Christiane Wodtke in her laudation.

Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer, former Federal Minister for the Environment and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, then inspired the audience with a remarkable and visionary speech and provided insights into the field of tension between economy and ecology.

"Shaping the future with innovations" was the appeal of President Christiane Wodtke: "Politics should act in a way that is open to technology. It is important for associations and companies to remain in dialogue with politicians. Politics should have and promote confidence in the innovative will and innovative strength of small and medium-sized enterprises in particular."

Tenor of the event was that the growing awareness of the problems of human coexistence , the climate debate and energy crisis, the discussion about a holistic understanding of sustainability must be conducted anew. Growth and sustainability do not have to be mutually exclusive.

Frank Kienle, Chief Executive of the HKI Industrieverband reports: "the association and its member companies are well positioned and prepared for the challenges. We will actively accompany the process in cooperation with our member companies; for us as a technically oriented association, this also includes the instrument of standardisation work."

Members and guests agreed - this presence event in Berlin was an important framework for exchange and also an incentive for the future.

Christiane Wodtke's summary: "The future will be a great challenge. Social changes, science and technology are the

are the essential areas that are crucial. We, the companies, the politicians, we are all challenged. I am confident that with entrepreneurial spirit and balanced policies we can overcome the challenges.

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