Looking for new business opportunities! Interview with a team leader of the Business Development team in LG Chem Europe GmbH
2023. 07. 28
2023. 07. 28
To create a sustainable future, LG Chem is producing eco-friendly products, such as Post Consumer Recycled (PCR) products, Bio-Circular Balanced products, and Compostable materials, as well as progressing with different projects related to reducing carbon emissions and creating a circular economy. In particular, our Business Development Team is in charge of developing and progressing such new business opportunities. Today, we interview Lim Won-Bae, a team leader of the Business Development Team, who is exploring new businesses based on ESG. Take a look at what he says about his team from different countries and a review of the Chemical Recycling Conference 2023.
Hi! Please introduce yourself.
Hello, everyone! I’m Bill Lim, leading the Business Development Team at the Business Service Center of LG Chem Europe GmbH (LGCEG), based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Of course, I also have a Korean name, Wonbae Lim, but it’s always a bit difficult for non-Koreans to pronounce, so I prefer Bill.
Tell us about your team and current tasks/projects you are working on.
As the team’s name suggests, we’re always looking for new business opportunities and also conducting open innovation activities to find disruptive technologies based on information available only to locals. If anyone asks me how I manage this, I’d say it’s thanks to competent team members of different nationalities; German, Italian, Romanian, Indian, and Japanese. Each member has their own expertise in open innovation, investment, and market analysis. Some Korean colleagues are dedicated to Petrochemical’s R&D and business, and have expertise in business development strategy and marketing. Without them, I can’t imagine how I would be able to cope with the diverse projects in petrochemicals and battery materials, which are completely different.I can’t reveal many details about the individual projects, but we are currently working on several projects in collaboration with different departments at the headquarters. However, I can say that they are all related to LG Chem’s sustainable strategy.
You’ve worked in different countries and cities.
Tell us about any tips for communication or support from the company.
I joined LG Chem in 2010 as a research scientist and later moved to a staff role to gain a broader range of knowledge. Then my journey abroad started in 2018 in Moscow, Russia, and continues in Frankfurt, Germany. I believe that it allowed me to better understand and communicate with others – ‘listening.’ Everything starts with listening when communicating. I also had the opportunity to attend a training course here in Germany. It was helpful to better understand those with cultural differences.
Let us know if there is a case that your team is currently exploring and working on.
Currently, the team is working on different topics. Some of which I can mention are ReVentas, BluCon, and most recently, Impact Recycling. A UK-based start-up company, ReVentas is LG Chem’s strategic partner in which LG Chem invested. LG Chem worked with ReVentas to improve the quality of PCR products made through mechanical recycling. On top of that, LG Chem has invested in the proprietary technology of BluCon Biotech, a German biotech company, to expand our bio-economy portfolio. BluCon uses direct fermentation of lignocellulosic feedstock to obtain lactic acid which creates bioplastic PLA, one of the most popular bio plastics with price-competitiveness, contributing to a sustainable circular bio-economy. Furthermore, LG Chem opted to invest in Impact Recycling, a UK-based plastic recycling company. It is to support the business in rolling out its baffled oscillation separation system (BOSS), which is a water-based density separation process.
What is the goal of your team? What do you want to achieve in LGCEG?
As this is a new team, most of the activities we do in Europe are still in the early stages of the business development process. Therefore, I would be very happy if, in the near future, the team could successfully execute and establish new business cases that would have a direct impact on ESG and the circular economy in Europe.
You recently attended Chemical Recycling Conference 2023.
What made you attend, and what did you take away from there?
On 26-28 June 2023, I attended Chemical Recycling Conference 2023 in Frankfurt. The conference leads you to further explore the developments in advanced recycling and the progress being made towards sustainable solutions in the field. This year’s essential themes include policy developments, chemical recycling processes, feedstock acquisition, and brand-owner perspectives.
I was very interested in all kinds of plastic recycling as Europe is the world leader in this particular industry. LG Chem is also building a chemical recycling demo plant in Korea with Mura Technology, a UK-based advanced recycling company.
I brought three keywords from the conference; Economies of Scale, Mass Balance, and Feedstock. From my understanding of the conference, the chemical recycling industry needs investment and regulatory support to achieve economies of scale. To achieve this, they should be clear on mass balance and also find out alternative ways to secure feedstock, not in the way of cannibalizing mechanical recycling, but from the rest that hasn’t been recycled properly. I think this could clearly give us and even LG Chem the direction and the idea to be part of the circular economy.
We are proud of Bill Lim, who is working hard to explore and implement new, sustainable businesses. Currently, at LG Chem, we are expanding our business portfolio and are working with a variety of companies to secure eco-friendly technology including chemical recycling. Stay tuned to LG Chem Blog to see more of our employee interviews and track our progress on ESG-based business!