On February 8, Sofitel Brussels Europe hosted the INTA's "Stakeholder Dialogue: Brands in a Sustainable World" providing a platform to discuss the role of brands in driving positive environmental and social change. Topics included the sustainable destruction and recycling of counterfeit products and incorporating sustainable values into brand identity.
During the first panel moderated by Brigitte Spiegeler (Heffels Spiegeler Advocaten), titled "Sustainable Destruction of Counterfeits Today and in the Future" Daniel Reis Nobre, Managing Partner of Inventa, participated alongside Tom Peperstraete (Federal Ministry of Economy, Belgium) and Ronald Brohm (REACT/European Anti-Counterfeiting Network), emphasizing the importance of seizing counterfeit products and reusing raw materials to defeat counterfeiters. As Daniel explains “Counterfeiters are winning the battle. We need to seize their goods, sustainably destroy them, and repurpose the raw materials for new goods. Only then can we beat them".
Tom Peperstraete highlighted the need for a “unified, harmonized approach that would be beneficial for brand owners”, and Ronald Brohm pointed out the expensive recycling process and the lack of cooperation between EU Member States in facilitating the transport of counterfeits for disposal. Despite these challenges, he advised brand owners to put pressure on third parties, such as importers and warehouses, regarding the costs of storing and destroying counterfeit products. The session aimed to raise awareness and share best practices for the ecological disposal of counterfeit products, addressing challenges, exploring solutions, and highlighting the importance of adopting and financing sustainable practices.
The second panel “Sustainability and Circularity: The Future of Brands”, moderated by Marlou van de Braak (Heineken), Gabriella Waibel (European Commission) and Tom Heremans (CMS) explored challenges and opportunities in the context of the circular economy. They discussed how brands can promote sustainable consumption and production patterns. Additionally, the panel addressed legal and regulatory aspects of trademarks related to circularity, including the new EU Ecodesign Directive and recent legislative developments worldwide.