GTF Berlin 15 - Gregor [EN]

So at first I need the administrative stuff. So I’m Jos and I’m working on research in circular economy and automotive sector. And I would like to know your point of view. If you accept, I’m going to record our conversation, transcribe it and put the transcription with a pseudonym, not with your real name in a repository of text documents that will be used for the research. If we do this and you change your mind later and no longer want to participate, get in touch with us and we will immediately remove your interview from the repository. I’m leaving you an information sheet with contact information, so if you agree, please tell your name and that you agree.

My name is Gregor Cech and I agree.

Thank you. The name was Gregor. Gregor. Gregor. Okay, The first question, Gregor, is can you define a circular economy in your own words?

Let’s see, creating a circle of or letting. Letting whatever materials we use travel in a circle as in reuse in an intelligent way. Maybe even 200%.

Good. Do you participate in a circular economy yourself and in any aspect of your life?

We do actually, professionally by we are a real estate developer. We develop a technology city quarter of ten hectares and we there install the the the infrastructure for circular entire for circular economy across the entire quarter with vertical farming biogas generation for for electricity and warmth, the reuse of the carbon dioxide from the biogas plant in the vertical factory, produce of the vertical factory ledges fruit fish go into local gastronomy in the quarter refuse from there goes into the biogas chamber. Again, this is one example and we have a water management as well with greywater refuse water, rainwater. So we think in a circle or let’s say we try to.

Render the quarter. Let’s say, almost autark. Yeah.

And in your personal life?

My personal life. It’s actually quite hard to be to be circular or to be sustainable in a circular way. Very hard. I have to admit.

How did you become interested in the circular economy, ideas and practices?

Um, again, professionally, we became interested in it because it is actually something that, um, if done properly, if set up economically sustainably, then you can actually earn money through it. We render our city quarter attractive for many, many companies. Many companies nowadays can only sign leases if there if the rental object is actual, it’s certified. Um, so it’s a necessity for once. Many investors in investing in real estate follow the certificates as well. So again, it’s a necessity. But then again we realized, our technician realized that. There’s a point to actually trying to reach the maximum, trying to to realize what’s technically thinkable, doable. And we combine everything that that we know has been realized in other places separately. We put it together and we try to make it work on a city scale. And we work together with many institutions that watch very closely what we’re doing because they try to derive standards from that. That may help to transform urban spaces across the world. So that’s we actually set up a model quarter. That’s it.

In your opinion, can a circular economy be implemented in individual sectors or industries?

Very, very hard. Very, very hard. I mean, let’s face it, living is not circular. You do. You do emit whatever. Being being alive means you have an impact. So, no, it can only be contained. It can be on a societal scale. It can be realized in such a way that one could argue that we don’t take more than we give back or that we don’t. Yeah, we don’t use more than can be replenished naturally so that we stay within the threshold or below the threshold. Yeah.

Do you think the circular economy already exists in the car industry?

Who? Does does buying a used car count as circular? That depends. If you look just at the material as such. I mean, you take the metal, you take the the. The plastics. You take the rubber. Yes. Why not? Theoretically, it’s probably no problem. The the question is and that brings me back to the economic sustainability. Is there a business aspect? Is there a business model? Is it economically viable to do so for any one actor in order to to to base his or her earnings on it? That’s the that’s the that’s the question. So it needs to be interesting enough to actually do it commercially then then the whole thing will definitely work.

Um, do you currently own a car?

I do, actually. Yes.

Which kind?

Skoda. Fabia. A small one.

A small one. An old one or.