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ASC Sustainability Summit Defines Industry Needs

August 4, 2011
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The Adhesive and Sealant Council Inc. (ASC) announced it will partner with the American Standards and Testing Materials (ASTM) to begin defining sustainability via consensus-driven industry dialogue beginning this fall. The recent Sustainability Summit was produced in partnership with ASTM and drew 86 attendees from across the adhesives and sealants supply chain. The summit featured three keynote speakers, three market segment panels with 16 different speakers, and industry discussion groups that focused on one key industry trend: sustainability.

“The goal of the council’s Sustainability Summit was to create industry dialogue, followed by action-oriented next steps,” said Steve Duren, director of Membership. “The sessions explored all facets of sustainability and allowed ample opportunity for discussion and debate as the industry collaborates to establish baseline understanding of what sustainability is all about.”

The one-and-a-half-day event featured an opening session where Bob Peoples, Ph.D., of the Green Chemistry Institute shared business perspectives on green chemistry and forecasted the opportunity for industry growth in this area through 2020. “Global chemical industry leaders recognize the fundamental shift beginning to take place as we move toward a sustainable bio-based enterprise in the 21st century,” Peoples said. “The ASC membership is among the early adopters and will be well-rewarded for their strategic thinking.”

The core of the summit featured three industry-oriented panels where a total of 16 industry experts shared thoughts and ideas on how sustainability impacted the transportation, building and construction and packaging market sectors.

“The panels allowed industry leaders to share knowledge and perspectives on the future direction they feel sustainability will take,” Duren said. “The panels set up the discussion sessions that followed, where all of the 86 attendees could debate the future of sustainability in smaller breakout groups and begin to form a reasonable action plan for industry using both ASC and ASTM platforms to implement initiatives.”

One key feature of the summit was its focus on the international nature of sustainability. Hermann Onusseit, Ph.D., of Henkel provided a European perspective as a keynote speaker. His remarks were on behalf of FEICA, the leading European trade association serving the adhesives and sealant sector. Onusseit identified that adhesives and sealants are “enablers” of value and a key element to any assembly or finished good. He emphasized the need for harmonization with data and terminology, and stressed the importance of standard alignment. Onusseit recognized that Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) will be the trend of the future in the area of sustainability.

“The ASC Sustainability Summit was the very beginning of a roadmap that will help deliver value to ASC members and the industry at large,” said Glenn Frommer, president of ADCO Products Inc. and ASC chairman. “I was impressed with the speakers and discussions, but also for the focus on action where it was clearly expected that ASC/ASTM working together will advance the sustainability dialogue and focus on definitions and terminology.”

The ASC said it will partner with ASTM to determine a calendar of events, focusing on terminology development and webinars that will support this effort. Interested industry partners should contact Steve Duren to learn how to participate.

For more information, phone (301) 986-9700 or visit www.ascouncil.org.

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