Monday morning began with a General Session, featuring two speakers. Alois Linder, executive vice president-Adhesives at Henkel KGaA, spoke on sustainability. He said that “sustainability equals future viability” and that the challenges to sustainability include: global warming, water (“the gold of the 21st century”), waste, poverty and chemical exposure.
Adhesive and sealant companies can exploit the sustainability opportunities by working jointly with raw material suppliers, industrial customers and retailers, he said.
“Sustainability is a prerequisite for future success,” Linder said. He said that sustainability is not a burden but an opportunity for our industry. We should work together to make it happen.
Kathleen Cooper, senior fellow at the Tower Center, Southern Methodist University in Dallas and former chief economist at ExxonMobil, gave a rosy outlook for the longer term economic view. She said that the next few years will remain tight, but that global inflation is resulting in more manufacturing returning to the United States. She noted that GM’s CEO has stated that the company will begin exporting to China again. There’s also a good chance that jobs will begin to start coming back to the United States, she said.