By: Mike Verespej
April 3, 2012
ORLANDO, FLA. (April 3, 8:40 p.m. ET) — The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. has adopted a new mission statement and is adding a fourth membership council for original equipment manufacturers and brand owners with the aim of persuading more OEMs to join.
The new mission statement, which is part of SPI 2020, more pointedly emphasizes that the association is focused on improving the competiveness and profitability of the industry and delivering the message that the right zero-waste strategy includes plastics products.
“Our strategic focus will still revolve about the three pillars we established in 2009—public policy, communications and marketing, and trade shows and conference,” President and CEO Bill Carteaux said at SPI’s 75th anniversary luncheon on April 3 at NPE 2012.
“However, we have come up with a new mission statement that we think will really position SPI for the long-term both for the development of this organization and the industry,” he said. “It is part of SPI 2020, our vision for the plastic industry and SPI for the next 10 years.”
The new mission statement says SPI will advocate a pro-manufacturing agenda, work to strengthen the competitiveness of the plastics industry and improve profitability of its members and also pursue “zero-waste strategies” for the U.S. plastics industry.
The association’s previous mission statement said that its role was to “promote and preserve” the plastics industry on both a domestic and global basis in five ways—by providing advocacy at all levels of government based on member needs, by facilitating networking, by sharing relevant industry and economic information, by promoting new market expansion opportunities, and by sponsoring domestic and international trade shows.
“We really have to focus on zero waste,” Carteaux said. “That doesn’t mean the elimination of plastic products. It means that we need to continue to promote plastic products as the right sustainability alternative.
“With all the attacks on all fronts, we need to communicate the values of our products,” he said. “We need to educate the industry, consumers and policymakers about the benefits of plastics as the preferred sustainable material.”
The new OEM council will join SPI’s three existing councils—materials suppliers, processors and equipment –and will represent the interest of brand owners and OEMs. It will be headed by Jacqueline Dalzell, who has joined SPI as director of industry affairs.
“As SPI looks toward 2020 and beyond, we must engage with OEMS … to complete the picture of SPI’s future,” Carteaux said. “OEMs are an integral part of what we do in the plastics industry.”
The new OEM council will “close the loop” on communications up and down the supply chain that SPI represents “because they are in direct touch with the consumer, Carteaux said. “It will give us more critical mass at the table to address issues among all members of the supply chain. And it certainly gives us more revenue stream”—at least potentially, he said.
Carteaux did not say how many current members at SPI will switch to the OEM Council, only saying that several strong brand owner companies—such as 3M, Dart, Pactiv, Berry Plastics, Coca-Cola Co. and SC Johnson—are currently members of SPI.
But he did say that SPI would initially pursue OEMs in the consumer products goods, packaging, medical device and automotive sectors.
“We are going to first look in areas where there is a fit with what we are already doing,” Carteaux said. “We will play to our strengths first. We certainly would like, in the next two years, to have 50 of these guys, if not 100 of these guys, at the table.
“It is an opportunity for OEMs to have a voice and a seat” at the SPI table, he said. “SPI’s new OEM council will provide crucial resources to advance an OEM’s sustainability commitment, green manufacturing practices and recycling initiatives.
“With the addition of a robust number of brand owners and consumer goods manufacturers, we will be able to provide complete supply-chain networking and relationship development for all SPI member companies,” Carteaux said.