(Feb. 8, 2008) — I want to applaud Plastics News for declaring in its first issue of 2008 that sustainability will be a “key priority” of its editorial content this year [“Unity, sustainability industry keys in '08,” Viewpoint, Jan. 7, Page 6]. My hope is our industry's executives will come to see that the term “green” signifies the money and market share available to those companies that stop being defensive and begin to act on sustainability.
My conversations with plastics chief executive officers across the country reveal many companies have already taken on the challenge. Sustainability feedback cards received from our members, articles in the trade press and the Society of Plastics Engineer's annual environmental award winners also show our industry is already demonstrating innovation in the areas of product design, recycling, materials recovery, bio-based polymers, energy efficiency, worker training and environmental management system certification.
Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. has begun to initiate programs that will help companies take gradual steps toward viewing sustainable practices as a sound business decision. At our last meeting, SPI's executive board finalized its official position declaring SPI “will support the development and adoption of sustainability principles through ongoing interactions with manufacturers and customers as well as codes, standards and regulatory bodies.” Using our policy statement as a springboard, our Material Suppliers Council recently took the lead in developing a general action plan that will guide SPI's sustainability activities in the future.
Over the past several months, I have learned a lot about both the challenges and opportunities sustainability offers our industry. In my opinion, plastics companies must add sustainable thinking to their business plans or risk missing out on financial and competitive opportunities.
William R. Carteaux
President and CEO
Society of the Plastics Industry