While most of us who participate in the plastics industry would characterize our businesses as manufacturing, the fact is that polymer chemistry is at the heart of all we do.
Arkema is a global producer of plastics and functional additives and we recognize, as do you, that molecular transformations are central to virtually all manufactured and extracted products. This year's celebration of the International Year of Chemistry 2011 recognizes chemistry's achievements and contributions to the well-being of humankind.
Under the theme “Chemistry — our life, our future,” IYC 2011 events sponsored and conducted by companies and universities around the world are offering interactive, entertaining, and educational activities for all ages. As plastics companies, we can and should participate in the program. The goals of IYC 2011 are:
* To increase public appreciation and understanding of chemistry in meeting world needs.
* Encourage interest of young people in chemistry.
* Generate enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry.
* Celebrate the role of women in chemistry.
Through IYC 2011, the plastics and chemical community can publicly celebrate the art and science of chemistry and its key contributions to developing human knowledge, advancing economic progress, and fostering a wholesome environment. Arkema continues to invest R&D resources in areas that will be important for the future, such as materials for alternative energies and energy savings, food conservation, access to potable water and bio-based polymers.
What's the benefit to your organization?
As 21st century plastics companies, we all face a major challenge to recruit the next generation of innovators. Chemistry, appropriately called “the central science,” is both a deeply philosophical inquiry and an applied scientific endeavor. The science of chemistry is fundamental to humanity's understanding of the world and the cosmos. To ensure that first-rate minds continue to be attracted to and challenged by the central science, IYC events can excite the young mind and underscore the chemistry's role in managing natural resources in a sustainable manner. Our companies have a great opportunity to use IYC 2011 to promote the plastics industry and the good work that we do, if we just seize the opportunity.
A visit to www.chemistry2011.org would be worthwhile. Through the first half of 2011, more than 1,200 activities with 600 events in nearly 100 countries have been conducted or are planned, and another 300 ideas have been posted, triggering exchanges of tips and good practices. All this is taking place within a network of more than 7,300 individuals in more than 165 countries.
At Arkema, our North American plants are incorporating IYC 2011 into our community outreach. IYC 2011 is good for our industry, and our company. Join us in celebrating our industry's heritage.
Roche is president and CEO of Arkema Inc. in King of Prussia, Pa.