PHOENIX — The polyurethane industry in North America needs to get out and tell the benefits of its products or face being maligned by unsympathetic groups, said Gerry Podesta, chairman of the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry.
Podesta, who is also BASF senior vice president North America for performance materials, spoke at the opening presentation of the CPI convention. He told delegates that "there are people out there who do not see the benefits" of polyurethane.
He added: "we cannot wait for other people to write our story, too many other products and industries have suffered because of that. Our foundations are being challenged. We need to be advocates for our industry."
He called on delegates to "engage, educate people" and to explain to them how polyurethanes help make their houses more energy efficient, and their beds more comfortable, for example.
"Let's all be part of the solution," Podesta said.
Podesta said attendees at the event have the opportunity to sign up to be advocates for the PU sector.
"We need advocates" to engage with community leaders, at grass-roots, county, state or national level to help lobby for the industry, he said. It is important that people with scientific understanding engage with NGOs and government forums at all levels.
The CPI meeting is being held Sept. 22-25 in Phoenix.