Driving Sustainable Futures
April 26, 2021
COVID-19: A Change Accelerator for Sustainable Materials Solutions
If COVID-19 showed us anything, it was that we have an immense capacity to adapt to change for the betterment of society and to collaborate on a global scale to achieve common goals. These learnings have parlayed into business, where many companies have focused their attention on the urgent climate crisis – calling for global collaboration to accelerate change and set even more ambitious sustainability goals.
To help our customers realize their sustainability goals, we have doubled down on introducing sustainable solutions through our thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) product line and have begun to shift our business model to that of a solutions provider.
Sustainable Materials Solutions
Across many industries, there is an accelerated demand for modern, sustainable plastic solutions. Our current TPE products meet this demand by reducing CO2 emissions and replacing fossil-based raw materials with recycled, bio-based and biodegradable alternatives. In fact, a life cycle analysis has shown our APILON™ 52 BIO product significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions, non-renewable energy consumption, and water consumption compared to fossil-based TPU alternatives.
In addition, we are partnering across the value chain to pursue closed loop materials solutions to minimize landfill waste by reclaiming TPE from waste streams and reusing the recycled TPE in new materials. Our range of TPEs are tailor-made to meet the specific requirements of customers by replacing nonrecyclable or fossil-based materials such as vulcanized rubber, silicone or PVC. And while there are naturally some concessions when swapping one chemistry for another, our TPEs still allow for high performance, durability, good aesthetics, and soft haptics.
In light of increased industry acceptance for these alternative, sustainable solutions, we are taking steps to accelerate the penetration of TPE into new and increasingly sustainable applications.
Solutions Provider Transformation
In order to meet the accelerated industry demand for these sustainable TPE solutions, we are shifting our business model to a solutions provider. For us, this has centered around developing the products, skills, services, and engagement needed to meet the unique and ever-changing needs of our customers. For example, our customers in the fashion space could have a six month product life cycle. This naturally demands continuous, swift innovation to react to of-the-moment trends and deliver specialty solutions that meet the high performance demands of this space.
In addition, we have invested in new R&D centers in Europe and Asia. This expansion of our global footprint allows us to be within close proximity to our customers, thus increasing our agility and capability to bring the right products to life and serve them up. This transformation directly ladders back up to our strategic roadmap, which includes fulfillment of our 10-year corporate sustainability goals.
With strong sustainability commitments from brands and suppliers across all industries, the future looks bright. As the world moves ever closer to achieving a green economy, we are committed to driving the sustainable materials innovation needed to realize that future.