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>> Karen Parker, editor-in-chief


Susan Sutton served as Editor-in-Chief, Integrated Media, of ASI magazine for many years. If you wish to send a letter to the editor, please contact Tom Fowler at Letters may be edited for space and clarity.

an Economic Case for Sustainable Technologies 

Since I started this job three months ago, I have been looking forward to the November issue. I want to write about sustainability. Why? Because I believe it is one of the key issues facing the adhesives and sealants industry. In fact, I think it is going to be the key issue faced by all industries across the globe, for the near future. Several factors are driving the intense concern for sustainability. They include more scientific understanding about the effects of chemicals on people and the planet, the possibility of increased regulations from governmental bodies across the globe, and more consumer demand as people become more conscious of the impacts of their own purchasing choices.

From my perspective, there is a shift in industry from addressing specific concerns—such as VOC emissions or energy usage during curing—to a broader scope that scrutinizes all parts of the manufacturing process. This shift aligns with the increasing focus on climate change. In 2021, I noticed something I had not seen before in the 15 years I have covered the chemical industry. Almost weekly, I would receive another press release outlining another chemical company’s sustainability goals, often using the Paris Agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as guides. These are not value statements or generalized corporate goals. Specific targets are set and the paths towards achieving those targets are outlined. I also saw companies shifting to a holistic, circular approach that begins with the sourcing of raw materials, to the manufacturing process, through to end-use industries, and finally recycling and reuse. Such ambitions necessitate cooperation with suppliers and customers up and down the value chain, joining the chain together and closing the entire materials/energy loop. These trends are not going away, in fact, they are increasing quickly. They also provide opportunities.

The Atlantic recently published an article by Robinson Meyer about initiatives to address climate change. Meyer cites a research note about the potential impact of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) released by the investment bank Credit Suisse in September. In that research note, analysts predict that the legislation “will have a profound effect across industries in the next decade and beyond,” and that we are just beginning to understand how the law will impact the economy. What Meyer’s article makes clear is that the “climate economy” is here, and it offers a lot of potential for new business. Among the industries that could see the most benefit from the IRA is the electric vehicle market, which offers growth potential for adhesives and sealants. Credit Suisse also reports that the United States is “poised to become the world’s leading energy provider” and that the IRA could increase the energy production advantages of the United States beyond oil and natural gas to solar and wind, another area in which adhesives and sealants play a role. From Meyer’s perspective, the most remarkable point made in the report is the declaration: “For big corporations, the IRA ‘definitely changes the narrative from risk mitigation to opportunity capture.’” Meyers explains that companies should move away from worrying about the impacts to their business posed by future climate regulation and instead concern themselves with “missing out on the economic growth that the energy transition (and the IRA) will bring.”     

One key to harnessing the business potential of the climate economy is innovation. Companies that invest in R&D with a focus on sustainability will have an advantage; they will be capable of offering the solutions that investments in electric vehicles, wind and solar, and reuse and recycling need. Research is being conducted on many fronts, in academia, in government institutions, and in industry, to come up with new technology and science that offer solutions. As I read about new science, I plan to share it with you, both in this eMagazine and on ASI’s website, so be sure and visit our website frequently or follow ASI on social media so you can keep up to date on the latest innovations in sustainable technology.

In this month’s issue, read about technology from Evonik that aids in the formulation of sustainable structural adhesives, learn how engineering adhesives can make maintenance, repair, and operations more sustainable, get the latest on how H.B. Fuller is tackling sustainability, and read about ASC’s first-ever Sustainability Forum. Please reach out to me at if you are developing new technology for the adhesives and sealants industry that you would like to share with readers.


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