Kickstart: Taking sustainability to the boardroom

You and I both know that there are some people in the plastics industry who think debates about sustainability are just about appeasing a small fringe group. We especially hear from them complaining that industry trade groups aren’t doing enough to fight back against what they see as smears on the plastics industry.But here’s the thing: Sustainability issues aren’t going to go away, and in fact are very much part of the mainstream.Consider just a few items from the news this week. ExxonMobil was forced to put two people from a small investment firm, Engine No. 1, onto its 12-member board when shareholders at large backed Engine’s claim that the chemical and gas giant isn’t doing enough about climate change.”To corporate America, the upset was a clear sign that company boards and leaders need to pay attention to environmental, social and governance issues — or suffer rebukes,” The New York Times noted in its .Add to that a Dutch court ruling that Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell must speed its work to reduce carbon emissions. The chemical company had planned to reduce emissions by 20 percent by 2030, but the target should be 45 percent.And on May 26, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation that aims to improve plastics’ footprint and improve circularity, something it said must include “new thinking, bold approaches and deep collaborations.””From surgical masks to single-use cups, plastics played a key role in our lives as we confronted the pandemic,” Marc DeCourcey, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, said in a news release. “Sustainable management of plastics will be critical to the next phase of COVID-19 recovery, and as we work to create a thriving economy that is good for people and the planet.” We’ve written about Cascade Engineering Inc. quite a few times. The injection molder and supplier to the auto and office furniture industries, as well as a molder of trash and recycling wheeled bins, was our Processor of the Year in 2001.A new profile in Inc. magazine in providing jobs to help people move out of welfare and transition after a prison sentence, speaking to both founder Fred Keller and his daughter, Christina Keller, who is CEO. (Christina Keller was a speaker in PN’s this week. Her presentation is still available for viewing.)”For business owners who feel strongly about advocacy and activism, and are looking for ways to help their companies reflect their values, the Kellers show how people-first leadership can transform a company and lead to sustained, multigenerational growth,” Kimberly Weisul writes. “As the social justice movement gains momentum in the U.S., their story is a case study in innovative thinking for the growing numbers of entrepreneurs seeking to embrace the human elements of management and lead with empathy.” You know how hard it is to try and get the last bit of toothpaste out of a tube? How hard will it be to get more life out of the tube itself? toothpaste tubes later this year, starting in its biggest oral care markets of France and India. The tube uses high density polyethylene, avoiding an aluminum inner lining, which had kept tubes from being recycled in the past.Just creating the tubes has been a massive effort, with Unilever joined by four of its packaging suppliers in the work. But the consumer brands major knows the work doesn’t end there.”To drive further change across the waste management industry, Unilever is working with global recycling organizations to help ensure that the new tubes are collected and recycled,” the company . “This will be the case in France, where consumers can put the new tubes in their home recycling bin ready to be collected and turned into new products.”By 2022, Unilever aims to not only make recyclable tubes, but also use post-consumer resin in the tubes. Do you have an opinion about this story? Do you have some thoughts you’d like to share with our readers? Plastics News would love to hear from you. Email your letter to Editor at Staying current is easy with Plastics News delivered straight to your inbox, free of charge. Subscribe to Plastics News Plastics News covers the business of the global plastics industry. We report news, gather data and deliver timely information that provides our readers with a competitive advantage.Customer Service:

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