BETHESDA, MD – The Adhesive and Sealant Council (ASC) will partner with American Standards and Testing Materials (ASTM) to begin defining sustainability via a consensus-driven industry dialogue beginning in the fall of 2011. This effort is a direct outcome of the council’s first-ever Sustainability Summit, held July 26-27 in Rosemont, IL.

The Sustainability Summit was produced in partnership with ASTM and drew 86 attendees from across the adhesives and sealants supply chain. The summit featured three keynote speakers, three market-segment panels with 16 different speakers and industry discussion groups that focused on one key industry trend: sustainability.

“The goal of the council’s Sustainability Summit was to create industry dialogue, followed by action-oriented next steps,” said Steve Duren, Director of Membership at ASC. “The sessions explored all facets of sustainability and allowed ample opportunity for discussion and debate as the industry collaborates to establish baseline understanding of what sustainability is all about.”

The one-and-a-half-day event featured an opening session where Bob Peoples of the Green Chemistry Institute (GCI) shared business perspectives on green chemistry and forecasted the opportunity for industry growth in this area through 2020. “Global chemical industry leaders recognize the fundamental shift beginning to take place as we move toward a sustainable bio-based enterprise in the 21st century,” noted Peoples.

The core of the summit featured three industry oriented panels where a total of 16 industry experts shared thoughts and ideas on how sustainability impacted the transportation, building and construction, and packaging market sectors.

“The panels allowed industry leaders to share knowledge and perspectives on the future direction they feel sustainability will take,” said Duren. “The panels set up the discussion sessions that followed where all of the 86 attendees could debate the future of sustainability in smaller breakout groups and begin to form a reasonable action plan for industry using both ASC and ASTM platforms to implement initiatives.”

One key feature of the Sustainability Summit was its focus on the international nature of sustainability. Hermann Onusseit of Henkel provided a European perspective as a keynote speaker. His remarks were on behalf of FEICA, the leading European trade association serving the adhesives and sealant sector. Onusseit clearly identified that adhesives and sealants are “enablers” of value and a key element to any assembly or finished good. He emphasized the need for harmonization with data, terminology and stressed the importance of standard alignment. Onusseit recognized that EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations) will be the trend of the future in the area of sustainability.

The primary outcome of the Sustainability Summit was a desire on the part of attendees to focus time and effort on industry definitions for sustainability. ASC will partner with ASTM to determine a calendar of events, focusing on terminology development and webinars that will support this effort. Interested industry partners should contact Steve Duren at or 301/986.9700 ext. 105 to learn how to play an active role in the council’s next steps.