SAN FRANCISCO—The International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers is developing several initiatives as a result of a two-year strategic review.
A life-cycle assessment program, a presence in China and a redesign of the institute's website are the result of an internal soul-searching exercise led by James L. McGraw, managing director and CEO of the organization of most of the world's synthetic rubber producers.
He raised the issue of the strategic, long-term direction of the institute during the IISRP meeting in Seoul, South Korea, two years ago.
"We've been doing a lot of things very well for a long time," McGraw said following the group's Annual General Meeting in San Francisco April 14-17. "I basically challenged the executive committee to take a pretty good look at ourselves" and develop a strategic initiative.
Out of that came the life cycle assessment project—a cradle-to-grave analysis of the SR industry's products.
"We've been in discussions on this for a year and half, and are moving forward on it," he said. The institute's European Section, supported by the Americas Section, is driving the project. Life cycle assessment already is being done in Japan, and McGraw said there needs to be a global effort on the project.
The decision to get an IISRP presence in China also is a product of the review. The group is sorting out possible scenarios. It's not just that the IISRP should be in China, or that there are potential new members in the nation, he said. The organization also needs to obtain and share data.
Sinopec Corp. and PetroChina Co. Ltd. already are members of the IISRP.
The IISRP has been adding members, particularly affiliates, for some time. Just this year, JNC America Corp., a supplier of silane coupling agents to SR companies, and 1,3 butadiene producer Evonik Corp. have signed on.
Adding members is very good for the IISRP, but the institute also must respond to the needs of current members, McGraw said.
"We're not doing so well that we can't do better," McGraw said.