LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Change can be daunting, but it is the best way to ensure the sustainability of the rubber industry.
That was the message delivered by P.K. Mohamed, chief adviser of research and development of Apollo Tyres Ltd., during his keynote address March 24 on the opening day of the ACS Rubber Division's 185th Technical Meeting and Educational Symposium in Louisville.
“The most important is change management,” Mohamed said, “change in our approach, change in our attitude, change in our commitment. Change is difficult to process, but it is inevitable in a sustainable world.”
Mohamed discussed some of the challenges inherent in the tire market—including volatile resources and prices, and an increased global demand for high quality products—during his address, titled, “Sustainable Development: A Major Challenge to the Rubber Industry."
“In a nutshell, sustainable technology is minimizing valuable resources and maximizing the performance actually sustainable, and balancing the safety, customer satisfaction, profitability and regulations,” said Mohamed, who has spent 46 years in the industry. He is responsible for all aspects of Apollo's R&D facilities.
“It is our responsibility to provide a healthy, clean, safe and sustainable lifestyle for our future generations for which they will be thankful to us,” Mohamed said. “Choices will be made today that will determine the course for the future.”
Sustainability, he said, comes from within and from those around us. “Sustainability is our commitment to the environment, society and economy,” the Apollo official said. “It is a commitment from all of us. Let us stakeholders put their hands together and commit. Let us change our attitude and approach to achieve the same. It is a difficult process.”
Mohamed used the myth of an eagle to illustrate the difficulty of change. He said once an eagle reaches 40 years old, it must make a choice. It can either die, or it can retreat to a nest deep in the woods, where it must remove its beak, talons and feathers, all of which have worn out because of age, to grow new ones.
The long, painful process lasts five months, according to Mohamed, but if the eagle successfully commits to the process, it can live 30 more years. The story, Mohamed said, provides an example of how we should approach our responsibility to sustainability.