Just because sustainability is essential doesn't mean it's going to be easy.
During a technical presentation offered Oct. 23 as part of the ACS Rubber Division's International Elastomer Conference, Whitney Luckett, president of Southland Rubber Inc., broke down the challenges faced by the natural rubber industry as it moves steadily and purposefully toward sustainability.
"The only real reason people are paying attention is because of the end consumer," Luckett said of recent sustainability efforts made industry-wide. "They are asking for things like traceability all the way back to the farmer. … They want to know the environmental impact of what we do on a day-to-day basis, and they are looking for certain things from third parties."
Meeting those demands across the entire industry is a task that requires buy-in at all levels, from farmers to OEMs. It also means bringing everybody's voice to the table to ensure sustainability aims remain focused and that the industry is positioned to thrive, even in the face of great challenges.