China's silicone industry will need to constantly innovate to ensure its long term growth, Tom Cook, Asia Area Vice President for Dow Corning, a global leader in silicon-based technology and innovation, told delegates at the 2009 China Silicon Industry Development Forum in Sichuan.
In his keynote speech on "Developing a Sustainable Silicone Industry in China", Tom who also serves as the company's Greater China President, discussed the new opportunities for the industry's growth. "Increasing demands from consumers, governments and businesses for more reliable, environmentally friendly and sustainable products have led to great changes in the way materials are produced," he said. "The unique characteristics of silicones and their ability to enhance product performance have spurred demand and have facilitated the growth of many different industries. Silicones will continue to play a key role in driving economic growth and competitiveness in China. "
"In order to ensure the long-term success of the whole industry in China, all of us in the silicone industry should adopt the sustainability model, balancing the three drivers of economic, environmental and social when directing our people, designing manufacturing processes and our products. We need to continuously innovate to ensure sustainable growth of the silicone industry. Moreover, we should also adhere to strict EHS standards to maintain safe products and manufacturing processes so as to ensure that silicone products will be welcome globally."
At the conference, Tom also illustrated key applications and benefits of silicones and how Dow Corning is committed to sustainability and meeting customer needs exactly.
The examples given include:
- The Dow Corning sealant plant at Zhangjiagang recycled more than 80% of the waste and reduced generation of nonhazardous silicone and solvent streams by 50%.
- Several Dow Corning plants have implemented steam trap maintenance programs to minimize the loss of steam, which has resulted in an annual reduction of millions of pounds of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.
Tom concluded his speech by highlighting the four key requirements for a sustainable silicone industry in China, namely the sustainability commitment with strict EHS standards and transparent reporting, market education regarding benefits of silicone, innovation to address local and international market needs as well as increased accessibility of the material to everyone, everywhere.
The 2009 China Silicon Industry Development Forum was jointly organized by the China Association of Organic Fluorine and Silicone Material Industry, China Chemical Industry News, and the Meishan Municipal Government in Sichuan.