Can Advanced Materials Create a More Sustainable Future?


by Camille Saltman, President & CMO, Malama Composites, Inc.

The system is ACASA – Advanced Composite + Steel Architecture. The platform can incorporate solar, smart home technology and other sustainable solutions. In communities around the world ACASA factories will create sustainable jobs and futures for communities. Saltman told the group it was high time our homes matched the intelligence of our phones. The announcement earned Saltman a spontaneous round of applause from the audience of plastics engineers and industrial designers. Saltman was part of a panel organized by Robert Grace, founder and former editor of Plastics News and now head of RC Grace LLC. The panel was moderated by Gaylon White, Principal of Orbiting Creative and architect of the Eastman Innovation Lab and included: Kara Johnson, Portfolio Director – Materiality at IDEO; Diane Turnwall, Vice President of Materials Innovation, Herman Miller; and Tobias Schultz, Manager of Environmental Sustainability Services for SCS Global Services.

Schultz advocated for far more effective measurement techniques and therefore metrics to measure the radical climate change we are experiencing as well as the lifecycle impacts of various materials in order to measure and design effective mitigation solutions. He warned that poor measurement and bad data could worsen our situation.

Turnwall outlined Herman Miller’s ambitious steps towards creation of zero waste and zero water use.

Johnson shared her passion for materials and design of products that create joyous experiences for consumers and lead to cherishing of products versus frequent disposal – thereby reducing waste.

White believes combinations of new materials will create sustainable solutions and shared the story of Weyerhaeuser’s sustainable THRIVE product – tree-based cellulose fibers provide improved part quality, enhanced molding efficiency, higher productivity, reduced energy needs, cost savings and in many cases, cycle time reductions of 60 percent for manufacturers. THRIVE overcomes current issues and challenges with conventional ceramic and mineral-filled composites while at the same time being environmentally responsible.


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