March 13, 2020

National Geographic Hosts Circular Economy Forum Spotlighting Sustainable Design in D.C.

Milliken & Company CEO Halsey M. Cook (pictured second from left) offers thoughts during the Leading Disruption CEO panel at the “The Circular Economy” National Geographic ForumPhotography courtesy of Mollie Williams. 

More than 400 thought leaders gathered in Washington, D.C. recently to discuss approaches to and means of adapting effective sustainability models at “The Circular Economy” National Geographic Forum. The event, sponsored by Milliken & Company along with Waste Management and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, featured a series of panel discussions focused on one unifying goal—eliminating waste.

Conference speakers touched on closed-loop-thinking and collaboration, reminding attendees that waste offers many opportunities for innovation from creating new resources to giving a cyclical life to plastics and other materials. “Plastics are an integral part of everyday life,” said David Moody, president of Milliken & Company’s chemical division. “We can maintain, and even enhance, the critical role they play through intentional recycling and improved manufacturing of recycled plastics.”

The event, held at the National Geographic Museum, also featured more nuanced discussions about the barriers and enablers of a circular economy. Halsey M. Cook, president and CEO of Milliken & Company, offered his views on this during the Leading Disruption panel joined by fellow industry CEOs. “Closing the loop on waste requires a holistic plan,” said Cook.

Looking ahead to 2025, Milliken’s sustainability goals include redefining industry-wide manufacturing processes, so consumers always have a green choice. Their award-winning DeltaMax Performance Additive, for example, is one step in that direction. This additive transforms the manufacturing process using recycled polypropylene, one of the fastest-growing plastics globally, to balance product quality and production challenges, enabling new products to be created from up to 100 percent post-consumer and post-industrial recycled polypropylene resins.

In the design industry and beyond, the National Geographic Forum annually inspires innovations in sustainability. Moody summarized the atmosphere of the event poignantly: “Milliken cannot do this work alone. The leaders who came together today will undoubtedly be a part of the solution.”

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