“What is particularly rewarding for my team’s effort is the fact that virtually the whole nonwovens supply chain is represented in the 35 new member companies that have joined EDANA in the first three quarters of 2013, from machinery to finished personal care, medical or filtration or semi-finished industrial products or composites for automotive applications," says Pierre Wiertz, general manager of EDANA.
With membership representing the entire nonwovens and related industries’ value chain, from raw materials to roll goods, additives and converted goods, the association’s eligibility criteria places emphasis on the industry’s manufacturers.
“Exhibition organizers or promoters of special economic zones in emerging economies, whose business is unlikely to support EDANA’s mission to promote sustainable growth of the nonwovens and related industries would not be eligible for either EDANA membership or exhibiting at the INDEX exhibition," says Wiertz.
Speaking about the long-term partnerships and alignment EDANA has developed with sister associations across the globe, particularly across the Americas, China, Japan and the Asian region, and with EDANA representative chapters in CIS and the Middle East and Northern Africa, Wiertz confirmed the regional strength of the association, saying, “While we do not actively recruit new member companies outside EMEA, where there are no relevant associations in a specific market, we do take the role of industry representative to fill the gap."
EDANA says its policy of free and fair trade is the foundation of the association. As an example of this global stewardship, Patricia Featherstone, chair of the EDANA board of governors says, “We have asked the EU Commission to eliminate tariff duties on nonwovens imported from the U.S., and will be doing the same for trade between the EU and Japan.
“EDANA’s Outreach Program, designed to spread our core message and in particular our leading product stewardship approach, enables us to move throughout the world with a great efficiency, especially in improving the value chain’s understanding of the benefits of promoting sustainable products," Featherstone says.
All EDANA events in 2013 have in one way or the other addressed these themes, from post consumer waste management—a critical issue in the industrialized world 20 years ago and now in emerging countries—to integrated product stewardship practices.
During the week of SINCE13 in China, Wiertz met with Asian nonwovens industry partners and has offered partnership and alignment in a number of new areas. “There is no doubt that questions or issues we have addressed in Europe, such as demonstrating that single-use absorbent hygiene products are compatible with all modern waste management options, are being or will have to be answered elsewhere. We are here to help, and we take our global leadership seriously as a result," he says.
The next opportunity for addressing these and other issues will be the ABINT-EDANA workshop on November 19 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.