A Sustainable Future
It seems like just yesterday that I was welcoming in the outgoing ASTM International Chair John Logar, and now I find myself thanking him for a dedicated and productive year of service to our organization.
At the same time, a new year at ASTM brings the excitement of a new board chair, and I am happy to introduce Cesar Constantino as the 2022 chair of the ASTM International board of directors. Cesar has been an active ASTM member for 15 years and participates on several committees, including cement (C01), concrete and concrete aggregates (C09), and sustainability (E60).
This time of year, I also find myself looking to the future, excited about what’s ahead for our organization and identifying ways that we can continuously drive our mission of helping our world work better. Lately, that drive seems to be through sustainability. It has become a core principle of our emerging efforts and a way to bolster and enhance our established standards work.
In this issue, you’ll see the broad impact of sustainability as part of ASTM’s footprint. You’ll see the way it’s weaved throughout Cesar’s work in his position at Titan America. For example, through their efforts, fly ash — a byproduct of the coal industry — is transformed into the very foundations of the construction industry.
And you’ll learn more about Cesar’s efforts to promote the use of standards in Latin America and around the world to reduce duplication of work and to promote sustainability through standards that are just as valuable in Brussels as they are in Bogotá. Read more about these efforts starting on page 20.
You can also learn about unique and exciting ways that sustainability is woven into the new and existing work of ASTM’s many committees, specifically through:
- New technologies and standards for use in cement and concrete that support sustainable practices and improve efficiency;
- Two proposed copper recycling standards that will help streamline the process of reuse; and
- Packaging standards that include a compostable option to reduce the waste in landfills.
These are just a few ways that you, our members, have worked to introduce sustainability into our ASTM standards development activities. Much work continues on dozens of other ASTM initiatives, including supporting circular economies for energy-related materials and plastics, the inclusion of hempcrete in construction projects, and the use of ASTM’s standards for biodegradable and biobased materials in transition economies, to name just a few.
Many of ASTM’s new activities directly and indirectly link to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including those supporting industry, innovation, and infrastructure, clean water and sanitation, and affordable and clean energy.
ASTM’s mission has always been of particular importance to me. We have an obligation to help those around us in the most impactful ways we can. The articles in this issue, and the examples referenced above, highlight that the work of our members constantly does just that. Weaving sustainability into standards development already aimed at improving lives and enhancing performance only strengthens the foundation that your work is built on.
I look forward to seeing the many new ways we can help our world work better in 2022 and beyond.
Katharine E. Morgan
President, ASTM International