AMPP Looks to Establish Targets in Material Sustainability

Alan Thomas at the 2024 AMPP Annual Conference + Expo. Photo courtesy of AMPP.

In a panel discussion and forum entitled “Implementing Successful Material Sustainability and Material Stewardship Practices,” a range of international experts offered perspective on strategies to incorporate sustainable practices within the corrosion control and protective coatings industries. 

 “AMPP touches everywhere in the world, and I’ve been to just about all of those places,” says Alan Thomas, CEO of AMPP. Thomas delivered opening remarks as part of a session introduction at the 2024 AMPP Annual Conference + Expo in New Orleans. 

Thomas continued his remarks:

One of the top three topics that always comes up… is what is AMPP doing in regards to sustainability? We need to think about the practical side. What is it that I can work with staff, and volunteers around the world, to potentially move the needle and make a measurable difference? Help me, and help your committee and the Board of Directors, find out what that is. If we can all agree on one focus area that our membership can uniquely make a difference in, then I promise you will have my fullsupport, and I will help get the results for you. If you pick the horse, I’ll ride it.

Sandy Williamson (Williamson Integrity Services Ltd., NACE International Past President 2016-17) served as event chair, while Elaine Bowman was vice chair.

Shortly after Thomas spoke, Williamson pointed to the definition of sustainability, as defined by the Brundtland Commission to the United Nations (UN) in 1987.

“Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” that definition reads.

From there, distinguished speakers and topics included “Material Sustainability Improvements in the Steel Industry” by Nafiseh Ebrahimi of the National Research Council Canada; “Sustainability Advances in the Protective Coatings Industry” from Chevron’s Benjamin Chaloner-Gill ; and “Corrosion Challenges Towards a Sustainable Society,” presented by Damien Feron of the European Federation of Corrosion.

In his remarks, Thomas referenced potentially working with the European Federation to collaborate on relevant sustainability research, in an academic sense.

After several enlightening presentations—along with sustainability-related symposia presentations during a morning session in the same room— the forum transitioned to an open discussion in which audience members shared their insights, exchanged ideas, and explored potential avenues for advancing material sustainability in alignment with AMPP's mission.

“We’ve been practicing sustainability forever,” Williamson says. “We just need to let the world know that that’s what it’s about.”

“You were doing sustainability before sustainability was cool,” adds Thomas, who cited the globally accepted LEED standard for green buildings as a parallel that he would like to find when it comes to sustainability.

For specific information regarding these presentations, as well as details on a new Sustainability Task Force within AMPP, Williamson can be contacted at

To provide feedback for AMPP, Thomas can be reached at

Source: 2024 AMPP Show Daily,