Volume 9, Number 1, January 2011
This newsletter is published in cooperation with the ISM Chemical Group.  


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In This Issue ...
  • Chemical Industry News
    • ICIS Names Its Top 100 Chemical Companies for 2010: "The list confirms that 2009 was a year of turmoil," ICIS states. "But, many companies have emerged from the downturn in solid shape."  Read more.
    • Nonprescription Drugs Cost Structures Fluctuate With Increased Cost of Goods: Advertising expenses were reduced to offset higher cost of goods costs, according to a recent report by Kline. However, other nonprescription drug manufacturing and marketing costs increased.  Read more.
    • Construction Chemicals Market Expected to Surpass US$34 Billion by 2015: According to a recent report by Global Industry Analysts, the ongoing and proposed high construction projects in developing countries of Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe are expected to buoy future market growth — even though the market, as a whole, is still reeling under the impact of recession.  Read more.
  • Feature Article
    • IEC Standards for Equipment Use in Explosive Atmospheres: Performing a Risk Assessment — A number of recent IEC standards cover the use of equipment in explosive atmospheres — by definition, those presenting a mixture with air, under atmospheric conditions of flammable substances in the form of gas, vapor, mist, dust, fibers or flyings which, after ignited, permit self-sustaining flame propagation. However, for the purposes of conducting a risk assessment, it is necessary to go beyond these rather narrow definitions and look at all hazardous conditions.  Read more.
  • Market Report
    • Energy Markets: 2007-2011 — At the ISM Chemical Group Conference in San Antonio in March 2010, Lisa Zembrodt — a risk manager for our company, Summit Energy Services, Inc. — examined evidence of economic recovery (or lack thereof) in the energy markets. As 2010 has come to a close, it's worth looking at the information presented a few quarters ago through the lens of today. We will also look at the evidence since that time as we all try to answer a ubiquitous question: What does 2011 hold?  Read more.
  • Announcements: The 2011 ISM Chemical Group Winter Conference — "Economic Challenges: The Chemical Reaction" — will be held March 3-4, 2011 in Atlanta. The complete brochure is available for download, including a complete agenda, session descriptions and speaker bios.  Read more.
  • Additional Resources: Check out these links to additional resources from the ISM website.  Read more.
  • Contact Us about ISM eDigest: Chemicals


Chemical Industry News

The ICIS Top 100

ICIS Names Its Top 100 Chemical Companies for 2010

In September 2010, ICIS released its 2009 list of the top 100 major global chemical producers, as ranked by sales. The top 100 list provides key financial data for the largest companies in the chemical industry and offers a range of financial information — from top-line sales to bottom-line profits — for players whose products help drive manufacturing and the global economy.

"The Top 100 list confirms that 2009 was a year of turmoil," ICIS states. "But, many companies have emerged from the downturn in solid shape."

Dollars and Cents

According to ICIS, a nearly 20 percent fall in revenues was assessed against the ICIS top 100 industry players. This marks a demotion from above the trillion-dollar point.

"Regardless of that, the numbers remain eye-wateringly large," the report explains. "Companies are characterized by many aspects, but the bare-faced financial data tends to be one of the strongest focus points for everyone."

Additionally, despite the sharp reduction of revenues in 2009, the top 10 "giants" have broadly maintained their share of the top 100 at around 36 percent — about 70 percent larger than the second tier of 50 players. "This scale effect could be even larger if considering the impact of equity accounting where joint venture revenues are excluded from most consolidated accounts," the report adds.

The top 100 total revenue — US$997 billion — represents about 39 percent of total world chemical shipments revenue, excluding pharmaceuticals, in 2009. This was determined after measuring ICIS findings against data assessed by the American Chemistry Council.

Winners and Losers

In 2009, SABIC lost the top position on the list to BASF. However, six of the top 10 earners were also among the top 10 the previous year. "And, the solid delivery from industrial gases players is clear," the report points out — as evidenced by new arrivals Petronas, Reliance, Syngenta and LG Chem.

Falling off the top 10 list in 2009 were Rohm and Haas, which was absorbed into Dow Chemical, Shin-Etsu, PotashCorp and Mosaic (the latter two because of weaker performance from the fertilizer market).

At the bottom, the "staggering impairment losses" of LyondellBasell were not repeated, according to ICIS. But, significant losses were recorded again for PEMEX and Polimeri Europa.

Most Sales Per Employee

The chemical arms of oil majors dominate this area. However, as ICIS points out, those with higher volume commodity chemical and refinery footprints are also apparent.

ExxonMobile employees generated $3.1 million each, followed by INEOS ($2.2 million), LyondellBasell Industries ($2.1 million), Braskem ($1.9 million) and Daicel Chemical Industries ($1.8 million), which rounds out the top five.

Most Inexpensive Back Office

"One measure of a company's efficiency is how much it spends on selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A)," the report states. Whereas leading players do appear to have driven more efficiency in absolute terms in 2009, costs increased relative to sales as total revenues were down some 20 percent for the top 100.

A PDF of the full ICIS Top 100 Chemical Companies report — including the league table — can be downloaded online.


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COGS' Effect On Nonprescription Drug Costs

Nonprescription Drugs Cost Structures Fluctuate With Increased Cost of Goods

A number of costs associated with nonprescription drug manufacturing and marketing have increased since 2008, according to global consulting and research firm Kline.

"Certain material costs for plastic bottles and blister packs have risen by double digits during this time, increasing packaging expenses," analysts say. "Advertising and marketing expenses continue to represent the largest cost components, although the majority of marketers reduced advertising costs in 2009, and in the first half of 2010."

In 2008, operating margins declined as many marketers increased advertising expenses. Then, in 2009, advertising spending decreased to improve the operating margins for most marketers. The average advertising expenses — excluding Perrigo — are estimated at 25.1 percent and 21 percent of net sales in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

On average, marketers in the OTC industry spend about 32.7 percent of net sales on cost of goods (COGS), 41.9 percent on marketing and 8.8 percent on other expenses — including R&D and administration — leaving an operating margin of about 16.6 percent in 2010. "The average gross margin for the first half of 2010 is estimated at 67.3 percent of net sales, with Novartis and Merck registering the highest gross margins in the industry," Kline analysts report. "Taking all line items and costs into account, Pfizer, Novartis and Procter & Gamble register the highest operating margins of the profiled companies."

More detailed information is provided in Kline's market research report, OTC Drugs: U.S. Competitor Cost Structures 2010.


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Construction Chemicals On the Rise

Construction Chemicals Market Expected to Surpass US$34 Billion by 2015

According to a recent ConstructionWeek article, the global construction chemicals market is projected to cross US$34 billion by the year 2015. The article is based on findings published in a 2010 report by Global Industry Analysts (GIA).

"Though the market continues to reel under the impact of recession, the ongoing and proposed high construction projects in developing countries of Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe are expected to buoy future market growth," GIA analysts predict. Further, trends such as increasing urbanization and green building constructions are expected to spur market growth momentum.

The exception seems to be the global construction chemicals market, which, according to the report, continues to face challenges amid the economic meltdown. "The construction industry is expected to take some time to pick up vibrancy in developed markets of the U.S. and Europe. The market witnessed a continued downslide since late 2008, with producers experiencing about 30 percent decline in orders," analysts explain. "However, significant rebound in Asia-Pacific and Latin American economies is expected to set the pace for demand for construction chemicals."

GIA analysts say the Far East represents the most vibrant region in terms of growth, where developing countries such as China, India, Taiwan and Vietnam, along with a few East European nations, are witnessing "spectacular" growth rates owing to rapid urbanization.

The report found out that huge acceptance of ready-mix concrete and higher demand for advanced construction techniques has increased the demand for high-performance construction materials. Most widely used construction chemicals include cement with admixtures, concrete admixtures, protective coatings and sealers, adhesives, caulks, flooring components, waterproofing, asphalt additives, concrete surface treatments and epoxies.

"Within the construction chemicals market, nonresidential construction constitutes the largest end-use segment," the report states. Meanwhile, protective coatings/sealers represent the largest product segment because they are widely used in nonresidential building segment especially in industrial and commercial buildings. Cement and asphalt additives represent the fastest growing segment: In Asia-Pacific, this market is projected to reach $ 1.2 billion by 2013.


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Feature Article

IEC Standards & Equipment Use

IEC Standards for Equipment Use in Explosive Atmospheres: Performing a Risk Assessment

By Keith Plumb

A number of IEC standards — in particular, the 60079 series — cover the use of equipment in explosive atmospheres and are recognized in most countries around the world, including the U.S. Acceptance of these international standards has made it possible to carry out hazardous-area classification and select appropriate electrical equipment using the same approach in most countries around the world.

However, for the purposes of conducting a risk assessment, it is necessary to go beyond these rather narrow definitions and look at all hazardous conditions.

Current IEC standards apply to explosive atmospheres — by definition, those presenting a mixture with air, under atmospheric conditions of flammable substances in the form of gas, vapor, mist, dust, fibers or flyings which, after ignited, permit self-sustaining flame propagation. Under this paradigm, such atmospheric conditions include variations in pressure and temperature above and below reference levels of 101.3 kPa and 20ºC, provided that the variations have negligible effect on the explosive properties of the flammable materials.

The new IEC standards for hazardous area classification recognize that, while performing this classification is a formal part of a risk assessment, it does not take into account the consequences of an explosion. Nor does it cover all the risks associated with equipment use in explosive atmospheres — particularly use of equipment that lies outside the narrow definitions contained within the standards — for example, the use of equipment under pressure. Therefore, an explosion risk assessment — as required by EU directive 1999/92/EC, for example — is more extensive than a hazardous area classification.

IEC-60079-0 introduces some important new concepts and there are now some differences between the requirements of the standards and the requirements of the EU ATEX Directive 94/9/EC, as shown in the table below.

IEC-60079-0 and EU Directive 94/9/EC Differences

Equipment protection level (EPL) is defined by IEC 60079-0 as "the level of protection assigned to equipment based on its likelihood of becoming a source of ignition and distinguishing the differences between explosive gas atmospheres, explosive dust atmospheres and the explosive atmospheres in mines susceptible to firedamp." The primary intent of EPLs is to allow flexibility in the use of equipment in the various zones. For example, it might be appropriate to use Gc equipment in a Zone 1, where the quantity of flammable is small and the location is unmanned virtually all the time. Conversely, Gb equipment might be selected in a Zone 2 to allow this equipment to be used in the event of a persistent emergency condition. IEC 60079-14 explains in detail how to use EPLs in a risk assessment.

In IEC 60079-0, a group III has been created for dusts. This is to allow the recognition of conductive and non-conductive dusts and flyings, and it brings European and American practice into line. The three categories are defined as follows:

1) IIIA — Combustible flyings
2) IIIB — Nonconductive dusts; electrical resistivity > 103Ωm
3) IIIC — Conductive dusts; electrical resistivity < 103Ωm

IEC 60079-10-2 (covering hazardous area classification for dusts) defines a combustible dust as "finely divided solid particles, 500 µm or less in nominal size, which may be suspended in air, may settle out of the atmosphere under their own weight, can burn or glow in air, and may form explosive mixtures with air at atmospheric pressure and normal temperatures."

IEC 60079-10-2 defines combustible flyings as "solid particles, including fibres, greater than 500 µm in nominal size, which may be suspended in air, may settle out of the atmosphere under their own weight, can burn or glow in air, and may form explosive mixtures with air at atmospheric pressure and normal temperatures." Examples of fibres and flyings include rayon, cotton (including cotton linters and cotton waste), sisal, jute, hemp, cocoa fiber, oakum and baled waste kapok.

IEC 60079-10-1 (covering hazardous area classification for gases) introduces a formal assessment for the impact of ventilation, as shown below. It is important to note that this breaks the link between the grade of release and the hazardous zone. The degree and availability of ventilation are defined in the standard.

IEC 60079-10-1 (covering hazardous area classification for gases) introduces a formal assessment for the impact of ventilation.

IEC 60079-10-1 also gives a method for calculating the extent of gas zones; unfortunately, however, it has been my experience that this calculation method is very difficult to use. Personal discussions with the Health and Safety Laboratories at Buxton suggest that this calculation method is inappropriate and not based on the most up-to-date methods. The standard also gives some simple rules for the extent of zones, which are much easier to use.

IEC 60079-10-2 is straightforward to use and gives details of how to take housekeeping into account. Although the impact of ventilation is included in the gas standard, it is not formally included in the same way in this dust standard. However, the example zoning diagrams do indicate the way that the ventilation can be taken into account:

IEC 60079-10-2: Example Zoning Diagrams

One area that has not been covered by the new IEC standards is nonelectrical equipment. In my own sphere of activity — pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals and speciality chemicals — the impact of nonelectrical equipment as a source of ignition is particularly important.

Electrical equipment is only a small contributor to sources of ignition in real incidents (8 percent for gases and 3.2 percent for dusts). Consider nonelectrical equipment as part of their risk assessment, even if the national standards do not cover this area.

BS EN 13463-1:2009 provides a wealth of important information on the use of nonelectrical equipment in potentially explosive atmospheres. If you are involved with risk assessments for the use of equipment in potentially explosive atmosphere, I urge you to get a copy of this standard and read it carefully.

The data also indicate that static electricity is a significant problem. Additionally, ways of reducing the risk of a discharge of static electricity need to given careful consideration.

Keith Plumb is chair of the IChemE Pharma Subject Group and a director at Integral Pharma Services Ltd. Plumb presented a web seminar offering more details surrounding equipment use in explosive atmospheres. To contact this author, send an e-mail to author@ism.ws.


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Market Report

Energy Market Insights

Energy Markets: 2007-2011

By Tim Statts

At the ISM Chemical Group Conference in San Antonio in March 2010, Lisa Zembrodt — a risk manager for our company, Summit Energy — examined evidence of economic recovery (or lack thereof) in the energy markets. As 2010 has come to a close, it's worth looking at the information presented a few quarters ago through the lens of today. We will also look at the evidence since that time as we all try to answer a ubiquitous question: What does 2011 hold?

The Way We Were

A mere two and a half years ago, energy markets were indicative of the rapid economic growth. Optimism for seemingly unstoppable growth for energy helped push fuel prices — most notably, oil and natural gas — to elevated levels. Most market analysts expected an extended upward trend in prices at the time.

In particular, demand evidence was compelling: After setting five-year highs for much of 2007, U.S. natural gas consumption in the first half of 2008 exceeded that of 2007, setting new five-year highs once again. Similarly, U.S. oil product supplied (a measure of U.S. demand for oil products) was strong and often reached new highs in 2007. In early 2008, however, oil product supplied eased toward the five-year average.

The demand side was, of course, not alone in supporting prices a few years ago. After many years of strong investment in natural gas exploration and production (the gas rig count had been setting new highs for four years running), natural gas production in the U.S. was unable to keep up with demand. The amount of gas in storage felt insufficient at five-year average levels.

In the oil markets, spare OPEC capacity (the amount of additional oil OPEC is able to put on the market if needed — in other words, a supply cushion) was running lower than normal, making the markets seem a bit jittery about the ability to meet the seemingly inevitable demand growth. Similar to U.S. gas storage volumes, U.S. oil stocks seemed woefully insufficient at five-year-average levels in early 2008.

Of course, the price reaction is easy for most consumers to recall: a swift, steady uptrend, which is illustrated in the following chart:

Shown is oil in U.S. dollars per barrel (US$/bbl) and natural gas in U.S. dollars per million British thermal units — a measure of heat output — as denoted by US$/MMbtu. (2008)

Shown is oil in U.S. dollars per barrel (US$/bbl) and natural gas in U.S. dollars per million British thermal units — a measure of heat output — as denoted by US$/MMbtu.

Fast Forward to 2009

In 2009, these same data points looked drastically different. Pessimism abounded. U.S. natural gas consumption was delayed in revealing the impact of the Great Recession. But, by early 2009, demand had fallen to five-year minimums. The change in U.S. oil product supplied was much more drastic, falling well below the previous five-year minimums during 2009.

While OPEC was quick to respond by reducing production volumes, U.S. natural gas production was finally showing growth thanks to the learning curve, efficiencies and years of investment in shale (finally!), and producers continued producing at elevated levels despite reduced demand. In fact, gas production in the U.S. set new highs in 2009. High volumes of natural gas and oil in storage resulted, and subsequently persisted, throughout 2009. As such — although it's less notable and, therefore, easier to forget — prices of oil and gas fell coming out of 2008 and heading into 2009.

It's at this point in early 2009 that oil and gas parted ways. Again, the data provide insight as to why.

Starting in mid-2009, U.S. natural gas consumption began showing signs of recovery and had recovered to near-five-year highs by early 2010. Similarly, U.S. product supplied recovered between early 2009 and early 2010. Adding fuel to the fire, emerging market demand growth pushed global oil demand back to pre-recessionary levels by early 2010.

While oil supplies had been strong enough to keep oil inventories elevated, U.S. natural gas production continued to show impressive growth thanks to shale, squeezing out imports, contradicting the long-held belief that gas production would struggle to grow despite years of strong investments, and keeping storage volumes elevated well above five-year-average levels.

Continued strong oil demand growth so soon after such a severe recession helped pushed oil prices back toward the US$100-per-barrel mark from its 2009 low of $34. U.S. natural gas, however, had remained in the lower end of its recent range due to the strong supply situation, reaching only as high as $6 per MMBtu in early 2010 (see chart below).

Shown is oil in U.S. dollars per barrel (US$/bbl) and natural gas in U.S. dollars per million British thermal units — a measure of heat output — as denoted by US$/MMbtu. (2009-2010)

Since the ISM Chemical Group Conference in March 2010, oil data have remained in much the same trajectory: Global demand has remained strong and continues to grow; global oil supply remains sufficient to keep inventories elevated; and crude oil has (justifiably) remained near, but short of, the $100-per-barrel mark.

U.S. natural gas consumption remained strong from early 2010 through late in the third quarter when industrial demand slackened, pulling total demand back toward five-year-average levels. U.S. production continues to show growth — so much so, in fact, that storage volumes reached a new all-time high in November 2010. Not surprisingly, gas prices have remained stuck near the $4- to $5-per-barrel range since March 2010.

Looking Ahead: 2011

To date, economic recovery — as examined through energy markets — has looked strong in the emerging markets and shaky in the U.S. As we turn to 2011, a few major themes emerge as key drivers. For oil, these include continued global oil demand growth and tepid global economic recovery. And, for U.S. natural gas, demand hinges on industrial demand recovery, which is tied directly to recovery in economic activity in the U.S.

While emerging market demand growth seems poised to continue, focus should remain on the financial issues of Europe, as recovery in the Eurozone will impact total crude oil demand. Uncertainty in the Eurozone recovery adds uncertainty to the prospects of global recovery. This, in turn, could lead to volatility in pricing in the short term. For now, the consensus opinion for economic growth remains small, but positive.

Economic recovery in the U.S. is crucial for U.S. natural gas pricing; current forecasts show economic growth of about 2.5 percent through 2011. With several demand sectors dependent upon a strong economic climate, stronger demand would result if current forecasts come to fruition, potentially leading to price recovery. However, in the event that strong production growth continues into 2011, record storage levels might persist, which could keep prices in check.

The economy will play a key role in oil and gas markets in 2011, and these markets will continue to reflect the economic conditions. But there are many other factors at play, as well. We anticipate that relationships that have held in the past will continue to have an impact throughout 2011; energy prices will continue to be impacted by global weather, the global economy and geopolitics. However, as is often the case, energy markets and their drivers have the ability to surprise.

So, while the relationships are largely known, the manner in which they will play out in the coming year remains a mystery.

Tim Statts is vice president of risk management for Summit EnergyServices Inc. in Louisville, Kentucky. To contact this author, send an e-mail to author@ism.ws.


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Announcements

ISM Chemical Group Conference Coming Up in March

The 2011 ISM Chemical Group Winter Conference — "Economic Challenges: The Chemical Reaction" — will be held March 3-4, 2011 in Atlanta. The complete brochure is available for download, including a complete agenda, session descriptions and speaker bios.

The event will take place at the Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Airport/Millennium Center. Cost (for ISM members and nonmembers) is US$495.

This year's conference features supply management professionals with expertise in the economy and chemical industry, who will take a glance into the future of the profession.


All Three ISM Diversity Summits Co-Located in Boca Raton, Florida

Scheduled February 9-11, 2011 in Boca Raton, Florida, the three ISM Diversity Summits — Black Executive Supply Management Summit (BESMS), Hispanic Supply Management Summit (HSMS) and Women Executive Supply Management Summit (WESMS) — offer a wide variety of learning and networking opportunities for sharing supply management best practices across industries.

Black Executive Supply Management Summit (BESMS) — The 8th Annual BESMS event, "Transition and Transformation — Lead the Momentum," is scheduled for February 9-11, 2011. BESMS is presented for executives and managers in supply, with a special track for students enrolled in supply management degree programs. Session topics include surviving a procurement transformation, what's ahead in the economy and value-focused supply. This event is sponsored by ISM and Howard University and hosted by Office Depot.

Hispanic Supply Management Summit (HSMS) — Happening February 10-11, 2011, the 4th Annual HSMS event, "Transition and Transformation: Influence Your Supply Chain," will be full of forward-thinking solutions to deliver real-world results for supply management success. Attendees will home ideas to apply to their global sourcing projects and find inspiration in the success stories. Session topics include environmental sustainability in Latin America, analyzing acquisitions and talent development.

Women Executive Supply Management Summit (WESMS) — Scheduled February 10-11, 2011, the 3rd Annual WESMS gathering — "Transition and Transformation in the Supply Chain" -is intended for women executives, their direct reports and those interested in building their careers in supply management. Attendees will gain strategies and tools to transform their groups, their organizations and themselves. Sessions will address topics including leadership, negotiations and how to be regarded as the supply management consultant within your organization.

Although all three summits will be held at the same time and same location, each has its own set of workshops. (General sessions will be held together.) Attendees are welcome to attend any of the concurrent sessions offered by either of the other summits and to network with attendees of the other events.

For more details, download the summits registration form on the ISM website.


ISM's Annual Conference Is Rapidly Approaching; Destination: Orlando, Florida

Join ISM for four days of supply management professional development, training and networking at the 96th Annual International Supply Management Conference and Educational Exhibit May 15-18, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.

Keynote speakers are Sidney Johnson, CPSM, vice president of global supply management for Delphi Corporation; technology futurist and business strategist Daniel Burrus; and Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post.

Attendees will meet the best and the brightest in supply management find out what works (and what doesn't), who is best-in-class and how they can gain a competitive advantage in their own organizations.

Download the 2011 Conference Brochure for complete details, including session descriptions, speaker bios and a complete agenda.


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Additional Resources

A Wealth of Information at www.ism.ws

Visit ISM's website, www.ism.ws, for more supply management resources. The site provides published articles, conference presentations and reference materials that pertain to supply managers in all industries. Here are some items that might be of interest:

  • At ISM's Sustainability & Social Responsibility Conference in November 2010, a handful of senior-level supply management executives shared how they are managing the challenge of embedding sustainability and social responsibilities across their organizations. Their panel discussion — Are You On the Right Path? How Leaders Implement Sustainability — featured insights from Cathy A. Rodgers, vice president at IBM and chair of the ISM Committee on Sustainability & Social Responsibility; Regina O. Edwards, J.D., director of global supply chain compliance for MeadWestvaco; DeLynne Ano, director of supplier diversity and sustainability for The Walt Disney Company; and Judy Baranowski with AlixPartners, LLP.

  • Build a Better Disruption Plan, an article appearing in the December 2010/January 2011 issue of Inside Supply Management®, maps out how supply management professionals can use mitigation mapping and supply base profiling to effectively pinpoint previously undetected risks in the supply chain.

  • A November/December 2010 eSide Supply Management article, Negotiating for Mutual Benefit, offers seven tried-and-true strategies can help your organization — and your suppliers — get more of what you both want from procurement negotiations.

  • According to In the Same Boat, a column which ran in the December 2010/January 2011 issue of Inside Supply Management®, today's military logistics successes were built on lessons from past conflicts. Many of these tenets apply to private-sector purchasing and supply management, as well, the author contends.

  • In another November/December 2010 eSide article, Q&A: The State of Green Leadership, one expert goes in-depth on the chief sustainability officer (CSO) role — who's doing it now, how to lay the groundwork to get it in the future and whether or not supply managers have an edge.

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