Looking ahead and striving for better every day

Yonas Kebede talks about our view of 2023

By Yonas Kebede

As we roll into a new year, we look back at what we learned in 2022 to prepare ourselves for successful collaborations in 2023. In many ways, 2022 was a tough teacher as the world continued to deal with disruptions to supply chain, logistics and overseas manufacturing due to the rippling impacts of COVID-19. We saw how important it was for industries to continue to earn social license, a validation of our commitment to achieve better for our customers, partners and communities.

Despite the turbulence, we saw incredible perseverance, innovation and inspiration from our industry and the customers we serve.

At Heartland Polymers, we brought a world scale polypropylene production online, a major milestone representing the first integrated Propane Dehydrogenation (PDH) and Polypropylene (PP) facility in North America. It’s been a journey of overcoming challenges through teamwork, and continually learning from our partners and customers. Heading into 2023, I still believe I’m working with the most invested, committed team of sales and customer service professionals; this team brings a diverse range of expertise to every facet of our business.

We look forward to meeting and working with you in 2023 to understand how we can help mitigate your challenges and maximize your opportunities.

Here are a few things on the radar for us at Heartland as we jump into the new year:

Proving the value of our circular economy

Our industry has always focused on continual improvement – in environmental stewardship, more efficient production methods, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible through product evolution – and today we can tell the whole story about the role we play in the economy.

Heartland is committed to the challenge of demonstrating circularity — every member of the Heartland team is committed to the basic philosophy that plastic belongs in the economy, not the environment. Post-consumer and hard-to-recycle materials are being turned into amazing innovations that can help us solve problems, rather than ending up in landfill sites. One example currently being activated by our partnership with the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (called Plastics Research In Action) has led to the development of road asphalt built for cold weather climates. This project alone will redirect around 3.74 tonnes of plastic waste – equivalent to 716,000 plastic bags or 415,000 plastic bottles.

Mitigating weather volatility

We continue to face unprecedented extreme weather events coast to coast – from record-breaking freezing temperatures in the Gulf, to floods in California, to “once in a generation” snowstorms on the east coast. We need only look at the airline industry to see how disruptive these events are for travellers, let alone our own industry’s experience. Our team at Heartland is working diligently to get qualified with as many customers as possible so that we can become a new trusted supplier through all seasons.

Our facility was built during days that saw temperatures dip to -22 °F. Heartland’s entire industrial region is built to endure and perform during extreme cold in winter, heat in the summer, and the occasional hail or high winds.

In 2023, we will continue to build on this foundation, and work hard to establish our place as a trusted supplier through all seasons.

Customer service, customer success

Before we were even finished constructing the Heartland Petrochemical Complex in northern Alberta, we conducted significant industry consultations to ensure we were designing every aspect of our business model based on the reality of our customers.

This continual loop of feedback continues as we step up operations, optimize and mature as a business. At the very heart of Heartland Polymers is a genuine understanding of the dynamic conditions our customers face within the manufacturing industry. There will be challenges ahead, and there will also be many opportunities. As we continue to optimize our processes, we are committed to continual improvement based on your direct feedback.

Yonas Kebede is Director of Sales and Marketing with Heartland Polymers. He brings over 30 years of experience across every major area of the industry.

Be sure to watch out for the Heartland Polymers team at various events and tradeshows this year and follow our journey on LinkedIn and Twitter.