PPG: Embracing The Change

As chief executive of PPG Industries Inc. -- a leading global producer of specialty chemicals, industrial coatings, paint and glass -- Charles E.

Bunch is an unlikely environmentalist.

But Mr. Bunch says a clear consensus has emerged in society that global warming is a serious problem and that U.S. business needs to get in front of the issue. He argues that the U.S. is behind the rest of the world in developing alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind. He frets that soaring fuel bills are making domestic manufacturing less competitive in global markets. And he warns colleagues that if businesses don't act, they risk getting run over by a wave of poorly conceived state and local regulations

Mr. Bunch, 58 years old, is also chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers, or NAM, and says manufacturers of all types have woken up to these issues.

For PPG, a 124-year-old company that is about as basic as basic industry gets, the issue boils down to hard goals, such as an initiative crafted under Mr. Bunch's leadership that calls for cutting PPG's greenhouse-gas emissions by 5% a year, per ton of manufacturing output, across the board.

Here are excerpts of a recent interview, which took place in his glass-walled office overlooking downtown Pittsburgh.

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