Joining Plumbing Manufacturers International at the start of 2022, Uponor North America is set to work alongside other PMI members to meet challenges relating to labor, supply chain, sustainability and more.

"We are constantly looking for new employees in our offices and factories, as well as providing our customers with solutions and support as they compete for labor in these challenging times," said Kate Olinger, director of industry and regulatory affairs at Uponor. "Supply chain issues are also a concern, from sourcing raw materials, trucking and freight issues, as well as upholding our part in the supply chain of supporting our customers."

Olinger spoke about the intersection of workforce and sustainability, which is a key strategic initiative for Uponor. "When we're interviewing candidates, they want to understand our commitment to sustainability – our commitment to people, planet and profit and having all of those in balance. We are actively working to improve our planet and reduce our footprint while planning for the long-term future of our company for our customers, employees and partners."

PMI CEO/Executive Director Kerry Stackpole stated that "Uponor is an outstanding addition to PMI's roster of members, which produce 90% of the nation's plumbing products. PMI priorities, particularly those relating to workforce development and climate change, support the strategic focus of Uponor on these and other issues."

The primary product offering of Uponor is cross-linked polyethylene — or PEX-a — plumbing and heating systems with residential and commercial applications, Olinger explained. Recently, Uponor has started offering PP-RCT, a large-diameter mechanical piping solution that works seamlessly with PEX systems. "We offer the pipe, fittings, valves and accessories for these systems, creating a complete polymer solution. Our products are often 'behind the wall', supplying the water to fixtures and equipment in a project," she added. With its global headquarters in Vantaa, Finland, Uponor has its North American headquarters in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

As a new PMI member, Uponor is looking to augment its memberships in the Plastics Pipe Institute, Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association, and other organizations, Olinger stated. "PMIs commitment to monitoring and influencing codes on a local, state and national level is of interest. Also, the work that PMI is doing from a government affairs standpoint is also going to be important; there will be more and more opportunities on a national and local government stage to help drive sustainability forward and have a seat at the table," she explained.