Global Chemistry Industry ‘PAVES’ the Way to Sustainable Development and Sound Chemicals Management at ICCM4
ICCA Introduces Updated Global Charter, Calls for Strengthening SAICM Beyond 2020, Cites Products, Actions, Vision, Expertise and Solutions as Leading Industry Contributions
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, SEPTEMBER 24, 2015 – At the opening of the 4th Session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM4) on September 28, the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) will join stakeholders from governments, international organizations, industry and civil society to review progress made toward creating a future where chemicals can be produced and used sustainably. Guiding this journey is the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), a multi-stakeholder partnership forged in 2006 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Health Organization (WHO).
At this year’s conference, ICCA will report on more than 20 industry milestones achieved since the first ICCM in 2006, including a renewed commitment by more than 500 global chemical company CEOs to the revised and strengthened Responsible Care® Global Charter.
“Global chemical manufacturers are helping to build a bridge to a more sustainable future,” said ICCA President Mark C. Rohr, Chairman and CEO of Celanese Corporation. “We’ve already made measurable progress with the support of public-private partnerships, leading industry initiatives such as the Responsible Care Global Charter and the Global Product Strategy, and capacity-building activities to encourage continuous improvement in the safe management of chemicals. Importantly, we continue to develop new products and technologies that improve people’s lives and provide a sustainable foundation for new growth in developing regions.”
Industry’s contributions to the multi-stakeholder partnership forged by SAICM are in five key areas:
- Products that improve people lives;
- Actions that drive performance excellence to the farthest reaches of the globe;
- Vision to improve global health, safety and sustainability;
- Expertise to collaborate for safer chemicals management; and
- Solutions that lay the foundation for environmental health and social and economic growth around the world.
“We are proud of the contributions our members have made to sound chemicals management, and we believe our efforts will pay dividends far beyond product stewardship,” Rohr added. “Chemistry is the cornerstone of sustainable development. By continuing to help improve sound chemicals management around the world, we also continue create the capacity for innovation, economic growth and poverty alleviation in the countries that need it the most.”
Strengthening the Responsible Care Global Charter
The Responsible Care Global Charter is a pledge that leading chemical companies have signed to create a common global vision for Responsible Care and to improve the environmental, health and safety performance of chemical producers in the more than 60 nations that currently implement the initiative.
The ICCA Board of Directors strengthened the Global Charter in 2014 to focus specifically on the responsibilities and accountabilities of global chemical companies in support of Responsible Care principles, and to target key aspects of company operations, such as process safety, security and sustainability.
At an ICCA-sponsored side event on October 1 featuring global chemical company CEOs, ICCA will formally launch the strengthened Global Charter. To date, CEOs from more than 300 chemical companies, including 80 percent of the largest 102 global chemical manufacturers, have signed the Global Charter as a show of industry’s unified commitment to safe chemicals management.
“The commitment to continuous improvement can’t be effective unless it’s embraced broadly by the industry,” said Hans-Jürgen Korte, senior corporate government and public affairs manager at Solvay SA and chair of the ICCA Responsible Care Leadership Group. “Our vision for performance excellence is clearer than ever, and we’re proud that world’s leading chemical companies and many others have stepped up to meet the expectations of our global society.”
SAICM Beyond 2020
The global chemical industry paves the road to sound chemicals management, but it also acts as a bridge that connects product stewardship with sustainable development and a better life for everyone on the planet – beyond 2020. ICCA also provides investment and in-kind resources to promote the safe manufacture, handling and use of chemicals worldwide.
“What others see as challenges, we at ICCA see as opportunities to solve some of the world’s biggest problems,” said ICCA Council Secretary Cal Dooley, president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council. “At the same time, sound chemicals management is a multi-stakeholder responsibility. Governments and other stakeholders must reaffirm their commitment to SAICM so we can continue to build on the progress we’ve made to date.”
ICCA is calling on SAICM stakeholders to catalyze action toward creating a regulatory environment that enables and facilitates the deployment of innovative products and technologies to address global challenges. Stakeholders must also recognize the need to reinforce chemicals management through collective and national efforts and to ensure that both SAICM and domestic agencies are properly resourced to fulfill the 2020 goal of sound chemicals management.
“We will achieve success by continuing to work together,” Dooley added. “SAICM’s multi-stakeholder approach has already led to collaboration among individuals and organizations that would not otherwise be possible. Stakeholders with varying expertise and resources are working together to build a stronger foundation for sound chemicals management. Together, we’re making a real, measurable difference – and it’s a difference we must continue to make in the future.”
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Jenny Heumann, ACC, Jenny_Heumann@americanchemistry.com
Additional Media Contact:
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The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) is the worldwide voice of the chemical industry, a sector with 2014 turnover of more than €3.6 trillion (excluding pharmaceuticals). ICCA’s Responsible Care® members account for more than 90 percent of this total. The promotion and coordination of Responsible Care and safe chemicals management through the Global Product Strategy, international climate negotiations, government and business partnerships, regulatory affairs, stakeholder outreach, advocacy and communications are key areas of focus for the Council. Learn more about ICCA at www.icca-chem.org.