05/10/2012

First-ever Cefic sustainability report launched



The European chemical industry is determined to play a key role in ensuring that by 2050 over 9 billion people live well, within the resources of the planet, according to Cefic's first-ever sustainability report released today.

The report presents a vision for how the chemicals industry will help meet future challenges and was unveiled at a special event at the European Parliament in Brussels hosted by European members of parliament Karl-Heinz Florenz and Vittorio Prodi. It also provides 17 key performance indicators that serve as a benchmark of industry sustainability efforts to date that the sector plans to measure itself against in future.

Cefic President Giorgio Squinzi, outlining the report's vision, said: "All of the industry's activities will be directed towards enabling a future where people have access to the necessities of a healthy life, to economic prosperity and to societal progress."

The 70-page document details all three "pillars" of sustainability - planet, people and profit. The European chemicals trade body included in the report case studies drawn from chemicals companies, national associations and Cefic sector groups that illustrate contributions to sustainability, such as energy-efficient water purification, lightweight materials for cars or better building insulation.

Carl Van Camp, Cefic Sustainability Strategy Group chairman, said: "We have a good track record when it comes to sustainability, and remain committed to programmes like Responsible Care. We are a partner in ensuring that the REACH chemicals legislation works and stand ready to have a lead role in EU-led public-private projects such as key enabling technologies."A starting point

The report serves as a starting point in developing a sustainability framework for the European chemicals industry, a project the Cefic board tasked its Sustainability Strategy Group to put forward this year. It will also help the trade group identify flagship initiatives to increase and improve the sector's contribution to the sustainability policy agenda, which includes environmental, health and safety, and chemicals management practices.

Squinzi concluded: "Sustainability is about a mindset change in the way we work and high-tech products the chemicals industry makes. The flagship initiatives are one way in which stakeholders expect us to continue to drive the technological breakthroughs that society will need.

"We can help ensure a sustainable future by working with stakeholders, having a well-trained workforce in place, and through strong business performance that attracts further investments."

Source: The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic)