Chemical Industry Announces Global Ambitions At UN Conference

The International Council of Chemical Associations announced the launch of three high-level ambitions on the management of chemicals and waste.

Powder Bulk Solids Staff

September 22, 2023

4 Min Read
Global Chemical Industry lays out goals
The global chemical sector has announced three major ambitions it plans to achieve by 2030.Image courtesy of metamorworks / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The International Council of Chemical Associations, which represents more than 90% of global chemical sales, has announced the launch of three ambitions on the sound management of chemicals and waste ahead of an upcoming key UN conference that will define the future of SAICM, the global UN-led policy framework to promote chemical safety around the world.

The global chemical industry strives to fulfil the following:

  • By 2030 we have provided access to available data on the safety and sustainability of our products.

  • By 2030 we have supported 30 countries in their implementation of effective chemical management systems.

  • By 2030 we will guide product portfolios, including processes, toward sustainable solutions.

“ICCA has long been a strong supporter and contributor to the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management and the industry has achieved significant progress in building capacity on safe chemicals management in developing countries over the past years," said Karen McKee, ICCA president and president of ExxonMobil Product Solutions. "Yet we know that more needs to be done to ensure that all people enjoy the same high standards of chemical safety, regardless of where they live. Our high-level ambition will show, through action, that we will continue to be a willing partner with all stakeholders to the advancement of the new framework’s objectives.”

“The launch of the three ambitions is not the end, it is a new start. As we move forward, we will be setting goals for each ambition to keep industry on track, and will actively engage with the governments, NGOs and other stakeholders as we are taking action. This cannot be done by industry alone and we look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure that the work done is thoughtful and efficient,” added Chris Jahn, ICCA secretariat and president/CEO of the American Chemistry Council.

Beyond the ambitions, ICCA members will continue to engage in and support the sound management of chemicals and waste and the adoption of the new framework at the upcoming International Conference of Chemicals Management. 

These high-level ambitions will be core of the industry’s negotiating position during the ICCM5 conference in Bonn, Germany, September 25-29. The implementation details of these ambitions will depend on the outcome of international negotiations and the final agreement on the post-2020 SAICM framework.

In more detail, the three include:

 By 2030 we have provided access to available data on the safety and sustainability of our products

  • This ambition will allow for greater transparency to governments and the public to industry’s data on safety and sustainability. As we work to implement this ambition, we will look to cooperate closely with other stakeholders to identify the best way to make this data available to the public.

  • This ambition also consists of the creation of a plastic additives database and the development of a risk assessment framework for additives.

  • We are already conducting advanced research on microplastics (ICCA Microplastics Advanced Research and Innovation Initiative (MARII) and the findings of that research will be available for a broader public.   

By 2030 we have supported 30 countries in their implementation of effective chemical management systems

  • ICCA members have already been leading many projects on capacity building in Latin American, Africa and Southeast Asia. As part of this ambition, ICCA proposes to create a Capacity Building Hub under the Beyond 2020 framework. The Capacity Building Hub will provide an online platform for stakeholders to upload specific capacity building needs and offers and will facilitate matchmaking between stakeholders seeking assistance and those able and willing to provide support. ICCA will contribute to the creation of the Hub and will  engage  in capacity building projects particularly in countries where knowledge sharing about the sound management of chemicals is needed the most.

  • Equally important is our ongoing work under the umbrella of Responsible Care — a core priority for our members. We remain committed to advancing safety and sound chemicals management through the value chain. 

By 2030 we will guide product portfolios, including processes, toward sustainable solutions

  • Our industry does not just believe that our products should be sustainable, but our production should also strive to be more sustainable. We will work with existing UN Sustainable Development Goals to highlight areas for improvement and address these areas, including water consumption (SDG 6, 12), carbon footprint (SDG 9, 12, 13), and energy consumption (SDG 7, 12) and regularly report about results.

  • One of the methodologies that companies may use to screen their portfolios is the Portfolio Sustainability Assessment (PSA) developed by several chemical companies under the umbrella of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The PSA framework Iooks at health and environmental impacts, social, and economic factors throughout a product's full life cycle.


About the Author(s)

Powder Bulk Solids Staff

Established in 1983, Powder & Bulk Solids (PBS) serves industries that process, handle, and package dry particulate matter, including the food, chemical, and pharmaceutical markets.

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