ICCA Highlighting Sustainable Solutions Made Possible by Chemistry at Rio+20

19.06.2012 -

Today at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) is showcasing the chemical industry's contributions to sustainable development and the green economy at a panel discussion being held in conjunction with the Business Action for Sustainable Development (BASD) Business Day.

"Since the first Earth Summit in 1992, the chemical industry has played an essential and integrated role in delivering solutions that enable inclusive and greener economies", said ICCA President Andrew N. Liveris, chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical Company. "Today, more than 20 years later, our industry is a proactive participant at Rio+20, highlighting innovations, technologies and processes that are applied around the world, every day, delivering on the promise of sustainability and made possible only through the application of chemistry."

The ICCA panel, which features industry leaders as well as key stakeholders from government and labor organizations, will underscore the role of the chemical industry in enabling society to meet pressing global needs, including ensuring a safe and plentiful food supply, providing clean drinking water around the world, protecting public health through medical breakthrough, transforming the way energy is used, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions for a cleaner environment.

ICCA also is releasing its new report, ICCA and Sustainability: The Global Chemical Industry's Contributions to Sustainable Development and the Green Economy, at Rio+20.

At the panel discussion, ICCA will highlight one of its key priorities at Rio+20, advancing and strengthening SAICM, the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management, the preferred international forum for making progress toward the 2020 goal for safer chemicals management. ICCA also is supporting the development of a flexible, customizable roadmap to a green economy that focuses both on resource efficiency and economic growth as an outcome of Rio+20.

"Resource efficiency is crucial to enhance sustainable use of scarce resources," said Carlos Fadigas, CEO of the Brazilian chemical company Braskem and a participant in the ICCA panel. "We must focus on sustainable consumption as well as sustainable production, with a commitment to producing goods and services efficiently and consuming them differently. In order to achieve that it is crucial that each company put the sustainability as a core driver of its business strategy. More and more chemical companies are doing that."

ICCA and the chemical industry are working to ensure the safe, responsible and sustainable management of chemicals throughout their entire life cycle, and for their intended use, through its Responsible Care and Global Product Strategy initiatives.

"Responsible Care is the centerpiece of the global chemical industry's commitment to sustainability," said Frank Sherman, President of AkzoNobel, North America, and a participant in the ICCA panel discussion. "Through Responsible Care, we are continuously improving our environmental, health and safety performance and effectively managing chemicals through the value chain."

Other chemical industry priorities at Rio+20 include strengthening the United Nations Environment Programme to enable it to more effectively coordinate and address environmental issues within the overall context of sustainable development, as well as enhancing the science-policy interface among international institutions, encouraging participation from developing countries, and building links between policy frameworks and financing for relevant institutions. Furthermore, the focus of discussions around the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development must be on pragmatic, practical reform, to ensure an integrated approach to sustainable development at the inter-governmental level.