Quo Vadis Chemical Industry? Top Executives Met in London
Cefic announced the survey results at the Global Chemical Industry European Convention, which took place in London on 26–29 September. Other events included the annual general assemblies of the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) and the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA).
“Responsible Capitalism” Deemed Essential – Also for Chemical industry
The public part of the Cefic general assembly concentrated on issues of ethics, reputation and sustainability. Sir Roger Carr, president of the Confederation of British Industry and chairman of the British energy company Centrica, believes that responsible capitalism was essential: “We will lose the bedrock of society if we don’t behave.” Behavior and business performance are increasingly becoming inseparable, he said, and reputations can be quickly lost – with examples of recent poor practice from the UK being the banking sector and the mass media. “Further separation between business and society will happen unless we work hard to prevent it,” Sir Roger concluded.
A panel discussion on sustainability brought together chemical industry representatives, EU environment commissioner Janez Potočnik and environmentalist Tony Long, director of the WWF’s European policy office. “Even in times of economic problems, not thinking about sustainability is a luxury we can’t afford,” Potočnik said. “Environmental, social and economic policies are deeply linked, and we need to pay more attention to resource productivity as opposed to labour productivity. I’m not questioning growth or the jobs agenda. We just need the right kind of growth, and sustainable jobs.”
Chemical Industry: “India Could Not Cope With REACH”
The EU’s REACH legislation on chemical toxicity aims to enhance competitiveness, Potočnik claimed. Having frequently argued the opposite, the industry may now agree: Tony Long pointed out that Cefic had advised India not to adopt similar laws. “The infrastructure in developing countries won’t be available to support Reach. We’re having a hard enough time making it work in Europe,” said Cefic director general Hubert Mandery. “I have a problem understanding this in the context of the argument for a level playing field, but we in Europe should lead by example,” Potočnik retorted...