Leading global chemical companies, the United Nations, along with other stakeholders, recently met in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss the chemical industry’s progress to meet its goal to ensure safe global chemicals management by 2020.
At the Second Session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM-2), the global chemical industry reviewed its progress in meeting its commitments to the United Nations Environment Program’s Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).
During the past 18 months, Dow and BASF have co-chaired efforts within the International Council of Chemistry Associations (ICCA) to implement chemicals management initiatives, including the industry’s Responsible Care Global Charter and Global Product Strategy. These are voluntary chemical industry initiatives designed to strengthen product stewardship within the chemical industry and with its customers.
Key efforts since the launch of the Responsible Care Global Charter and the Global Product Strategy two years ago include:
- Defining and adopting a “base set of information” adequate to conduct chemical safety assessments.
- Developing a set of universal product stewardship guidelines for use by companies globally, to accelerate the implementation of their chemical management programs.
- Providing capacity building projects in a number of developing countries and countries with economies in transition, especially in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe and Latin America, to implement the best safety assessment practices and risk management procedures.
- Doubling the number of global company CEOs committed to the Responsible Care Global Charter and Global Product Strategy to more than 150.
- Extending the Responsible Care network to include Russia, and other countries in Eastern Europe; established a pilot project with Chinese national companies; and is exploring an initiative in the Gulf region.
The meeting also laid the groundwork for strengthening the SAICM framework with new procedures and institutional mechanisms.