The Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA), the trade association in South Africa that supports members along the chemical industry’s value chain, held its inaugural monthly Environment Committee meeting on January 28 this year.

A need for an internal environment committee, which facilitates direct engagement with members of the Association as well as the provision of substantive and company-specific inputs towards advocacy initiatives in the environmental arena, was identified because of the increasing volume of environmentally related policy and legislation that is being developed at the national level.

Government engagement

An additional approach to the Association’s existing advocacy strategy was therefore considered to enhance further the value members receive from CAIA and to strengthen engagements with government.

Aiming to provide a cooperative environment for the sharing of views and the development of advocacy strategies that meet its members’ needs, the CAIA Environment Committee intends to:

  • encourage the effective strategic review of policy and legislation so that there is an emphasis on its potential impacts;
  • mitigate the temporal and resource burden on companies from an advocacy perspective;
  • mitigate the pressures that increased environmental regulation places on the cost of doing business, and
  • facilitate continuous improvement by Responsible Care® signatories.

“Responsible Care®, of which CAIA is the custodian in South Africa, is mandatory initiative for members of the Association and it commits signatories to continuous improvement in safety, health and environmental performance, and stakeholder reporting. The voluntary initiative is the global chemical industry’s commitment to sustainability and has been an important part the South African chemical industry for 21 years,” explains Deidré Penfold, Executive Director of CAIA.

Responsible care in action

“CAIA will be launching the initiative’s “Responsible Care® in Action” campaign later in the year to respond to the global call for increased sustainability, notable by the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations during 2015,” concludes Penfold.

CAIA launched the Responsible Care® programme in South Africa in 1994. This is the global chemical industry’s unique initiative to improve health, safety and environmental performance and to communicate with stakeholders about products and processes.