The French chemical industry association Union des Industries Chimique (UIC) hosted its third biennial Responsible Care Awards on May 26, back to back with the General Assembly.

The main purpose of the awards is to give visibility to the Responsible Care initiative and go beyond the key performance indicators (KPIs). They enable to illustrate the progress carried out by our member companies in the field of health, safety and environment protection.

This third edition showed the maturity of the initiative. Responsible Care awards are now well established and all the member companies do participate, from the smallest (10 employees, turnover of 1.3 million €) to the biggest (>1000 000 employees, turnover of 75 billions €).

The jury

A jury of six people who are are exceptionally committed and devoted to performance excellence reviewed the entries:

  • Yolande BUFQUIN, General Secretary of the trade association of boilermaking, pipework and industrial maintenance;
  • Eric DARLOT, Engineer in the department Enterprises and Environmental technologies of ADEME (Agence de l’Environnement et de la Maitrîse de l’Energie);
  • Eric FIRTION, Head of the Innovation department of Union des Industries Chimiques (UIC);
  • Sylvie LATIEULE, Editorial Director of InfoChimie;
  • Gilles LECUELLE, Representative of the trade union CFE-CGC Chimie;
  • Jean SOUCHET, Former HSE expert of Solvay.

Award categories

This year, jurors had to look into 50 entries presented in four categories:

  • Environment – 18 entries
  • Health – 8 entries
  • Safety – 11 entries
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – 13 entries

It is worth noting that the number of entries in the CSR category increased between 2016 (13) and 2014 (8). That shows that CSR is now naturally associated to Responsible Care; so UIC sees no need to engage in endless debates on the linkage between Responsible Care and Sustainability.

The winners

Environment

Elbé Petro

Development of a floating biomimetic device for flammable liquid tanks minimizing evaporation

The liquids such as petrol, naphtha, gasoline, solvents, stored in tanks evaporate despite the presence of a roof, which could be floating.

In order to deal with this shortcoming, Elbé-Petro was inspired by the natural symbiosis of duckweeds covering the fresh water ponds and designed ERIS as a biomimetic of these duckweeds. ERIS -Evaporation Reduction Intelligent System– has been specifically developed to prevent evaporation during the storage of hydrocarbons and by-products, liquid food or water.

ERIS is a network of independent floaters having lens-like design to ensure a maximal fluid coverage whatever the geometrical irregularities of tank are. The high covering ratio leads to efficient evaporation savings of liquids.

The jury’s opinion

The jury welcomed this innovation easy to implement, economical and reproducible in many tanks.

Network of lenses providing the evaporation barrier

Network of lenses providing the evaporation barrier

Health

Steiner

Design and construction of a vented cabin for transferring products from drums to the reactor

In this plant, the products transferred from drums to a reactor are hazardous and the operators needed personal protective equipment. No suitable device or technology limiting the emissions was available on the market.

In order to improve the work conditions of this workstation, Steiner’s staff designed a vented cabin from where the vapors are captured and scrubbed. Drums are introduced in the cabin thanks to a roller transfer. Then the cabin is closed thanks to flexibles walls and the operator works on the drum through a glovebox.

The jury’s opinion

The jury noticed the simplicity and the reproducibility of this equipment. It also emphasized the fact the equipment was internally designed.

Drums

Drum inside a glovebox

Safety

AIPCSA

Organization of a safety awareness rising for the operators of an industrial platform

The Association des industriels de la plateforme de Carling – Saint-Avold gathers eight companies which operate facilities on the platform of Carling-Saint-Avold.

Each enterprise implemented safety measures to protect its employees. All these enterprises gathered their employees and contractors during the World Day for Safety to deal collectively with this issue.

The jury’s opinion

The jury was impressed by a collaborative action on a new platform where safety issues need continuous exchanges between the partners of the platform.

CSR

SOBEGI

Support to environmental education thanks to waste sorting

SOBEGI is a company that provides service and utilities to several companies located on the Mourenx platform.

Sobegi has implemented an organization for waste sorting. Thanks to this separate collection, the enterprise recovers about 350 tons per year. A contribution of Sobegi Increases the money gained from this recovery. This fund is used to carry out awareness campaigns for young people about the protection of the environment.

The jury’s opinion

The jury appreciated the contribution of the company to the fund gained from waste recovery and used for awareness campaigns. 

Special award of the jury

SIKA France SAS

Integration of persons with disabilities

The objective of the company is to gather in the same workshop persons with disabilities, employed by a dedicated structure, and employees of SIKA back to their job place after an accident or a sick leave.

The tools, machines and process are adapted to match these workers’ handicap or difficulties.

Both kinds of workers are mixed in a workshop, which is a model of social diversity.

The jury’s opinion

The jury rewarded the social diversity of enabling individuals with disabilities to work with SIKA employees and remain connected with others in the workplace.[/fusion_text]