Comprised of leaders representing chemical manufacturers and producers from around the world, the International Council of Chemical Associations’ (ICCA) Chemicals Policy & Health Leadership Group (CP&H LG) is dedicated to ensuring the global chemical industry PAVES the way to sound chemicals management and sustainable development. The CP&H LG met in November in New Delhi, India for its second face-to-face meeting in 2017, where it tackled today’s chemical industry challenges and discussed further opportunities to show chemical industry’s commitment to the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and sustainable development.

AREAS OF FOCUS: UNEA-3 AND SAICM

Major areas of discussion included preparations for the 3rd United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-3) and the SAICM intersessional process and how industry could contribute to both important events:

  1. The UN Environment Assembly is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment. As part of UNEA-3, the UN Environment Program (UN Environment) has called upon government, businesses, civil society organizations, and other interested groups or institutions to join the fight to beat pollution (#BeatPollution). ICCA is tackling this global challenge of combatting pollution by expanding our Responsible Care® program and initiatives to build global capacity to manage chemicals. This commitment includes supporting 30 capacity-building workshops every year till 2030. ICCA representatives are attending UNEA-3 to engage with attendees of this important event and to ensure our commitment to the sound management of chemicals around the world is well heard among interested parties. Keep an eye out for an update from UNEA-3 coming soon!
  2. SAICM is a unique and innovative voluntary framework that brings together governments and non-governmental stakeholders to build trust and promote collaboration in addressing challenges related to chemicals management. ICCA continues to support SAICM’s voluntary, multi-stakeholder approach, which enables all relevant stakeholders to contribute to building a stronger foundation for the sound management of chemicals more broadly. Since the SAICM mandate expires in 2020, CP&H LG representatives discussed what SAICM beyond 2020 should look like, including objectives with related milestones and possible targets, as well as how stakeholders can work together and continue to make progress towards the sound management of chemicals globally.

SAICM AND CHEMICALS MANAGEMENT IN INDIA

During the second part of the meeting, which was kindly organized and sponsored by SABIC, the CP&H LG and Indian stakeholders focused SAICM and discussed chemicals management in the country and lessons learned from around the world. Indian stakeholders included officials from India’s Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (EFF&CC) as well as the Indian Chemical Council (ICC) and the Indian Institute of Technology.

During the discussion with Indian stakeholders, CP&H LG members highlighted the importance to focus on science- and risk-based regulation, combined with voluntary industry initiatives like Responsible Care® and the Global Product Strategy. It was suggested for India not to copy other existing regulations, but to rather look at best practices suitable for the Indian context and how they might leverage work done in other jurisdictions. ICCA offered to support the Indian Government in this context and promoted use of the recently updated ICCA Regulatory Toolbox. The toolbox describes a step-wise approach for the implementation of chemicals management systems on a local level, including implementing the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), establishing prioritization schemes for chemicals in commerce.