Following three month working with Cefic and ICCA Jean Balsat is now the junior ICCA consultant at UN Environment.  Working within the UN Environment chemicals and waste branch as part of the secretariat of the SAICM, his role will be to liaise with the industry, increase awareness of the initiatives and facilitate dialogue.

UN Environment and ICCA are currently engaged in five collaborative projects – two country projects in Argentina and Kenya on government-industry cooperation, chemicals regulations and Responsible Care; and three projects concerning data availability on chemicals in commerce, Sustainable Development Goals and Circular Economy. Here are further details on each:

  • Study on availability of chemicals health and safety information

ICCA is working with UN Environment on a study to demonstrate the availability of high quality, up-to-date health and safety information for chemicals in commerce. It will contribute to one of the five SAICM goals on ‘Knowledge and Information Sharing’ and will provide regulators with an overview of where to find relevant data – something that is particularly important for developing countries. While health and safety information on chemicals has improved over the past decades in both quality and quantity, there is still a need to plug gaps and correct misunderstandings.

The methodology, work plan and timeline for the study are already in place and a consultant has been appointed to undertake the work.  In order to ensure broad acceptance of the study results, SAICM will now reach out to its stakeholders with an opportunity to comment on the study proposal and nominate data sources.

Results are expected for September this year and will feed into the intersessional SAICM process ahead of the third Open-Ended Working Group in 2019.

  • Identifying enabling conditions for industry to contribute to SDGs

Together with UN Environment, ICCA is reviewing initiatives on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to identify which areas have yet to be addressed.  Once this is complete, the intention is to seek to define the enabling environments required by industry to contribute innovative solutions to achieving the SDGs in the future.  A mapping is currently under development for further discussion.

  • Two pilot projects in place to advance Responsible Care, GHS implementation and sound chemicals management around the globe

Pilot projects with UN Environment are underway in Argentina and Kenya to further advance Responsible Care, GHS implementation and sound chemicals management.

In Argentina, a project in close cooperation with the national chemicals association CIQyP and government representatives is focusing on enhancing Responsible Care, chemicals management and supporting the implementation of GHS.  Objectives, responsibilities and deliverables have been detailed in a work plan and the first, kick-off meeting takes place in Buenos Aires from 24-26 April.

In Kenya, the main focus is on the launch and implementation of Responsible Care around the key topics of transport, warehousing, security and stewardship issues involving safe chemicals management.  The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) is the Responsible Care host association and UN Environment will take part in the development of events and liaise with government to encourage recognition for the initiative within Kenya’s legislative and regulatory structures.  A Responsible Care launch event is planned for June with follow up events in July and September.

  • Circular Economy Symposium being held in September

ICCA and UN Environment are holding a symposium on Circular Economy in Chengdu from 11-13 September in conjunction with China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Seminar.  With the objective of achieving a common understanding of Circular Economy and how the approach is closely related to the sound management of chemicals and waste, the symposium will gather a broad range of SAICM stakeholders and experts.

Discussion will focus on what Circular Economy means, the opportunities and challenges it presents and the policy environment needed to realize its full potential.  Some 40-50 experts will exchange views on the roles of the various stakeholders with a view to producing some tangible results and conclusions.

It is hoped that the outcomes and recommendations will feed into the ongoing SAICM beyond- 2020 process, and in particular the Open-Ended Working Group in February 2019 and the national activities around Circular Economy and sound management of chemicals and waste.  The Symposium results are also anticipated to guide industry and other stakeholders in taking concrete, follow-up actions in the field of Circular Economy.