• Fourth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-4)

    #SolveDifferent: Innovation is the Key to Overcoming Our World’s Sustainability Challenges

We live in a world of an ever-growing population with increasing demands but limited resources. As the global voice of the chemical industry, the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) is committed to helping the world overcome its most pressing sustainability challenges. For more than 30 years, our industry has fostered sustainable development practices, contributed to innovation and created a culture of continuous improvement through our flagship Responsible Care® program. This environmental, health, safety and security performance initiative is the foundation of our commitment to sustainable development. However, our commitment to sustainability goes beyond safe chemistry. Chemistry plays an essential role in driving progress across all three dimensions of sustainable development – environmental, social and economic – and is helping to address and overcome the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges.

Taking Action Today

ICCA is taking action today – investing and deploying new products and technologies around the globe, especially in countries that need it most. We are helping to provide clean drinking water, deliver a safe, adequate food supply, and ensure deadly diseases are eradicated through groundbreaking medicines and medical treatments. We are also helping to improve energy efficiency in today’s modern transportation vehicles and buildings to contribute to a less carbon-dependent society. By using new renewable energy sources and technologies that depend on innovations in chemistry we can become more efficient, affordable, and scalable.

Transformative Change

Achieving a cleaner, more efficient global landscape requires more than just action, it relies on transformative change. As the manufacturers of innovative, life-enhancing products and technologies, the chemical industry is playing a unique role in overcoming our world’s sustainability challenges.

Our industry is committed to enabling resource conservation and efficiency and innovations in product design that extend product lifespans, and unlocking the value of materials that have traditionally been viewed as waste. Through our two flagship initiatives, Responsible Care® and the Global Product Strategy (GPS), ICCA is committed to advancing safe handling and use of chemicals in our own operations and throughout the supply chain.
Strong, lightweight plastics contribute to sustainability in countless ways—all of which stem from their ability to help us do more with less. Plastic packaging helps to dramatically extend the shelf life of fresh, nutritious foods and beverages while allowing us to ship more product with less packaging material. Plastics can significantly reduce energy use while lowering greenhouse gas emissions by making our homes and cars significantly more energy and fuel efficient. And plastics deliver clean, safe drinking water while helping to make health care more affordable, so more people can have access to the devices they need to live safely and get the most out of life. However, we can’t realize all of plastics sustainability benefits if we don’t keep plastic waste out of our environment. ICCA members agree with UNEA, APEC, the G-20, G-7 and a growing number of scientists and experts that to end marine plastic pollution we must invest in improved municipal solid waste management, including providing solutions in emerging economies where investment in waste management infrastructure has not kept pace with rapidly growing consumer populations.

Global Plastics Industry Action
The ICCA is engaged in a number of activities and partnerships to promote the ethic of sustainability and the responsible use of plastics.
Many of our member companies have joined the new Alliance to End Plastic Waste, a new global nonprofit to invest in waste management. Alliance members have committed over $1 billion to this work, with a goal of $1.5 billion over the next five years to help solve this problem. Many also are members of the World Plastics Council, a forum for industry leadership and to accelerate cooperation and alignment that will deliver improved outcomes for the common benefit of the plastics industry, consumers and society. And, since 2011 our industry has partnered in many efforts to research and prevent marine debris around the world under our “Declaration of the Global Plastics Solutions for Solutions on Marine Litter,” which has been signed by 75 plastics associations in 40 countries. Our 2018 Progress Report lists more than 355 projects that have been completed or are in progress in various parts of the world since the effort began. ICCA remains committed to achieving the safe management of chemicals and waste globally, but change is needed to ensure the recycling, recovery and reuse of plastics so that they do not contaminate our environment or end up in our oceans.

Partnership for the Goals

ICCA is putting the power of chemistry to work and partnering with stakeholders from around the globe – from small- and mid-sized chemical companies in emerging economies, to non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations – in order to unlock solutions to society’s biggest challenges in a safe and sustainable way.

In partnership with SAICM stakeholders, we are driving change from traditional business and policy structures to more flexible yet effective models that facilitate innovation.
ICCA partners with UN Environment to strengthen value chain collaboration and catalyze action in support of achieving the SDGs.

Making the World a More Sustainable
Place through Chemistry

By harnessing the power of chemistry’s essential benefits and collaborating with those committed to making the world a more sustainable place, we can help a growing population make the best use of the world’s scarce resources, drive innovation that supports the 2030 agenda, and accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Find out more by visiting icca-chem.org/SDGs.

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