Articles related to climate change

CIAC congratulates Elysis for new carbon-free aluminum production process

Congratulations to Canadian aluminum sector leaders Alcoa, Alcana and Apple who, with the support of the Federal and Quebec Governments, have developed a new carbon-free aluminum production process that will eventually result in annual greenhouse gas reductions of more than six million tons in Canada alone.

“The process relies upon decades of research in totally new chemical reactions from those associated with carbon-based production methods,” said Vincent Christ, CEO of Elysis, the new joint venture.

This success illustrates that by working together, the resource, manufacturing and chemistry sectors can point the way to a more sustainable future while growing the economy, here in Canada, while at the same time reducing emissions. The new venture will be in Quebec and export the technology throughout the rest of the world.

Alcoa and Rio Tinto announce world’s first carbon-free aluminum Smelting Process

$558 million investment project will create and maintain thousands of jobs in Canada

Masterson at CERI Petrochemical Conference: “Canada’s federal and provincial governments need to row in the same direction.”

On June 6, Bob Masterson, CIAC president and CEO, gave the keynote address at the CERI Petrochemical Conference in Kananaskis, Alberta: “Rowing in the Same Direction – What’s Needed to Realize Petrochemical Investment in Canada.” He addressed concerns related to the changing nature of Canada-U.S. relations and the potential impact on Canadian industry. He also highlighted how industry and government can – and need – to work together for Canada to keep its place in the global economy. 

“The lack of new investment at a time of re-investment in the U.S., combined with policy choices in central Canadian provinces that have left investors and operators scratching their heads, makes for a highly uncertain future for Canada’s chemistry sector,” Masterson said. “If we are to succeed and float a credible plan, it is going to take unprecedented coordination between business and government, and between governments at all levels.”

At the conference, Dylan Jones, Deputy Minister, Western Economic Diversification Canada – who reports to Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Minister Navdeep Bains – suggested CIAC’s Ottawa advocacy campaign had caught the attention of government decision makers. The government is beginning to change how it views the chemistry sector and is willing to support the industry in the future because of CIAC’s advocacy efforts.

Key messages from the Deputy Minister included:

  • Chemistry is far from the only sector seeking subsidies or investment assistance, but providing that assistance is a role of government; 

  • Government needs sound data to make good decisions and industry and government need to work together on the interpretation of data; and, 
  • The government makes investments, sector comparisons and policy decisions on which sectors to fund/not fund.  

Masterson’s full speech is available here, and his presentation slides are available here.

CIAC’s Masterson to Senate: bad news if we don’t get greenhouse gas management policies right.

On February 28, Bob Masterson, CIAC President and CEO, and David Podruzny, Vice-President Business and Economics, appeared in front of the Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources to discuss greenhouse gas reduction policies. This appearance was a follow up to a meeting held last fall and the first since the committee toured several member sites in Sarnia in November.

During his opening remarks (available on video here), Masterson conveyed four key messages:

  1. The chemistry industry is a fast moving industry expected to reach 6 trillion per year globally by 2020.  Chemistry is the key solutions provider for many of the worlds sustainability problems.

  2. There are many different pathways to produce high-volume industrial chemicals. This has implications for greenhouse gas emissions as one moves further along the hydrocarbon molecule chain.
  3. Canada has some of the lowest carbon feedstocks on earth which, when combined with a largely decarbonized electricity sector and burgeoning biochemical industry, provides us an opportunity to become a global leader in low carbon chemical production.
  4. The path Canada is on will result in under-utilization of Canada’s low carbon chemistry feedstocks and an otherwise over-utilization of higher carbon feedstocks from other jurisdictions to meet global chemistry demand.  This is poor public policy. 

The appearance included an hour-long question and answer period with the committee members, which gave Masterson and Podruzny the chance to further expand on the chemistry industry’s message. Both worked to convey that Canadian produced chemical products are part of the answer to the world’s most pressing sustainability problems, including climate change, and that new investments in the sector will help reduce the inefficient and dated use of resources in other parts of the globe. 

As the committee moves closer to making their recommendations, Masterson asked them to carefully consider the cumulative policy burden Canadian chemical producers are being asked to shoulder. Failure to do so would be bad for business, bad for workers and the communities in which we operate, bad for Canada’s trade balance and its future economic prospects and, ultimately, bad for global greenhouse gas emissions.

CIAC members reduced the global-warming potential of their operations by 68 per cent

Responsible Care®, the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada’s U.N.-recognized sustainability initiative, motivates its members to take actions that advances the sustainability of their operations and reduces harm throughout the entire life cycle of their products.

For more than 20 years, as part of the commitment to Responsible Care, CIAC members have been driven to improve and publicly report on key indicators including emissions data, workplace and transportation safety, community engagement, and waste reduction.  This year’s annual Responsible Care Sustainability Indicators Report is now available.

This report marks the eighteen-consecutive year that the association has transparently published its emissions. CIAC members report their emissions via the National Emissions Reduction Masterplan (NERM) and Environment Canada’s National Pollution Release Inventory (NPRI). 

“CIAC members have made remarkable progress towards improving air and water quality, reducing greenhouse gases, and conserving resources,” said CIAC President and CEO Bob Masterson. “This report shows how our members are dedicated to the betterment of society, the environment and the economy.” 

The Responsible Care Sustainability Indicators found that since 1992, CIAC members have:

  • reduced discharges to water by 97 per cent;
  • reduced emissions of toxins targeted by the Canadian Environmental Protection Act by 86 per cent; 
  • substantially reduced emissions of air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (by 63 per cent) and sulphur dioxide (by 90 per cent); 
  • reduced the global-warming potential of their operations by 68 per cent; and
  • reduced the number of injuries and illnesses at their workplaces by 86 per cent.

The annual Responsible Care Sustainability Indicators Report is available here.