Canada’s chemistry sector commits to enhancing engagement with Indigenous communities

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) has updated its United Nations-recognized Responsible Care® Codes for 2020 to include new commitments for Canada’s leading chemical companies to engage Indigenous communities through proactive and formal processes.

While developing the codes, the CIAC engaged with Indigenous communities and their leaders, and these new commitments for CIAC members will taking effect this month.

CIAC members’ efforts to meet these important commitments will be assessed during their obligatory Responsible Care verification process, which is undertaken regularly by third parties with results made available to the public on CIAC’s website.

“Since the beginning of Responsible Care in 1985, CIAC members have been obligated to be accountable and responsive to the public, especially local communities who have the right to understand the risks and benefits of what they do,” said Bob Masterson, CIAC President and CEO. “In extending that obligation to specifically include Indigenous communities, Canada’s chemistry sector demonstrates the ongoing relevance of Responsible Care and its ability to be responsive to evolving societal expectations for the industry.”

Responsible Care commitments require CIAC member companies to:

  • Engage with Indigenous People in a manner that respects their unique history, culture and rights;
  • Provide appropriate supports to ensure Indigenous communities have the capacity to engage the company in a meaningful manner; and
  • Provide Indigenous communities with equitable access to employment, contracting and business opportunities.

For more than 30 years, Canada’s chemistry sector has led the journey towards safe, responsible and sustainable chemical manufacturing through its U.N.-recognized sustainability initiative, Responsible Care. Founded in Canada in 1985, Responsible Care is now practised in 73 countries and by 96 of the 100 largest chemical producers in the world. All CIAC members commit to and are publicly verified to the Responsible Care Ethics and Principles for Sustainability and the Responsible Care Codes, which cover all aspects of the company’s business and product lifecycle.

For more information on Responsible Care, visit our website



Responsible Care® Indigenous Communities Code Elements

Responsible Care is the flagship program of the chemistry industry that ensures CIAC members innovate for safer and greener products and processes, and work to continuously improve their environmental, health and safety performance.  Launched in Canada in 1985 (and now adopted in 73 countries and recognized by the United Nations) CIAC member-companies strive to “do the right thing and be seen to do the right thing.”  This is our commitment to sustainability – delivering results for the betterment of society, the environment, and the economy.

Responsible Care® Ethics and Principles

The Ethics and Principles for Sustainability are the bedrock of Responsible Care. Commitment to these ethics and principles is a condition of CIAC membership and extends through to our transportation and service company partners.

Responsible Care is driven by the following core ethics and principles:

  • Work for the improvement of people’s lives and the environment, while striving to do no harm;
  • Be accountable and responsive to the public, especially our local communities, who have the right to understand the risks and benefits of what we do;
  • Take preventative action to protect health and the environment;
  • Innovate for safer products and processes that conserve resources and provide enhanced value;
  • Engage with our business partners to ensure the stewardship and security of our products, services and raw materials throughout their lifecycles;
  • Understand and meet expectations for social responsibility;
  • Work with all stakeholders for public policy and standards that enhance sustainability, act to advance legal requirements and meet or exceed their letter and spirit;
  • Promote awareness of Responsible Care and inspire others to commit to these principles.

Responsible Care® Codes

The Responsible Care Codes influence the decisions our member-companies make every day.  The most senior executive of each CIAC member-company must renew his or her corporate commitment to these principles annually, and this corporate commitment is put into practice through the implementation of a robust management system that drives continuous improvement towards meeting the Responsible Care codes.

Responsible Care is guided by 152 codes of practice covering Operations, Stewardship and Accountability, as described below:

  • Operations Codes: outline how Responsible Care companies should manage their facilities and equipment to ensure that they’re operated in a safe and responsible way. Companies must work to continuously improve the environmental performance of their facilities and processes and reduce their resource consumption.
  • Stewardship Codes: outline how companies must regularly review the value, impact and safety of the products that they make, and the services and technologies that they use. They must also work with their business partners – suppliers, distributors, transporters and customers – to ensure the stewardship and security of their products over their entire life cycle
  • Accountability Codes: outline how companies communicate the risks and benefits of their operations to those who live beside their plants, or in communities along transportation corridors, as well as to other stakeholders, and to work to address any concerns that they may have.

As of January 2020, new codes have been added to the Responsible Care program to formally address Indigenous community engagement within the program.  The new codes supplement the existing Responsible Care’s Accountability Code requirements to encourage proactive engagement, effective and timely communications and dialogue respecting unique history, culture and rights and seek equitable access for employment and contracting opportunities.  The new codes are detailed below:

Indigenous Communities Codes

This section refers to Indigenous Communities that are located in the area near a company-owned or leased production facility.

Engagement with such Indigenous Communities shall be undertaken with respect for their unique history, culture and rights.

The company is expected to identify those aspects of the Indigenous code elements that are appropriate for the size, scope and risk profile of the company, including nature, scale and impacts of its operations, activities, products and services.

These Indigenous code elements are intended to supplement the requirements of the other sections of the Accountability Code.  

The company shall implement and maintain an ongoing process that:

AC 153

Identifies and seeks to pro-actively engage with such Indigenous Communities

AC 154

Seeks to develop and maintain a working relationship with such Indigenous Communities to enable effective communications, dialogue or response to questions, suggestions or concerns expressed so they are addressed in a timely and respectful manner;

AC 155

Provides support, as appropriate, to allow such Indigenous Communities the capacity to engage meaningfully with the Company;

AC 156

Periodically reviews the effectiveness of the outreach, communications and engagement process with such Indigenous Communities;

ACC 157

Provides Indigenous Community members equitable access to employment and contracting opportunities, including procurement and supply chain.


CIAC receives funding from Transport Canada to support railway safety across Canada

Ottawa, Canada, January 7, 2020 — The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) is pleased to announce Transport Canada’s Railway Safety Improvement Program (RSIP) will provide $219,750 in financial support over three years to help CIAC improve railway safety and education in communities across Canada.

The CIAC and its Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response initiative (TRANSCAER®) partners, including the Railway Association of Canada, successfully applied for funding to support three key activities that are focused on improving railway safety and training for people and communities along transportation routes.

The three key activities include:

  1. Construction of a new TRANSCAER® Safety Train—a railway tank car that will be converted into a classroom on wheels for the purpose of training emergency responders. The original Safety Train was retired in 2018. The pioneering concept has since been adopted by other organizations across North America and around the world.
  2. Development of advanced training tools—including virtual reality educational tools—that will allow state-of-the-art training and education in even the most remote communities. These enhanced learning and virtual reality training tools will help reach underserved regions of the country, such as the North, where the transit of the TRANSCAER® Safety Train may be more challenging.
  3. Delivering a Canada-wide series of training sessions for our target audiences using these new tools.

“Canada’s chemistry sector relies on the country’s railways to ship roughly 80 per cent of its production, including dangerous goods,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO, CIAC . “This funding allows the CIAC and our TRANSCAER® initiative to reach, train, and educate even more stakeholders and communities across the country making sure they are informed about the products being moved through their area by rail, and what measures are in place to ensure their safe transportation.”

The enhanced educational tools and outreach efforts will focus on a variety of audiences in communities across the country, including first responders, community leaders, the general public, and Indigenous communities.

BASF Canada and CIAC Welcome Premier Doug Ford to Etobicoke Facility

On November 12, 2019, BASF Canada and the CIAC welcomed the Hon. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario, to their Etobicoke North polyurethane production facility. The BASF Canada team demonstrated to Premier Ford their advanced polyurethane production processes and the variety of end-product applications that range from building pipe insulation to adhesives, office furniture, automotive products and footwear. BASF Canada is an anchor company that helps to make the chemistry sector Ontario’s third-largest manufacturing industry and a leader in sustainability by delivering results for the betterment of society, the environment, and the economy.

Bob Masterson, CIAC President and CEO, shared insights with Premier Ford into how the sector and can grow much larger if Ontario is able to attract its fair share of investment currently occurring in North America. CIAC and its members support the efforts of the Premier and his government to make Ontario a more competitive place to do business where the environment is preserved, and the economy prospers.

BASF and CIAC appreciate the Premier’s time and interest in supporting our chemistry sector in Ontario. Ontario needs more good chemistry!

Competitiveness and Investment in Alberta: A View from the Chemistry Industry

Alberta is seeing positive signs that the government is serious about attracting investment to the provincereinforcing competition and strengthening the province’s economy.  

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) sees 2019 as being a good year for the chemistry sector – a sector that contributes $58 billion to the Canadian economy annually and $16 billion of that here in Alberta 

In Alberta, we’re encouraged by the investment that is taking place right now at two propane to polypropylene facilities worth a combined $9 billion along with two other recently announced projects awaiting final investment decisions that are worth a combined $2.6 billion 

Premier Jason Kenney’s government has reaffirmed its commitment to the Petrochemicals Diversification Program which will see $1.1 billion of royalty credits supporting $15-20 billion of new incremental investment in the province, creating jobs and driving economic activity around Alberta. 

And they didn’t stop there, the government has further strengthened the business environment in Alberta by:  

  • Decreasing corporate taxes to help make Albertabased businesses more competitive  
  • Matching the federal treatment of accelerated capital cost allowance allowing for 100 per cent in year deduction of qualifying capital investment increasing the competitiveness of new capital investment in Alberta. 
  • Launching a new TEIR program that places an appropriate price on carbon, protects export-focused sectors such as chemistry and strengthenthe case for low carbon chemistry investments in Alberta.  
  • Starting Red Tape Reduction Program and changing the Municipal Government Act to enable property tax holidays for qualifying investment will help investments get from the C-suite to the construction yard. 

 At CIAC, we see a positive, growing business landscape for Alberta going forward. Given the province’s attractive low carbon resource base, its skilled workforce and a strong business environment we see unlimited potential for new investment in low carbon chemistry in Alberta. 

 Of course, opportunity does not come without challenges and we will continue to encourage the Alberta government to advocate for:

  • Aopen and competitive national rail transportation network required to get chemistry products and other commodities to marketWe urge Alberta to work with the class 1 railways, neighbouring provinces and the federal government to ensure that goods can move efficiently to end markets.  
  • New and innovative policies to attract research and development mandates to Alberta. Solving our most pressing problems, from climate change to building circular economy for plastics, will require the ingenuity and products that chemistry providesThe chemistry sector is a knowledge industry and globally is responsible for the second-most patent grants of any sector and in Canada has the second-highest percentage of university graduates in our workforce – in both cases, only following the IT sector
  • Gas flows need markets, like that for LNG Canada, to ensure feedstocks are available to support chemistry investments 

 The economy of tomorrow will need chemistry solutions; whether it be for lowering GHG emissions, creating stronger, longerlasting consumer products, or increasing the energy efficiency of our built environment, chemistry is at the heart of innovationWith proper investment and focus, many of these solutions will be researcheddeveloped and manufactured right here in Alberta.  

 This is what happens when governments are serious about attracting new investmentwe have $billion in investments underwaya further $2.6 billion announced in Alberta and anticipate another $20 billion more coming. Other provinces and the federal government should be paying close attention. 

CIAC Welcomes CUSMA Agreement

December 12, 2019

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) is pleased to see that Canada, the United States and Mexico have concluded final negotiations on the CUSMA agreement – an agreement designed to level the playing field and grow the economies of all three nations.  

While further study is needed to assess the final arrangements agreed upon today, CIAC believes that common environmental and labour standards between our North American counterparts are vital to a successful trading relationship.  

“More than two years of hard work by individuals from all three countries have proved to be a major step forward for trade in North America,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC. “The actions that will be taken to improve regulatory cooperation between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico will deepen the integration that exists in the chemicals supply chains in all three countries which will go a long way to attracting new investment to the continent’s chemistry sector.” 

The chemistry industry is one of the most internationally traded sectors in the world; in 2018 CUSMA partners traded approximately $70 billion worth of chemistry products according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC).  

A strong and open trading relationship with our North American neighbours is the cornerstone of Canada’s economy and for the continued success of the chemistry sectorThe trilateral trade agreement between the three countries will help attract investment and continue to develop an efficient, highly integrated chemicals supply chain across North America.  

We would like to thank our Canadian, American and Mexican trade officials and elected representatives for all their hard work over the last two and a half years.  

CIAC supports Ontario’s recognition of employers achieving high standards of workplace safety

CIAC welcomed the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development announcement November 22 to formally recognize employers who successfully implement health and safety programs in their workplaces in Ontario.

CIAC and its members are committed to achieving the highest standards of workplace safety. Through CIAC’s Responsible Care® initiative, each member-company has a systematic approach to continuously improve the necessary knowledge and tools to recognize and reduce potential safety, health and environmental hazards for its employees and all other involved personnel. As a result, CIAC members report workplace injury and illness incidents have dropped by 78 per cent to 0.87 incidents per 200,000 hours – a level that is one of the lowest injury rates in Canadian industry.

CIAC looks forward to working with the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Monte McNaughton and his team while using Responsible Care as an example as a best practice in achieving successful health and safety programs in the workplace.

Read more here

Don Fusco, Director, Government and Stakeholder Relations – Ontario, Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, Hon. Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Elizabeth


CIAC Supports Ontario Bill 132 Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019

On November 25, 2019, CIAC addressed the Standing Committee on General Government during hearings on Bill 132.

“CIAC is pleased to see the Ontario government streamline duplicate regulations for the chemical manufacturing sector while maintaining protections for Canadians’ health and the environment,” said Don Fusco, CIAC Director, Government and Stakeholder Relations, Ontario. “These measures will eliminate unnecessary cost, complexity and time for the chemistry sector and bring us in line with other provinces.”

Among the measures contained in the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act are:

  • Repeal Section 34 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and rely on the same long-standing and effective federal and provincial regulations that remain in place and are deemed sufficient by all other provinces.
  • Repeal O. Reg 127/01 Airborne Contaminant Discharge Monitoring and Reporting (acetone) as federal regulations have deemed acetone not a toxic substance and stopped reporting requirements.
  • Continued commitment to digitize the cumbersome paper-based Hazardous Waste Manifest process

Read CIAC’s submission for more details. CIAC is pleased to continue to work with the government on the many priorities to modernize business regulations to be outcome-focused and evidence-based while continuing to protect the public interest.

IPL/NAIT enter research partnership, looking for opportunities to reuse and recycle plastic in Canada

November 26

CIAC members Inter Pipeline (IPL) and The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) announced a partnership to research opportunities to reuse and recycle plastic in Canada. The 10-year agreement, known as Plastics Research in Action (PRIA), will be funded by a $10 million commitment from IPL, which represents the largest applied research partnership in NAIT’s history.

“CIAC is proud of IPL and their commitment to plastic waste reduction research at NAIT. This is another illustration of CIAC member companies leading by example in implementing innovative, science-based solutions addressing plastic waste,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC.

“This initiative reflects Inter Pipeline’s commitment to the Responsible Care® Ethic and Principles for Sustainability and the Responsible Care Codes at their Heartland Petrochemical Complex. Their commitment to Responsible Care will lead to safer and more sustainable products and processes and help maintain high environmental and safety performance standards at their facility.”

PRIA will draw on NAIT’s applied research expertise in the area of process engineering, process automation and environmental sustainability. Potential research projects include examining opportunities for plastic to be reused and supporting the ideals of a circular economy. A portion of the applied research funding will also be dedicated to improving sustainable practices at Inter Pipeline’s Heartland Petrochemical Complex.

Full details here:

CIAC very pleased to see tentative deal reached to end CN strike

November 26, 2019

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) is very pleased to see the conditional agreement between Canadian National Railway (CN) and Teamsters Canada to renew the collective agreement for over 3,000 conductors, trainpersons and yard workers.

CIAC believes CN and Teamsters Canada came to the correct decision while under tremendous pressure from all stakeholders to reach an agreement and applauds that decision.

“While we are very happy to see the two sides come to a tentative agreement, some difficult days remain ahead and it will take a few weeks before service for our members is fully restored,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC.

“CN is expected to place priority on critical goods such as home and vehicle fuels and water treatment chemicals, for example. Other facilities and industries could be waiting some time before they see full cars leave their facility sites and empty cars return.”

Mr. Masterson pointed out that some facilities will likely need to slow or suspend operations until that occurs, hopefully, without having to furlough workers.

Many of CIAC members are captive to rail – there are no viable alternatives for shipments. This can be because they have service with only one rail shipper, the volume of product or the type of products they ship. Larger companies can ship and receive approximately 80 rail cars per day.

“After three straight years of rail service disruption, it is time to take stock of lessons learned. The major railways, CN and Canadian Pacific Railway are too important to the nation’s economy and safety. It is time they are deemed essential public services so that future such disruptions can be minimized,” Mr. Masterson said.

Chemicals account for nearly 14 per cent of all Canadian rail traffic, with $63 million-worth of industrial chemical products relying on Canada’s rail network to get to their destinations every single day. The impacts of any rail delays or work stoppages are immediate, severe, and long-lasting for CIAC member-companies. The economic impact of a work stoppages averages $1 million per day, per facility.


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