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:
Identifies and seeks to pro-actively engage with such Indigenous Communities
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;
Provides support, as appropriate, to allow such Indigenous Communities the capacity to engage meaningfully with the Company;
Periodically reviews the effectiveness of the outreach, communications and engagement process with such Indigenous Communities;
Provides Indigenous Community members equitable access to employment and contracting opportunities, including procurement and supply chain.
CIAC member, NOVA Chemicals, has announced a three-year investment of nearly $2 million to support a new global initiative to reduce marine plastic pollution in Southeast Asia called Project STOP.
The initiative’s goal is to design, implement and scale circular economy solutions to marine plastic pollution in countries with high leakage of plastics into oceans. NOVA Chemicals’ investment will support the first city partnership in Muncar, a coastal fishing community located in Banyuwangi, Indonesia. With minimal waste services in place, many citizens are forced to dump their waste directly into the environment.
As a member of Responsible Care®, CIAC’s U.N.-recognized sustainability initiative, NOVA Chemicals has long worked towards safe, responsible and sustainable chemical manufacturing.
“Our investment in Project STOP demonstrates our unwavering commitment to shaping a world that is even better tomorrow than it is today. We understand that part of this commitment to being ‘better tomorrow’ is our commitment to Responsible Care and Sustainability,” said John Thayer, Senior Vice President, Polyethylene Business at NOVA Chemicals.
“NOVA Chemicals has a long history of respecting our employees, communities and the environment. We are a founding member of Responsible Care and are deeply committed to the industry’s ideals of sustainability.”
CIAC is working with its members and partners, like NOVA, to reduce plastic waste and support the circular economy. In June, partnering with the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, CIAC and its members committed to set ambitious targets to reuse, recycle or recover 100 per cent of plastics packaging by 2040.
Learn more about CIAC’s commitment to supporting the circular economy
Learn more about Project STOP
The competitiveness of Canada’s petrochemical sector was on the agenda for the federal, provincial, and territorial energy and mining ministers gathered at the Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference in Iqaluit August 12-14.
Notably, the Gas Processing Management Inc. (GPMi) shared a report surveying the competitiveness landscape for Canada’s petrochemical industry when compared to the U.S. It identified policies and programs that best support future development of this industry in Canada, echoing many of CIAC’s similar findings, and providing further support for the federal government to move on policy actions to mitigate against U.S. tax reform impacts eroding investment competitiveness in Canada, such as the accelerated capital cost allowance.
Read the GPMi report summary draft here
Isabelle Des Chênes, CIAC Executive Vice-President, and Shannon Watt, Director of Environment and Health Policy, appeared before the Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources on May 3, 2018. Senators are conducting a pre-study of the provisions of Bill C-74, the budget implementation bill, that deal with the government’s plan to price greenhouse gas emissions.
CIAC and its members support efforts to reduce global carbon emissions and have worked collaboratively with both provincial and federal officials to ensure that carbon policies and pricing mechanisms improve environmental performance, avoid double-regulation and maintain Canada’s competitiveness.
Ms. Des Chênes noted that “Canada should support a carbon policy that recognizes emission-intensive, trade-exposed sectors and encourages investments in the Canadian chemistry sector. Additionally, given the incredible investments in innovations and technologies to improve performance around air emissions and climate change, Canada’s proposed output-based allocation process should focus on benchmarking Canadian chemistry operations and performance against global competitors.”
Additionally, Ms. Watt reinforced the point that government needs to provide a comprehensive analysis of the cumulative impacts of the suite of climate change policies including the proposed Clean Fuel Standard.
Watch the CPAC recording: Fuel Suppliers Discuss the Carbon Tax
CIAC President and CEO Bob Masterson gave a brief overview of chemistry’s role in Canada’s transition to the low-carbon energy future at a panel for the Industrial Gas Users Association Spring Seminar in Montebello, Quebec on Tuesday, May 15.
The topic of the seminar panel was Heavy Industry is Necessary in Canada’s Low Carbon Future. Speakers touched on topics such as the Paris Accord, the Pan-Canadian Framework, as well as near-term and long-term targets.
“Demand for chemistry products are forecast to triple in the next 20 years. And it isn’t hard to see why: the products our members make enable our modern, more sustainable way of life,” Mr. Masterson told the crowd.
“We all need sound policies from our government that encourage growth while meeting the needs of our global commitments to sustainability. The world truly needs more good chemistry – made-in-Canada chemistry – to meet our low-carbon goals.”
The invitation only, two-day event included key natural gas stakeholders including users, pipelines and utilities, marketers, regulators and policy makers. Other participants in the panel discussion included the Mining Association of Canada, the Forest Products Association of Canada and the Canadian Steel Producers Association.
Please join Shannon Watt, CIAC Director of Environment and Health Policy, on May 1 for what promises to be a lively discussion on the growing business of clean tech in Canada.
From building insulation and lighter plastics for vehicles, to solar panels and wind turbines, the products that will help move society to a more sustainable future need chemistry. Canada must fully develop the potential of its chemistry industry so it can deliver solutions to reduce emissions both within the industry, throughout Canada and around the world.
The Sixth Estate Before the Bell panel discussion
National Arts Centre, 1 Elgin Street, Ottawa Ontario
May 1, 2018. 7:30 to 9a.m. ET
- Shannon Watt, CIAC Director of Environment and Health Policy
- Industry experts from Export Development Canada, Business Development Bank of Canada, Ecotech Quebec and the Globe and Mail.
If you are not able to attend in person, watch live online here.