The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) expressed disappointment with the Government of Canada’s move today to list all plastic manufactured items on Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).
We remain concerned that today’s decision sends the wrong message to global chemistry investors, namely that Canada is ambivalent about the enormous investment prospects for the circular economy for plastics.
“Let us be clear, one piece of plastic waste in the environment is one too many,” said Elena Mantagaris, Vice–President of Chemistry Industry Association of Canada’s (CIAC) Plastics Division. “This is why Canada’s plastics industry is committed to solving the plastic waste problem and has set a goal to make 100 per cent of plastic packaging recyclable or recoverable by 2030 and embracing advanced recycling technologies to make plastics packaging 100 per cent recovered and recycled by 2040.
“By making plastics completely recyclable and transforming waste into new plastic items and other products, we can help Canada realize its goal of zero plastic waste.”
While the government has exercised its authorities, CIAC is disappointed that safe inert plastic materials that play such important roles in Canadians lives are being labelled as toxic substances. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada heard clearly from the industry, and a broad cross-section of other industries where plastics play an important role, that such a move would do little to keep post-consumer plastics out of the environment.
CIAC continues to believe that CEPA is not an appropriate legislative instrument for managing post-consumer plastics. This is why we are advocating instead for a national circular economy framework that includes six strategic areas of focus to build a circular economy for plastics in Canada. These are:
- Product design
- Increase access to recycling and collection
- Improve sortation capabilities
- Strengthen mechanical and advanced recycling capabilities
- Grow and expand end-markets
- Engage and educate consumers
We will continue to work with the federal government to understand the scope of impacts on businesses stemming from regulations expected later this year. Our attention remains firmly focused on working with the provinces to advance extended producer responsibility initiatives coast to coast and creating more enabling policy and investment environments to support a circular economy for plastics.
BASF Canada and Bullfrog Power launch documentary on Circular Economy and NOVA Announces Senior Leadership Changes, in ChemNews for May 6, 2021. Read the full newsletter here.
The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) is pleased to support and acknowledge several key findings in a study by the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI): Towards A Circular Economy of Plastic Products in Canada.
The comprehensive study, commissioned by CIAC, focuses on mapping the movement of plastic waste in different provinces by plastic type and identifies the economic opportunities associated with recycling post-consumer plastics. The CERI study is an important step in expanding data collection to better understand where and how to apply solutions to advancing a circular economy for plastics.
“This important study reinforces the significant opportunities developing a circular economy for plastics will bring to Canada,” said Elena Mantagaris, Vice President, CIAC Plastics Division.
The study highlights the importance of increased investments in mechanical and advanced recycling infrastructure.
The CERI study estimates the positive economic impacts of additional recycling infrastructure investments across Canada would add an additional $116 million annually to GDP and $109 million in tax revenue, while creating nearly 6,500 high-paying sustainable jobs. Once in operation, the facilities would have a production impact on GDP of C$6.7 billion.
By continuing to develop markets in regions throughout Canada, the CERI study supports the idea that plastics should be managed as a resource, not as waste. Further investment in technology, innovation, and infrastructure could support distinct recycling hubs in key provinces. Looking beyond the CERI report, we believe this could be an opportunity to grow market share by establishing plastics recycling hubs in Canada that encompass regions throughout North America.
The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) acknowledges the new federal budget tabled yesterday will play an important role in supporting Canadians and Canadian businesses as they continue to cope with the current unprecedented public health and economic crisis. The budget also sends important signals and provides foundational fiscal supports for the future direction of the Canadian economy as it transitions to net-zero emissions by 2050.
CIAC has identified a number of initiatives that will bring benefits to Canada’s chemistry and plastics sectors, including:
- funding for Canada’s world-leading Chemicals Management Plan of $476.7 million for a further five years to “continue to protect Canadians and the environment from exposure to chemicals that can be harmful”;
- the development of a new tax credit for carbon capture, utilization and storage;
- a $7 billion commitment to the Strategic Innovation Fund including the Net Zero Accelerator fund to support projects that help decarbonize heavy industry, support clean technologies and help accelerate domestic greenhouse gas emissions reductions;
- investing a further $1.9 billion in the Trade Corridors Fund to spur investments to our roads, rail, and shipping routes.
“There are things that are in this budget that will help with the greening of the economy. Chemistry will be front and centre in providing those solutions to all sectors of the economy, whether through green energy, electric vehicles, low carbon products, energy storage and many others,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC.
“While this budget establishes important signals on the direction of the future economy, post-pandemic future budgets will need to prioritize attention on strengthening Canada’s capital investment environment. Achieving Canada’s long term economic, social and environmental objectives will require major changes in recent patterns of capital investment in Canada.”
CIAC and its members look forward to supporting Canadians on the path to net zero emissions and will continue to provide solutions for decarbonizing the economy. We will also continue to work with provincial and federal governments to keep plastics in the economy and out of the environment and to innovate to enable a circular economy for plastics.
The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) welcomes the federal government’s tabling of legislation to modernize the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) today. We are pleased to see a legislative recognition of the Right to a Healthy Environment in the preamble of the Act, in keeping with our U.N.–recognized Responsible Care® initiative.
“CEPA 99 and the legislated risk-based approach to Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan represent the global gold standard for protecting the environment and ensuring public confidence in the chemistries essential for our everyday lives. This Bill offers a well-balanced approach to addressing identified shortcomings in the current legislation while preserving the essential, risk-based approach to the regulation of chemicals in the Canadian economy,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC.
For more than 35 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 practiced in 73 countries and by 96 of the 100 largest chemical producers in the world.
Through Responsible Care, CIAC member-companies strive to “do the right thing and be seen to do the right thing.” They innovate for safer and greener products and processes, and work to continuously improve their environmental, health and safety performance. This is why CIAC worked with leading environment NGOs in 2018 to deliver a joint statement of CEPA recommendations to the Minister. In this statement, the parties recognized the importance of environmental, societal and governance (ESG) initiatives like Responsible Care in safeguarding the right to a healthy environment.
“We share the government’s concerns about vulnerable populations; previous risk assessments have directly dealt with this issue,” said Mr. Masterson. “We support the need to maintain the science and risk-based framework for CEPA and CMP that relies on a weight-of-evidence approach to risk assessments and risk management, bolstered by precaution where appropriate.”
CIAC looks forward to continuing to work with the federal government to modernize CEPA and to ensure it preserves a science and risk–based approach.
The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) welcomes the tabling of the 2021 budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy. We firmly support the provincial government’s efforts to assist Ontario’s people and businesses in the fight against COVID-19 and develop a framework for economic recovery.
CIAC is pleased to see the government take important steps to create the conditions for long-term economic growth and prosperity. Of note, we highlight the following items:
- Additional measures for fighting COVID-19 including rapid testing, contact tracing, vaccine supports and personal protective equipment supply investments.
- Attracting business investment with $400 million over four years to create the Invest Ontario Fund to encourage investments in advanced manufacturing, technology and life sciences.
- Reducing taxes for job creators.
- Proposing a new Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit and additional funding for employment and training supports.
Ontario’s nearly $25-billion chemistry industry is the third largest manufacturing industry in the province, directly employing over 43,800 Ontarians in well-paying jobs and supporting another 260,000 Ontario jobs in other sectors.
Our members are key employers in the Sarnia-Lambton, GTA/Niagara and Eastern Ontario regions of the province. Our sector provides important inputs to a range of key manufacturing sectors in the province including automotive, forest products, construction, and food and beverage. The chemistry sector is a key source of innovation and is an indispensable solutions provider in the area of global climate change and managing plastic waste. The industry is global and Ontario’s chemical manufacturers must compete globally both for market share and investment.
February 9, Apala Mukherjee was appointed President of BASF Canada effective March 1. She will chair BASF Canada’s Executive Committee, head its Leadership Team and lead internal business support groups, including Market and Customer Development and Sustainability.
Ms. Mukherjee has held various positions within BASF Groups including Director of Sustainability of Value Chains in Florham Park, New Jersey. CIAC had a chance to ask her some questions about her new role and what she hopes to achieve at BASF Canada.
Q: Welcome to Canada! Can you describe a bit about your previous role in the US and what led you to want to come to Canada?
A: Prior to moving to Canada, I was Director, Sustainability of Value Chains for BASF Corporation, located in Florham Park in New Jersey. Over two decades of working in this industry in various roles and regions, I have interfaced with many different industries: health and nutrition, packaging, paints, adhesives, automotive, consumer goods. In all these areas, sustainability, innovation, and digitalization are fast becoming key tenets of success. That is why I have been involved in the circular economy aspect of the business. Sustainability is something that I am very passionate about and I was very excited to be offered a position that is linked to BASF’s sustainability future goals.
I have held various leadership positions within BASF Group like heading Marketing Acrylics in Singapore and Global Business Director for Polyolefins Catalysts in the US.
Q: What do you consider to be the most pressing issues for BASF in Canada today? In the next year?
A: I have watched BASF Canada’s contribution to the overall success of BASF not only in the region but globally and over the years I have seen the company grow in sustainability and digitalization. This organization is a shining example of how we bring innovative solutions to the market. It is a very energized and modern company.
Likewise, Canada is a leader in sustainability. Canada ranks 20th in terms of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Combining that with BASF’s purpose, “We create chemistry for a sustainable future,” and my strong drive towards bringing sustainable solutions to scale, when I was offered the opportunity to lead BASF Canada organization, I said the loudest “Yes!”
The Canadian Government is taking many steps to promote sustainability and providing opportunities for companies to create jobs for a low carbon future. BASF Canada, with partnerships and initiatives like reciChain, the pilot program supporting the value-based alliance, our renewable energy partnership with Bullfrog Power is positioned to lead the change and generate value for our customers and for society. I look forward to working various partners and organizations in Canada and drive these activities forward.
Q: Can you describe your leadership style?
A: A leader needs to be flexible and leadership style is situational. But having said that, my leadership style is built around inspiring collaboration to achieve business results. We can only do that when employees bring their best ideas forward. That only happens when employees are fully engaged, feel valued and have a sense of belonging. I am a firm believer that a leader’s primary role is to create an environment of trust, honesty, and transparency. I like to give people space and freedom. I put proper guard rails so that they can take calculated risks (and not fall off the cliff so to speak), and then learn from their experiences. I consider myself quite approachable and I try to be present and visible for employees to discuss what is on their minds, be it solutions, opportunities and/or problems. Not just my direct reports, but the entire organization.
Q: What are BASF Canada’s and your own personal goals when working with CIAC?
A: There are two very important pieces.
The first is sustainability. Plastic waste is one of the most pressing environmental challenges we are facing today. Since I led the circular economy activities in North America, I know it is not easy to tackle. BASF Canada is trying to address this through projects like reciChain, which improves track and trace and uses blockchain technology to enhance recyclability of plastics. This project has been piloted in British Columbia, but it requires effort across the industry. One of my goals is to bring integrated approach and disruptive technology to improve the industry’s efforts to reduce plastic waste and to bring it to commercial scale.
The other piece that is close to my heart is diversity and inclusion. At BASF, we believe that when we have a diverse workforce and conscious inclusion, amazing things happen. We want to be the partner of choice for customers, and we also want to be a great place for our employees to work. In my opinion, this delivers the greatest value not only to society but to our customers as well. For me, it is not an option, it is a requirement.
One of our corporate values is openness, which is why we welcome all talent and more importantly, once they are hired, we want them to feel included. Belonging is powerful motivator for engagement. As a leader, I know we are not perfect, but we are taking a lot of steps that promote our commitment. We promote inclusiveness with various network groups: Women in BASF, LGBT and Friends, Military Veterans or the African American Employee Resources Groups, just to name a few. In Canada, we have achieved BASF’s female hiring targets, so we have increased our targets further. We are a proud participant of The Gender Equality Leadership in the Canadian Private Sector and this is something we will continue to strive for and improve on.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?
A: I come to BASF Canada with open eyes and ears and an openness to learn and contribute. I look forward to the myriad of opportunities to work with CIAC. CIAC has been a trusted partner for BASF Canada for many years and I would like to continue the legacy of my predecessors, with my active involvement and participation, being part of the work towards our goals of being a diverse association, solution providers and steward pioneers. I look forward to working with CIAC and its members. I ask readers to connect with us to discuss more about chemistry and sustainability related topics.
Women Building Futures and CIAC are proud to announce the John Vincett Responsible Care Award.
This award was inspired by the legacy of John Philip Vincett, a prominent champion of the Responsible Care Initiative in Canada’s chemistry sector. Responsible Care requires companies to engage with communities near facilities and along transportation corridors, emergency responders, governments, and other stakeholders to advance laws and regulations supporting sustainability. This award has been created with the generous support of CIAC and will provide financial relief to Indigenous women who attend WBF programs.
On behalf of John, we are deeply honoured to acknowledge the CIAC contribution in his name to Women Building Futures (WBF). John brought integrity, thoughtfulness and commitment to all his endeavours, including his early career working with remote First Nations in Northern Ontario, and his many years working to support and expand Responsible Care. WBF is an organization that embodies John’s values and principles in its goal to empower women, and Indigenous communities through support of training and apprenticeships in the skilled trades.
- Pam Wheaton, Toby, Sarah and Megan Vincett