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Spurring Responsible Care in Indian Chemical Industry
Chieftains from Indian chemical industry gathered for the Indian Chemical Council (ICC) Responsible Care to deliberate over the need for the Indian chemical manufacturers to raise their bar for manufacturing standards. ICC had signed the MoU with American Chemical Council for promoting responsible care in India and organised seminars in Mumbai and Goa spread over four days.

The council raised the curtains for the event with the ICC Annual awards to recognise the contribution of the people and organisations to the Indian chemical industry. ICC decorated Prof (Dr) M M Sharma, Former Director, Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai with ¬ICC lifetime Achievement Award . A M Naik, Chairman & Managing Director, Larsen & Toubro and Dr A V Rama Rao, Founder Chairman & Managing Director were presented ¬ICC D M Trivedi Lifetime Achievement Award  for commendable contribution to the Indian chemical industry.

K Jose Cyriac, Secretary, DCPC, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilisers, Government of India, Nikhil R Meswani, Executive Director, Reliance Industries Ltd, Prasad Chandran, Chairman and Managing Director, BASF India Ltd and Debra M Phillips, Managing Director - Responsible Care, American Chemistry Council were some of the key dignitaries present during the conference in Mumbai.

Debra Phillips lauded the Indian chemical industry for the double digit growth the industry has continued to maintain despite the depression in chemical manufacturing in the west. She noted that many western and European chemical supply chains ran through India and that there was a growing interest in the global community in responsible care in the country. She added that the global industry was deeply interested in compliance of Indian industry with responsible care principles to comply with the international norms for long term growth in the global market.

Global charter for responsible care mandates the signatories to adhere to core principles of responsible care. The initiative is a responsible model of voluntary self-regulation for other industries to consider. Currently, there are 159 signatories to Responsible Care which include 115 top chemical companies. Experts shared their views on the need of developing the inherent culture of responsible care taking into the account impact on all the stakeholders including the environment and future generations.

Later during the event in Mumbai, Meswani said that the Indian chemical industry was bound for a high growth in the years to come but needed to gear up to address the challenges of food water healthcare and quality of life. He urged that there was a need to stimulate the efforts in the field of green chemistry and clean technologies for sustainable development of industry and society. Prasad Chandran in his address noted resources, environment, food and nutrition and quality of life as the key challenges which have set the ground for the future chemical industry and commended on the need of maintaining the equilibrium between economy, ecology and society. ĄChemicals contribute significantly in every thinkable product on this planet and touch everyone s life,Č he added. Further he emphasised that chemistry would play a greater role and an enabler towards meeting the challenges. Chandran also shared various initiatives undertaken by BASF towards sustainable development that involved all the stakeholders and delved upon the tools like eco efficiency analysis, SEEBALANCE® etc used by BASF to evaluate the impact of products on the environment.

R Mukundan, MD, Tata Chemicals Ltd also apprised the participants of the initiatives TCL had taken towards serving the society through science and spoke how TCL adhered to Responsible care ethics and developing a culture of inherent safety across the organisation. Ken Tsang, Senior Advisor Responsible Care Association of International Chemical Manufacturers (AICM), China echoed his views and shared the importance of development of harmonious society and preserve earth for future generations and informed about the growing awareness amongst the chemical manufacturers in China for sustainable growth.

Despite being strong pillar for the growth of economy and the manufacturing sector, there has not been much change in perception of the chemical industry being polluting in nature. The leaders emphasised on the need to develop sustainable products for survival of the sector and urged the industry to promote sustainable development and invest in clean technologies to mitigate the carbon footprint for long term growth in the tight markets in the era of globalisation.