MEP, UNEP and Dow Launch Safer Operation and Emergency Preparedness Pilot Project in Zhangjiagang
Submitted by: Dow Chemical Company
Posted: Aug 20, 2009 – 01:09 PM EST
Aug. 20 /CSRwire/ - SHANGHAI, Aug. 20 /CSRwire/ - A pilot project aimed at boosting operational safety and emergency preparedness among chemical companies in China was launched today at the Zhangjiagang Yangze River Chemical Park.
It follows an agreement signed last September by China's Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and The Dow Chemical Company (Dow).
The pilot, in which Dow's Zhangjiagang facility has been selected as the primary demonstration site, was launched at a workshop involving close to 30 chemical and petrochemical companies alongside local and regional authorities and community bodies.
The pilot and workshop, jointly held by MEP, UNEP and Dow, is believed to be the first cooperative effort of its kind in China to explore and provide practical information on safer operation and the implementation of community-based emergency preparedness under the approach of UNEP's Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at Local Level (APELL) process.
"Dow is a proud partner in this standard setting collaboration with UNEP and MEP. This project will not only positively impact the sustainable development of China's chemical industry but also benefit the society as a whole," said Neil Hawkins, vice president for sustainability and EH&S at Dow. "Dow has always been committed to setting the standard for sustainability in locations where we operate, by engaging communities, establishing joint goals and taking action for the long-term success of all involved."
"This pilot project will draw together the global and local management expertise of UNEP and MEP as well as the operational excellence of industry leaders such as Dow, and will provide valuable information and experience for the future nation-wide promotion of safer production and emergency preparedness in China," said Arab Hoballah, Chief of the Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch of UNEP.
"UNEP remains committed to supporting the Chinese government and local communities to develop and implement policies and practices that preserve the environment and improve quality of life," he added.
"As our economy grows, it has become increasingly important to effectively utilize energy, reduce pollution, decrease the frequency of safety accidents, prevent the environmental emergencies and safeguards lives. Multi-sector cooperation such as this project plays a vital role in providing corporate and international best practices in our effort to support China's sustainable development," stated MEP.
The Zhangjiagang pilot is a crucial component of a two-year program initiated in 2008 between MEP, UNEP and Dow, to support the development of a safer production and chemical safety management system in China's chemical industry value-chain, and the awareness of emergency preparedness to enterprises, and the enhancement of management capacity emergency response, and relevant industrial environmental emergencies.
Companies participating in the pilot project should benefit from improved chemical safety: fewer accidents, safer production, fewer employees' injuries, fewer environmental emergencies and improved preparedness of the local community and of the local industry and its value-chain/buyers. Documents and experience generated from the project will be used in a case study for the further promotion of safer production and emergency preparedness promotion in China.
Building local capacity is a strong part of Dow's sustainability strategy in China. In 2005, Dow sponsored the three-year national pilot project with the China's State Environmental Protection Administration (now MEP). Dow also partnered with China's State Administration of Work Safety to launch a national demonstration project on the safe management of hazardous chemicals promoting a better understanding and awareness among small and medium-sized enterprises.
Dow is a diversified chemical company that combines the power of science and technology with the "Human Element" to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. The Company delivers a broad range of products and services to customers in approximately 160 countries, connecting chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. In 2008, Dow had annual sales of $57.5 billion and employed approximately 46,000 people worldwide. The Company has 150 manufacturing sites in 35 countries and produces approximately 3,300 products. On April 1, 2009, Dow acquired Rohm and Haas Company, a global specialty materials company with sales of $10 billion in 2008, 98 manufacturing sites in 30 countries and approximately 15,000 employees worldwide.
The mission of UNEP is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UNEP encourages decision makers in government, local authorities and industry to develop and implement policies, strategies and practices that are cleaner and safer, make efficient use of natural resources, ensure environmentally sound management of chemicals, reduce pollution and risks for humans and the environment, enable implementation of conventions and international agreements, and incorporate environmental costs. More information on UNEP can be found on www.unep.org.
MEP(Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People's Republic of China), formerly State Environmental Protection Administration, is the nation's environmental protection department charged with the task of preventing and controlling environmental pollution, protecting nature and ecology, supervising nuclear safety, safeguarding environmental safety, and promoting the harmony between man and nature. Directly under the State Council, it is empowered and required by law to draft environmental policies and enforce environmental laws and regulations. More information on MEP can be found on www.mep.gov.cn
For more information, please contact: