Chemical industry ‘needs to change to survive’

Paul Boughton

In order to meet the changing needs and expectations of customers and society, the UK chemical industry must respond to a rapidly evolving world, Judith Hackitt, Director General of the Chemical Industries Association (CIA) told CIA members and guests at the CIA's AGM.

Hackitt stressed that embracing sustainable development is essential for the industry's survival and so ensuring its contribution to saving the planet.

It offers a tremendous opportunity for the industry to move out of its long-standing defensive mode and truly regain a place in society that we can be proud of" she said.

The huge challenges faced by industry were highlighted when she said: "The public is beginning to get it - hurricanes and wild weather have a way of grabbing attention. How many times must we learn the hard waythe harsh consequences of failing to meet our stakeholders' needs and expectations in a timely manner? We've done it on environmental health and safetyand on products - are we destined to do it on Sustainable Development as well?"

Against this backdropHackitt referred to the majornew independent studies to identify how the industry in the UKand in Europecan collectively improve its representation and advocacy on the keycross-cutting issues such as public health or education. Due to be completed in DecemberHackitt described the UK study as a great chance to "make a further step change improvement in our representation."

The UK Chemical Industries Association (CIA) is the premier trade/employers' organisation in the UK chemical industry. It has a membership of 150 companiesmany of which are internationaloperating from over 200 sites in the UK.

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