Harnessing the Limitless Potential of Chemistry and Building a Stronger Presence for the Chemical Industry
The world currently faces dramatic changes. As social infrastructure evolves in conjunction with tremendous developments in the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and e-commerce, sectors such as the automotive industry are said to be entering a once-ina-century period of upheaval. At the same time, a host of issues threatens efforts to create sustainable societies, including global warming, environmental problems such as marine debris and microplastics - which have become hot topics recently, particularly in Europe - resource and energy issues, food problems, and poverty. I firmly believe that the chemical industry has limitless potential to contribute to the creation of sustainable societies by resolving such issues. To harness such potential and play our part in building a stronger presence for the chemical industry, the Japan Chemical Industry Association (JCIA) will engage in the following activities:
1.Strengthening Operational and Product Safety
Based on the responsible care (RC) ethic, chemical industry is required to consider the environment, health, and safety throughout the entire product life cycle, from development and manufacture of chemicals to their use, consumption, recycling, and disposal. Ensuring operational safety and security in particular is a key issue. Unfortunately, serious accidents have continued to occur in recent years, and continuous efforts should be required. Based on the Principles of JCIA regarding the Environment, Health and Safety, we will continuously ensure the forward-looking perspective that efforts to secure safety create new value, and implement various initiatives to this end. Our efforts to secure product safety will continue to encourage and instil risk-base chemical management aimed at sustainable development.
2. Helping to Create New Value and Build Sustainable Societies
The chemical industry has provided new value to various sectors and supported their growth through innovative materials and technologies. We believe that, in addition to supporting the growth of a wide range of industries by creating new value, we have a mission to contribute to the creation of sustainable societies. To create new value, we will encourage the development of outstanding and innovative science, technology, and products through the development of technologies contributing to low-carbon societies and the carbon cycle, and by continuing to offer JCIA Technology Award. To build a sound platform for creating new value, we will also continue to offer opinions to relevant government authorities and other interested bodies regarding trade issues such as tariffs and anti-dumping measures and international consistency in regulations relating to chemical management, in the aim of ensuring equal footing in the international business environment. To contribute to the creation of sustainable societies, I believe that the key point is using RC activities as a platform to specifically address the sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations. We will communicate the chemical industry's role as a provider of solutions to issues facing society by compiling case studies to publicize and raise the presence of efforts being made by our member companies. Marine debris and microplastics have become a huge topic in recent years, and we recognize that there is much speculation around these issues given the vagueness of the facts, such as actual volumes. We are currently preparing to establish an initiative by five groups including JCIA that will determine policies for addressing them, and communicate Japan's position and ideas to the International Council of Chemical Associations and other relevant bodies.
3. Enhancing Public Communications
I regard public communications as an important part of RC activities. In building a stronger presence for the chemical industry, I also believe it is vital to promote sound understanding of the industry's importance and tremendous potential to as many people as possible. We will continue to take every opportunity to enhance public communications. Specifically, we will continue to publicize chemical industry efforts and results through the activities of the dialogue working group under our Responsible Care Committee, which promotes dialogue with local communities and citizens, publication of JCIA Annual Report, Dream Chemistry 21 campaign activities, and other initiatives. We face challenges that sometimes conflict with one another, namely creating sustainable societies while fulfilling essential human desires for greater convenience and comfort. Reconciling these issues is no easy matter. It requires wisdom and innovation in various forms, but also presents a chance to demonstrate the limitless potential of chemistry. These issues cannot be resolved without the power of chemistry. As chairman, I will lead JCIA to maximize the limitless potential of the chemical industry. Thank you for your continued support.
Japan Chemical Industry Association
Chairman Tsutomu Tannowa