After a successful 2017, the Chemical and Allied Association (CAIA) looks forward to an equally inspiring 2018, says Executive Director Deidré Penfold.

“Next year will be a busy one and we will explore every opportunity to further safety and sustainability in the chemical industry, as well as the interests of our members and their employees.

“We are already hard at work to make it one of CAIA’s most successful years ever by reviewing the Management Practice Standards and associated Audit Guidance Documents in our industry, reintroducing our Process Safety Forum in KwaZulu-Natal, keeping an eye on environmental management, and policy and/or legislation development, among other things,” says Penfold.

The association’s busy calendar for next year includes:

·       A review of the Management Practice Standards (MPS) and associated Audit Guidance Documents (AGDs). The review of Process Safety MPS and AGD, as well as the Product Stewardship MPS and AGD, are at an advanced stage towards approval. A schedule has been developed and member companies have provided representatives to participate in work groups that review each MPS and associated MPS.

·       Reintroduction of the Process Safety Forum in KwaZulu-Natal. The forum was disbanded on 27 October 2016 but will be reinstated in 2018 under the leadership of Neil Franklin, AECI’s Group Safety, Health and Environment Manager, assisted by Francois Holtzhausen, a seasoned process safety auditor and consultant. The purpose of the Forum is to share knowledge and information on improving process safety and to provide an opportunity for member companies to assist one another by sharing best practices and pooling resources with specific benefits for smaller companies who don’t have the necessary resources.

·       Automation of data analyses. As the number of CAIA’s Responsible Care® Awards increases and data analyses become more quantitative and complex, with more indicators to be considered, the automation of data analyses for the purposes of aggregate annual reporting, short-listing for awards purposes, sub-sector benchmarking, the identification of focus areas for members as well as the Association; becomes more important. CAIA will be automating these processes during 2018 as far as possible using a rules-based system.

 

·       Environmental management. Positive changes are afoot in the environmental management landscape with changes having been promulgated to the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations and Listing Notices, discussions over removing certain activities from requiring environmental impact assessments to be replaced with compliance with standards, and the publication of a draft regulation on alternative environmental management instruments. Environmental impact assessment requirements and procedures have always been found to be lacking in efficiency and to be onerous and CAIA trusts that the future holds strong improvements in this area.

·       Water resources. Few policy changes have taken place this year from a water resources perspective and, disappointingly, regulations have been promulgated by the Department of Water and Sanitation that were not consulted on. The regulations in question are crucial to have industry’s input on as they set out the procedures for applications and appeals for water use licenses. In 2018 CAIA will remain involved to provide members with updated information as it becomes available.

·       The Integrated Resource Plan and Integrated Energy Plan that were released as drafts by the Department of Energy await finalisation. There was criticism on the plans by a variety of sectors of the economy and CAIA awaits a further update from the department. Due to various challenges in the energy sector – ranging from the link with climate change to the struggling state-owned enterprise Eskom – CAIA will continue to pay close attention to matters of energy.

·       CAIA will continue its engagement with the National Economic Development and Labour Council’s (Nedlac) non-agricultural market access and non-tariff barriers task teams with an overall position of ensuring the protection of South African products and manufacturing during the negotiation of multilateral and bilateral trade agreements with other countries and regional economic communities.

·       Development of policy and/or legislation. Through CAIA’s engagement with Government, other industry and business sectors, as well as with its members, positions are developed that intend to put the interest of our members first, while collaborating as closely as possible with Government to find solutions to the challenges that are identified that require the development of policy and/or legislation.

“I am looking forward to another year of close collaboration with our members, promoting the Responsible Care® initiative for a safer and greener industry, expanding our advocacy effort and working with Government to the best advantage of all,” says Penfold.

To view the full 2018 CAIA calendar to date, please visit https://www.caia.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/CAIA%20Calendar%202018.pdf on the CAIA website.

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