The Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA) launched its 2018 Responsible Care® Performance Report at an event that was combined with the Association’s Annual General Meeting and Awards Ceremony for top performers.

The annual launch of the report is the Association’s opportunity to engage with stakeholders on safety, health and environmental metrics of signatories’ activities for the preceding calendar year, and to promote the principles of the voluntary Responsible Care® Initiative. The report, themed around the 17 sustainable development goals that were agreed to at the United Nations in 2015, also provides information on the activities of the Association for the preceding twelve months.

The report talks to the vision of Responsible Care® that is centred around sustainability through its slogan “Our Commitment to Sustainability”; envisaging a profitable, sustainable chemical sector in South Africa that contributes to the quality of human life and the economy through innovation and production – without harm to people, property or the environment.

During the presentation of the annual report, Deidré Penfold, Executive Director of CAIA, touched on the achievements and challenges of the chemical sector represented by CAIA along its value chain.

“The 2018 Responsible Care® Performance Report not only highlights the implementation of planned objectives but presents the aggregate performance of the chemical and allied industries publicly, allowing stakeholders the opportunity to contribute to the Responsible Care® Initiative and the continual improvement of the safety, health and environmental (SHE) performance of the sector as a whole,” said Penfold.

“As the custodian of the Initiative in South Africa, CAIA has the responsibility to ensure that its status and requirements are met on an ongoing basis. It must be remembered that the purpose of the Initiative is not merely for the chemical industry to look good, but to be good. The commitment made by companies is to integrate the Responsible Care® ethic into every aspect of their business.

“Considering this, the requirements of the Responsible Care® Management System (RCMS) must be reconsidered on a continual basis so that its value can be realised. Throughout 2018

and moving into 2019, numerous changes will be implemented; from name changes to third-party auditing requirements. CAIA thanks the Responsible Care® Standing Committee (RCSC) for their dedication to providing input to this process and trusts that signatories will support the renewed Initiative with the zeal that they have shown throughout the 24 years that there has been commitment in South Africa,” Penfold said.

CAIA has been intimately involved with the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) Task Team on Economic Sector-Specific Interventions, as a part of its contribution to the Presidential Jobs Summit and engagements with the Economic Advisor to the President and has developed a position paper on impediments/challenges faced by the chemical industry in doing business in South Africa.

CAIA remains active in the policy, legislative and advocacy space and although all such matters are considered for action by CAIA, notable activities have included engaging both bi- and multilaterally with a variety of Government departments, NEDLAC, parliamentary and business fora on a variety of matters, including climate change, waste management, energy and chemicals management affairs.

Rod Humphris, Chairperson of the CAIA Board, said a great deal of work has been undertaken this year to achieve just that – raising the bar of Responsible Care® in South Africa in order to voluntarily realise further gains in sustainability objectives.

“A host of new metrics have been reported on for the first time in this year’s report; including indicators that will allow the tracking of performance in handling and storage incidents, process safety incidents, external stakeholder complaints, and environmental incidents. Reporting more metrics allows improved public reporting; one of the commitments that signatories make when joining Responsible Care®.

“A variety of new indicators facilitate enhanced tracking of water consumption, effluent discharge and waste management that in turn will allow CAIA to provide even more value to signatories to contribute to water saving initiatives,” said Humphris.

He said CAIA is proud to report that a number of improvements across the SHE space have been noted. The Recordable Injury Incident Rate (RIIR), the Occupational Disease Incident Rate, chemicals management through Product Stewardship commitments, and Community Awareness and Emergency Response (CAER) indicators all show continual improvement.

Responsible Care® aims to ensure that South Africa’s chemical sector is recognised by all stakeholders as a responsible industry that plays an important role in providing a wide range of benefits to society while remaining open, honest, accountable and credible in all its dealings.

The 2018 Responsible Care® Performance Report can be downloaded from

The role CAIA

“The Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA) represents the interests of a large proportion of the chemical industry in South Africa; throughout its value chain. The chemical sector contributes about 3.0% to the Gross Domestic Product and 22% to manufacturing that occurs in South Africa, thereby contributing strongly to our economy.  Economic growth increases the demand for products of the chemical industry, and this growth in turn drives product innovation. The contribution that the sector is making to the economy is falling due to, amongst other factors, the increasing cost of doing business in South Africa that includes the increasing imposition of regulatory and economic instruments.

Chemicals, chemical products and technologies are used in almost every area of life as well as in most facets of the world economy, thereby contributing to almost every value chain, even outside of the industry itself. In South Africa, the chemical sector therefore supports a range of other manufacturing sectors and plays an indispensable role in the provision of essential services as well as in economic growth.

As an association that forms part of a worldwide network of chemical industry associations, CAIA seeks to promote the continuous improvement of performance in the safety, health and environmental arenas as well as to boost productivity and competitiveness of the chemical and allied industries in South Africa, thereby enhancing their sustainability.

Members are mainly large and medium size companies drawn from base chemicals, fertilizers, plastics in primary form, pesticides and other agricultural products, explosives and speciality chemicals. CAIA’s primary goals are to advocate industry advancement and cohesion, promote Responsible Care®, earn public trust for the chemical industry, strengthen its advocacy efforts and lobbying with Government, drive multi-industry participation and facilitation opportunities for the entire value chain, support education initiatives in science, engineering and technology and create maximum value for member companies.

The Association interacts with a number of employer bodies, the Chemical Industries’ Education & Training Authority, various professional societies and other associations representing sub-sections of the industry.

CAIA is the custodian of the global Responsible Care® initiative, which was launched in South Africa in 1994. Through this initiative, companies make a formal public commitment to continuously improve their safety, health, and environmental performance. CAIA operates through a board comprised of Chief Executive Officers of member companies, and the day-to-day running of the association is led by the Executive Director, Deidré Penfold.

The importance of a healthy, sustainable and growing chemical sector is key to many economies of the world. This is due to the upstream and downstream opportunities which are offered that are reflected in:

  • the diversity and complexity of operations that the chemical industry is directly involved in, and
  • the strong multiplier effects the chemical industry has on employment and Gross Domestic Product. In South Africa, these multiplier effects are 7.00x and 4.72x, respectively.”