The Responsible Care initiative developed by global chemicals industry body the International Council of Chemical Associations, which aims to encourage the reporting of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by chemicals companies, has been launched in South Africa by the Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA).
The association reports that the Responsible Care Carbon Footprint Guidance document is intended to support companies in moving beyond the measurement of only direct emissions from their operations.
In the document, GHG emission categories are classed as Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3, with the last two categories measuring indirect emissions.
Scope 2 looks at electricity use and calculates the contribution of the emissions from the proportional electricity generation to the companies’ overall carbon footprints.
Scope 3 measures employee travel and chemical product transporting emissions.
CAIA chairperson Frank Baker says that many companies are aware of their direct emission volumes, but that the CAIA hopes to encourage increased accuracy in emission volume reporting from the chemicals industry by including the indirect components measured in Scope 2 and Scope 3.
The association reports that, according to the National GHG Inventory, the chemicals industry contributes about 4,3% to South Africa’s national GHG emissions and is seeking to improve its understanding of its contribution to national emissions.
Baker says that all CAIA members have signed the Responsible Care pledge and that the commitment by companies has been made at senior management level.
The pledge is not based solely on the measurement of emissions, but also encourages members to commit to better environmental responsibility measures, including conducting operations in a manner that reduces adverse environmental impacts, recognising and responding to community concerns about operations and chemical products, and integrating health, safety and environmental considerations in the planning of new products and processes.
The association is developing tools to assist members in implementing stewardship measures and CAIA executive director Dr Laurraine Lotter reports that it is working towards the goal of having all signatories to the Responsible Care pledge submitting yearly quantitative data.
The CAIA reports that, in 2007, 65% of Responsible Care signatories were operating community advisory committees, 94% had emergency response plans in place and 75% had implemented waste management programmes.
The association also reports that it has established a good relationship with national government departments that work in areas relating to the Responsible Care initiative.