Sustainability Initiative Chemie³ presents first progress report
+++ Wide range of support for member companies +++ Documented dialogue with major stakeholders +++ Further goals to 2017 +++ VCI President Marijn Dekkers: “Taking the initiative across our entire industry is the highest priority for us.”
Press Release of Chemie³, the Sustainability Initiative of the German Chemical Industry
The joint sustainability initiative of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI), the Mining, Chemical and Energy Industrial Union (IG BCE) and the German Federation of Chemical Employers’ Associations (BAVC) presented today in Berlin its first progress report. In this document, the alliance partners describe their joint activities and first results since the launch of the initiative in May 2013. So far, the work of Chemie3 has been focusing on anchoring the 12 sustainability guidelines for the chemical industry in Germany and on engaging in a dialogue with major stakeholders.
VCI President Marijn Dekkers emphasizes in the report: “Taking the initiative across our entire industry is the highest priority for us.” The support offer for the application of the guidelines is tailored for small and medium-sized enterprises and brings Chemie3 closer to this goal. The most important achievements include the online platform for members www.chemiehoch3.de. This platform was set up in summer 2014 and has been expanded continuously since its inception. For example, members can use the platform to find out about the concrete meaning of the guidelines and to obtain information about good practice examples, guidance documents and federal promotion programmes. Special events on selected topics provide further support for members in making sustainability a reality in corporate practice. The progress report also outlines individual tools for member companies (e.g. the specifically developed Chemie3 sustainability check) and first practical experiences from the companies. IG BCE chairman Michael Vassiliadis underlines the commitment of Chemie3: “There is no other country and no other sector where industry, employers and trade union work jointly and systematically towards establishing sustainability in a whole sector.”
Moreover, the progress report documents the continuous and critical exchange between major stakeholders. Already before the official launch of the initiative and when elaborating their 12 guidelines, the alliance partners had involved the major stakeholders and given consideration to their expectations to sustainability in the chemical industry. Dekkers: “We also benefit from the dialogue with stakeholders for highlighting the importance of economic success for everyone’s future. Without such success, we cannot develop solutions to global challenges and, consequently, answers to environmental and social issues.” The progress report addresses not only the future shaping of this constructive-critical dialogue; for the first time, it also publishes questions and demands from selected stakeholders and the relevant joint positions of the alliance partners.
Further important goals of Chemie3 to 2017 include the development of new progress indicators for sustainability. Based on such indicators, the economic, environmental and social successes of the sector along the 12 guidelines are to become measurable in the future. Especially with the social indicators, the alliance partners are entering new ground. BAVC President Margaret Suckale stresses: “This discussion process is intensive and takes time, but it is worth it. It is a first, because in late 2016 the social partners in one sector will agree on a common definition of what social sustainability means and how it can be measured.”
With the joint initiative Chemie³ of VCI, IG BCE und BAVC for the first time an entire sector is working to anchor sustainability as a guiding principle. Sustainability is understood as an obligation to present and future generations – and as a strategy for the future in which economic success is coupled with social equity and environmental responsibility. For more information visitwww.chemiehoch3.de
The German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) represents the politico-economic interests of more than 1,650 German chemical companies and German subsidiaries of foreign businesses. For this purpose, the VCI is in contact with politicians, public authorities, other industries, the scientific community and the media. The VCI stands for over 90 percent of the chemical industry in Germany. In 2014 the German chemical industry realized sales of more than 190 billion euros and employed around 444,800 people.
The Mining, Chemical and Energy Industrial Union (IG BCE) has a total of 660,000 members. It represents workers from the sectors of mining, chemicals, gas, glass, rubber, ceramics, plastics, leather, mineral oil, paper and pulp, environmental matters/recycling, coal, and the water industry. As an independent organization with no affiliation to any political party or other social institution, IG BCE seeks critical but constructive exchanges with employers, politicians and the government.
The German Federation of Chemical Employers‘ Associations (BAVC) is the umbrella organization in charge of collective bargaining and social policies within the chemical and pharmaceutical industry and large parts of the plastics processing and rubber industries. It represents the interests of its 10 regional member associations with 1,900 companies and 550,000 employees in dealings with trade unions, government bodies and the general public.