Idwala deals in paper chemicals, plastics and coatings. Algorax produces carbon black for tyre manufacture.
Both chemicals sector contenders performed strongly on community interaction, management commitment, SHE improvement programmes, Responsible Care awareness, social responsibility programmes, and product stewardship.
The RC trophy is awarded by the Chemical and Allied Industries Association (CAIA) annually to recognise member companies in the chemicals industry that make most significant improvements in their safety, health and environmental (sheq) performance for the year. CAIA represents about 90% of chemicals manufacturers.
RC audits measure performance
RC audits, and the awards evaluation, now use quantitative indicators to provide an objective and reliable measures, said CAIA executive director, Dr Laurraine Lotter.
Responsible Care is a global initiative by the chemicals industry, involving compulsory external audits, including environmental performance.
An impressive 75 member companies entered the RC awards programme this year, by completing their 2009 Quantitative Indicators of Performance (QIPs), which are subjected to keen scrutiny by judges, and compared to returns for 2008, to assess improvement in a range of areas.
The runner-up is Chemical Initiatives of Durban. Judges visited all three companies to assess how each company shaped up to their QIP performance and Responsible Care programmes.
Enviro impact criteria
These criteria are assessed among Responsible Care awards entrants:
• Improvement in managing health and safety of persons
• Reduction in number of disabling injuries per 200 000 hours worked
• Fatality disqualifies an entrant
• Improvement in storage, distribution and transportation
• Number of incidents involving chemical release per million tons handled and delivered
• Number of accidents causing public disruption per million tons delivered
• Resource use in terms of Kl of water used, GJ of energy used
• Waste management in tons of hazardous waste and kg of emissions
• Community awareness
• Emergency response communication structure
• Third party verification of Responsible Care
• Zero reportable injuries
• Zero transport incidents involving chemical release or causing public disruption
• Zero prosecutions.
Three companies make global grade
Only three South African chemicals companies received Leadership Group certificates from the International Council of Chemicals Associations; AECI, Omnia, and Sasol.
The best environmental project in the chemicals sector worldwide in 2010, was Responsible Care’s carbon footprint guideline document.
Clean Air Award
Algorax had reduced its airborne pollutants in a programme rujnning from 2007 to 2010. The company won a Clean Air Award from the National Association of Clean Air (NACA) in recognition of the success of the programme.
Chemicals auditors approved
Responsible Care auditors are in fair supply, with 30 qualified auditors approved and listed, but only three are qualified to audit process safety.