TfS: Taking tough calls essential endorsing sustainability

TfS: Taking tough calls is essential while endorsing sustainability

10:03 AM, 23rd November 2016
Dr Deepak Parikh, CEO & Managing Director - Clariant India, Region President - Middle East, Africa, India - Clariant International
Dr Deepak Parikh, CEO & Managing Director - Clariant India, Region President - Middle East, Africa, India - Clariant International

In a discussion Dr Deepak Parikh, CEO & Managing Director - Clariant India, Region President - the Middle East, Africa, India - Clariant International with Chemical Today magazine speaks about Together for Sustainability (TfS) initiative and sustainability in the chemical industry.

Defining sustainability in chemical industry:

Sustainable development is critical to foster growth in the Indian chemical industry, as the industry forms a crucial part of the entire manufacturing ecosystem, right from automotive to healthcare, and from infrastructure to home & personal care, etc. The chemical industry is taking the lead towards sustainability by focusing on innovative solutions, and consistently introducing new sustainable product offerings.

Innovative solutions and an improving eco footprint clearly testify the commitment of the chemical industry towards sustainability amid rising concerns around climate change and depleting natural resources.

Chemical companies are increasingly working towards ingraining sustainability parameters into product development, reducing the energy intensity of their operations, minimising effluent discharge and pollution, and diversifying their raw material base to include bio-feedstock.

End-user industries are leaving no stone unturned in their quest to reduce carbon footprint in their supply chain. It is here that speciality chemicals play a pivotal role. Be it fabrics that requires less water to wash, shampoos with natural ingredients, fuel-efficient vehicles, or paints with low VOC, among others. The goals of the National Chemical Policy include the rationalisation of statutory regulations and controls and the creation of a “robust framework for promoting the safety and security of chemical facilities across the value chain”.

The government’s readiness to provide incentives for bio-based raw materials and thus reduce dependence on crude oil, encourage companies to seek “Responsible Care Certification” and facilitate priority loans to those who meet environment norms has been a positive step towards enhancing sustainability in the industry.

Furthermore, the government plans to expedite the consolidation of multiple legislations governing the chemical industry into one Integrated Chemical Legislation, this legislation should cover the entire life cycle of chemicals. It can act like the REACH regulation to help improve the protection of human health and the environment.

Sustainability initiatives at Clariant:

Sustainability is at the core of our innovation strategy. Most of our innovative activities are driven towards sustainable product and sustainable chemistry. We have about 800 different products with seven different business units. We have our own product qualification system which is internally driven and follows a very strict criterion.

All our products have to qualify these criteria of sustainability before it hits the market. We also closely work with our suppliers, end users and customers to implement sustainability in the entire value chain and make sure that the world is a better place.

Taking tough calls is essential while endorsing sustainability. We used to make a bright orange pigment which required chromium based heavy metal but we decided to completely remove that product line and developed new kind of pigments and colours that maintain the same aesthetic and optical appeal. It did hit us economically in the beginning, but it also drove us towards making a sustainable solution. When you believe in something you have to take the hard calls to stand by it.

Role of the government in ensuring sustainability in the market

There are a few things that the government can do, like:

  • Reward the companies who are working in line with sustainability by providing incentives and set an example for the market.
  • Get tough on the organisations who do not comply with sustainability standards.
  • Changing the mindset of the society towards sustainability. This needs to be done by driving the change from bottoms up, making it a part of the school curriculum to change the perspective of the younger generation and thereby making sustainability the DNA of the country.

© Chemical Today Magazine

See the Interview Coverage in Chemical Today magazine (Pg 30)

View the interview on Mobile, download the Chemical Today magazine app 



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