French translation of ChemNEWS

Addressing public perception of the chemistry industry and how to improve it


CIAC President and CEO, Bob Masterson, discussed the pressing issue of marine litter, plastic waste and how to change the public’s perception of the chemistry industry in a keynote address at the annual Chemistry Canada Conference in Edmonton on September 25.

Mr. Masterson presented findings from a survey of Canadians’ perception on plastics, explained how plastics are essential to our modern and sustainable way of life, and what the chemistry industry must do to turn public perception around.

Promoting sustainability through chemistry at the G7 Ocean Partnership Summit

CIAC’s, Executive VP, Isabelle Des Chênes spoke to the benefits of plastic and the need for better waste recovery efforts in a workshop on Ocean Plastics and Marine Litter during the Ocean Partnership Summit held in conjunction with the G7 Environment, Oceans and Energy Ministers’ meetings in Halifax September 19 to 20.

The workshop included a framing panel session and stakeholder dialogue chaired by Professor John Nightingale of Ocean Wise. Joining Ms. Des Chênes were Susan Ruffo of Ocean Conservancy, Lisa Svensson of UN Environment and Rob Kaplan of Circulate Capital.

Panel members spoke of the opportunities for improved, broader cross-sectoral collaboration, both with government and between governments, the importance of engaging communities, incubating and investing in waste and recycling infrastructures in developing nations and much more.

“We believe that plastics are central to our modern and more sustainable future,” said Ms. Des Chênes. “They are an extremely efficient material that helps lower our environmental footprint in almost every part of modern life. At the same time, they unequivocally do not belong in our oceans nor in our natural environment.”

Ms. Des Chênes also noted, “We need to do a better job of recycling and recovering plastics after they are used, and designing plastic applications with recovery in mind, because plastics have a tremendous value that needs to be captured. That’s where the drive towards an increasingly circular economy for plastic packaging can make a difference.”

Following the panel discussion, stakeholders were invited to discuss and vote on key recommendations to share with the G7 Ministers during their deliberations the next day. The recommendations included:

  • Developing perspectives, policies and regulations that enable and direct business and industry to move towards circular economy solutions, including alternatives, new polymers, new manufacturing processes and new business perspectives.
  • Incubate and invest in waste and recycling infrastructures in developing nations.
  • Support increased public understanding and involvement as it relates to plastic disposal.

Canada to lose 635,000 jobs, petrochemical industry at ‘serious risk’ due to U.S. tax reform, says PwC report

Last year’s U.S. tax reform poses a substantial risk to the long-term viability of a large portion of Canada’s petrochemical and other chemical industry, as well as the Canadian economy at large, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report commissioned by the Business Council of Canada and released on September 12.

The impacts of U.S. tax reform on Canada’s economy, looks at numerous sectors in the Canadian economy. Key findings indicate that the U.S. tax reforms would put 635,000 jobs (3.4 per cent of Canada’s employment) at risk and potentially reduce Canada’s GDP by $85 billion (4.9 per cent of the economy).

The petrochemical sector will be particularly hard hit. The report indicates that with the U.S. tax reform, Canada is falling even further behind the U.S. in terms of competitiveness posing a “serious risk” to petrochemical manufacturing in Canada.

“The relative attractiveness of the U.S. is reflected in the fact that, capital expenditure in chemical manufacturing has decreased by 0.3 per cent in Canada over the past five years, while increasing by 10 per cent in the U.S.,” The report states.

These findings echo the concerns raised in CIAC’s 2019 Federal Pre-Budget Submission. The submission notes that although Canada used to enjoy an advantage through its marginal effective tax rate to help overcome construction, utility, labour and logistics disadvantages, that advantage is now gone with the U.S. tax overhaul. CIAC is calling on the government to take urgent action to ensure the Canadian chemistry sector remains competitive to keep business – and jobs – within Canada.

Read more in CIAC’s 2019 Federal Pre-Budget Submission

Read the full Business Council of Canada report

CIAC hits ground running with new Ontario Government

Last week, CIAC began its first series of meeting with key ministries in the new Ontario Government.

The meetings provided the opportunity to reinforce the important contributions that the chemistry sector plays in Ontario’s economy and outline pressing issues the sector is facing.

President and CEO of CIAC, Bob Masterson, and Director of Government and Stakeholder Relations for Ontario, Don Fusco, met with the Ontario Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development Job Creation and Trade, Jim Wilson, and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark.

“We were able to engage in substantive dialogue on how to improve the operating and investment environment for the Ontario chemistry industry and we were pleased that we were met with very well-informed and receptive responses. This is due in part to our past relationships and briefings when the ministers were opposition critics, but also because officials have done a great job briefing up on our materials,” said Mr. Masterson.

“I was very pleased at the degree to which the new Ontario Government seems to be hitting the ground running with us. We look forward to working with the new Ontario Government to promote its ‘open for business’ mandate in our sector.”

CIAC will continue to work with the new government and provide recommendations in the spirit of continuous improvement aligned to our Responsible Care® principles. We will also work to support the Ontario Government’s effort to deliver a practical and pragmatic regulatory framework ensuring the citizens of Ontario can enjoy a sustainable future where both the environment is safeguarded and the economy prospers.

NOVA Chemicals invests to prevent plastic debris in Indonesia

CIAC member, NOVA Chemicals, has announced a three-year investment of nearly $2 million to support a new global initiative to reduce marine plastic pollution in Southeast Asia called Project STOP.

The initiative’s goal is to design, implement and scale circular economy solutions to marine plastic pollution in countries with high leakage of plastics into oceans. NOVA Chemicals’ investment will support the first city partnership in Muncar, a coastal fishing community located in Banyuwangi, Indonesia. With minimal waste services in place, many citizens are forced to dump their waste directly into the environment.

As a member of Responsible Care®, CIAC’s U.N.-recognized sustainability initiative, NOVA Chemicals has long worked towards safe, responsible and sustainable chemical manufacturing.

“Our investment in Project STOP demonstrates our unwavering commitment to shaping a world that is even better tomorrow than it is today. We understand that part of this commitment to being ‘better tomorrow’ is our commitment to Responsible Care and Sustainability,” said John Thayer, Senior Vice President, Polyethylene Business at NOVA Chemicals.

“NOVA Chemicals has a long history of respecting our employees, communities and the environment. We are a founding member of Responsible Care and are deeply committed to the industry’s ideals of sustainability.”

CIAC is working with its members and partners, like NOVA, to reduce plastic waste and support the circular economy. In June, partnering with the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, CIAC and its members committed to set ambitious targets to reuse, recycle or recover 100 per cent of plastics packaging by 2040.

Learn more about CIAC’s commitment to supporting the circular economy 

Learn more about Project STOP 


Changements climatiques, réduction des GES, taxe carbone, SPEDE, allocations gratuities – Où en sommes-nous?

Au cours des dernières années, ces sujets ont occupé une place importante de l’agenda politique.  En effet, la lutte contre les changements climatiques est devenue le cheval de bataille des différents gouvernements, fédéral et provincial.

Cette cible de réduction de -2 degré Celsius s’est traduite par un passage obligé vers la réduction des gaz à effet de serre (GES).  Afin d’inciter les entreprises à atteindre la cible de réduction, température et GES, le Ministère du développement durable, de l’environnement et de la lutte contre les changements climatiques (MDDELCC) a instauré une taxe sur le carbone afin d’inciter les entreprises à initier des projets de réduction des GES.  Les résultats de ces ventes aux enchères (entre le Québec et la Californie, et plus tard avec l’Ontario) par l’entremise d’un Système de plafonnement et d’échanges des droits d’émissions (SPEDE) ont permis de recueillir des sommes importantes que le gouvernement du Québec verse au Fonds Vert, fonds permettant de réaliser des projets de réduction des GES.

En parallèle, de manière à faciliter la transition des grands émetteurs de GES (25 000 tonnes et plus de GES annuel), le MDDELCC a modifié le système d’allocations gratuites en fonction du secteur d’activités et du type de production. Jusqu’à maintenant le MDDELCC a fait connaître les allocations gratuites de 2021 à 2023 mais doit prendre une décision en début 2019 pour faire connaître ces allocations gratuites de 2024 à 2030.

De nombreuses questions demeurent encore sans réponse dans ce dossier :

  • Pourquoi ne pas retourner les sommes accumulées au Fonds Vert par la taxe carbone aux émetteurs/payeurs pour réaliser des projets?
  • Comment tenir compte de la compétitivité des entreprises de notre industrie pour fixer les allocations gratuites 2024-2030?
  • Que va devenir le marché du carbone et la vente aux enchères (Québec-Californie-Ontario) avec une volonté de retrait en Ontario?
  • Que pourrait devenir le système d’échange entre le Québec et l’Ontario avec les prochaines élections provinciales au Québec?

Des dossiers à suivre pour l’ACIC.

l’ACIC félicite Elysis pour son nouveau procédé de production d’aluminium sans carbone (article en anglais)

Congratulations to Canadian aluminum sector leaders Alcoa, Alcana and Apple who, with the support of the Federal and Quebec Governments, have developed a new carbon-free aluminum production process that will eventually result in annual greenhouse gas reductions of more than six million tons in Canada alone.

“The process relies upon decades of research in totally new chemical reactions from those associated with carbon-based production methods,” said Vincent Christ, CEO of Elysis, the new joint venture.

This success illustrates that by working together, the resource, manufacturing and chemistry sectors can point the way to a more sustainable future while growing the economy, here in Canada, while at the same time reducing emissions. The new venture will be in Quebec and export the technology throughout the rest of the world.

Alcoa and Rio Tinto announce world’s first carbon-free aluminum Smelting Process

$558 million investment project will create and maintain thousands of jobs in Canada

Plaider en faveur d’une réglementation modernisée de la gestion des sols excédentaires en Ontario afin de parvenir à une utilisation bénéfique sans nuire aux possibilités économiques (en anglais seulement)

L’industrie de la chimie est prête à relever le défi des déchets de plastique

Alors que nos dirigeants se rendent au Sommet du G7 à Charlevoix, au Québec, le 8 juin avec l’intention de proposer un accord de Paris sur les déchets marins, et que nos collègues de Plastics Europe et de l’American Chemistry Council proposent des cibles audacieuses pour réduire les déchets de plastique, nous sommes à un moment décisif en ce qui a trait à la politique publique et à la chaîne de valeur mondiale du plastique.

J’ai l’assurance que ce point d’inflexion créera les conditions requises pour l’optimisme, l’innovation et des progrès significatifs dans l’industrie de la chimie et le secteur des plastiques du Canada, alors que nous nous préparons à un avenir sans aucun déchet.

Dans le cadre de ce leadership, l’ACIC a formé un partenariat avec l’Association canadienne de l’industrie des plastiques et ses membres afin d’annoncer les cibles de réduction des déchets suivantes :

  • l’objectif idéal que 100 pour cent des emballages de plastique sont réutilisés, recyclés ou récupérés d’ici 2040, et
  • l’objectif provisoire ambitieux que 100 pour cent des emballages de plastique sont recyclables ou récupérables d’ici 2030.

Ces cibles ne seront pas faciles à atteindre.  Elles nécessiteront des actions de la part de toute la société.  Parallèlement, le problème des déchets marins exige que toutes les industries, chaque citoyen et chaque gouvernement de la planète s’unissent.

Nous sommes tous d’accord que les plastiques n’ont pas leur place dans l’océan, et dans tout autre cours d’eau, point à la ligne.  C’est un gaspillage considérable de précieuses ressources que le plastique soit utilisé une seule fois puis éliminé comme déchet.

Cependant, le plastique reste primordial pour notre avenir.  C’est un élément essentiel de notre mode de vie moderne et plus durable.  Il garde les aliments frais plus longtemps, il rend nos voitures et nos maisons plus efficaces sur le plan énergétique, il est extrêmement pratique et il fait tout ça de manière rentable et avec des avantages environnementaux évidents par rapport à d’autres matières.

L’industrie, avec les décideurs politiques fédéraux, provinciaux et municipaux et d’autres personnes influentes sur le plan politique, doivent commencer à collaborer plus étroitement afin de créer les conditions où la valeur du plastique peut être réalisée plus d’une fois et, dans certains cas, à de multiples reprises pendant son cycle de vie.  Notre rôle sera entre autres de concevoir des matières et des applications permettant une récupération, une réutilisation et une recyclabilité accrues.

Nous devons aussi penser mondialement.  Ni le Canada ni tout autre pays du G7 ne contribue de manière significative aux déchets de plastique dans les océans.  Les principaux responsables ont besoin d’une aide technique et financière d’urgence pour avoir accès à des services de gestion des déchets modernes et efficients, que nous tenons largement pour acquis au Canada.

Au Canada et dans les autres pays du G7, nous devons considérer le plastique différemment et arrêter de le voir comme un déchet qui doit être éliminé.  L’industrie de la chimie est prête à relever ce nouveau défi.

Renforcer la compétitivité et les forces de regroupement auprès des députés progressistes-conservateurs de l’Ontario

On May 2, CIAC and Canadian Fuels Association met with local Ontario Progressive Conservative MPPs Bob Bailey (Sarnia-Lambton) and Monte McNaughton (Lambton—Kent—Middlesex and Critic for Economic Development and Growth) to reinforce competitiveness and the strength of the integrated refining and chemistry sector in Sarnia-Lambton, Ontario.

In the lead up to the June 7, provincial election, CIAC has been active with elected and government officials to provide input to assist in the development of public policy that improves Ontario’s competitiveness and supports more investment while maintaining robust environmental, health and safety requirements and other public interest protections.