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Dept of International Trade Export Opportunities - ICC Sustainability Conclave - India November 2019


Chemical Industry in India-Environmentally Sound Management

4-5th November 2019, The Imperial, New Delhi, India

The Department of International Trade is working with the Indian Chemical Council to support a visit to the 2-day ICC Sustainability Conclave in New Delhi on 4th & 5th November 2019. The purpose of the conclave is to gather knowledge (technology, best practice, issues) around the topic areas and then use these in the development of a proposal as to how the wider sustainability issue should be tackled by the Indian Government with particular reference to the Chemicals Sector. The primary themes to be discussed are around:

•    Environmental Management –Working Together
•    Water management
•    Circular Economy
•    Waste Management
•    Managing Chemicals Sustainably, &
•    Responsible Care & Nicer Globe

Part of the visit would include DIT supported site visits to Indian businesses interested in implementing new technologies and assistance to businesses. The visit will be of interest to companies actively engaged in chemical water treatment and industrial effluent treatment with the focus on sustainability and water management.

Any companies or organisations interested in participating in this visit should contact Alastair Gardner at the DIT for further information.


Chemicals & Petrochemicals industry covers more than 80,000 commercial products. It provides key building blocks to a host of downstream industries such as automobiles, textiles, papers, paints, soaps, detergents, pharma among many others. It employs ~ 4.5 million people in India. As a result, it plays a key role in economic and social growth of the country. It is a critical element of the manufacturing industry and is highly fragmented in the downstream sector.

The Indian Chemicals & Petrochemicals industry is a US$163bn industry and has the potential to reach $304bn by 2025. Indian industry is the 3rd largest producer in Asia but still 1/9th the size of China.

The industry provides various technological solutions and products to almost all sectors. While undoubtedly, it is an important industry for the overall and economic growth of the country, it is equally important to manage the industry sustainably. Preserving the environment is imperative for growth and is a growing concern.

The industry, in the coming decades, must promote sustainable development by investing in technologies that protect the environment and stimulate growth, while balancing economic needs and financial constraints.

About the Conclave

To highlight initiatives being taken by chemical industry globally in reducing carbon footprints, share best practices and emerging greener technologies, address the issue of environmental management and to charter a way forward for a better tomorrow, the Indian Chemical Council (ICC), jointly with International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) and United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) is organizing this 2-day conclave. It is a major initiative for promoting sustainability in the management of the entire life cycle of chemicals.

Focus Areas:

The conclave will focus on international and national best practices on the regulatory, institutional and implementational framework towards an action oriented and implementable approach in the following areas:

  • Environmental Management –Working Together
  • Water management
  • Circular Economy
  • Waste Management
  • Managing Chemicals Sustainably, &
  • Responsible Care & Nicer Globe

Identifying and aligning regulatory framework with global standards is a key to sustainable growth of the businesses. The understanding and knowledge of continuously evolving regulatory compliance requirements in chemical sector among all stakeholders across the entire value chain forms the basis towards building a safe and pollution free environment in and around industrial complexes.

Water being one of the scarcest and most precious resources for the existence of living beings, it is also a critical input for the chemical & petrochemical industry in many operations and processes. The demand for water in the industry would further increase due to rapid growth of the sector in making India a 5 trillion-dollar economy by 2024.

To offset the negative impacts of water unavailability on the chemical industry, the conclave will deliberate on encouraging and adopting technologies for increased water use efficiency, wastewater treatment and reuse practices and explore other best water conservation practices as well. Such efforts on part of chemical industry will contribute towards the Prime Minister’s call for a national effort to conserve, protect and augment India’s water resources.

A Circular economy will tackle the environmental burden by reducing the pressure on resources for raw materials and overall decreasing the carbon footprint. The conclave will provide an excellent opportunity to chemical industry to showcase best practice worldwide in circular economy for adoption at local, national, and a regional scale among stakeholders across the entire value chain of chemical products.

The conclave will also deliberate on the most pressing issue of plastics (including microplastics) by focusing on various initiatives in minimizing their release into the oceans, rivers, lakes and waterbodies, including the voluntary global initiative of “Alliance to End Plastic Waste”. But what makes plastic so convenient in our day-to-day lives – it’s cheap – also makes it ubiquitous, resulting in one of our planet’s greatest environmental challenges. Increasing awareness among the general masses with the help of industry groups and the government may help address some of these challenges. There is wide scope for industries based on re-cycling of plastics waste.

The voluntary initiative of ‘Responsible Care’ is playing an important role in chemicals management in India by addressing community concerns about chemicals and their impact on people and the environment during processing, transportation and use. It is a commitment of the chemical industry for a world-class performance for safe and responsible management of chemicals throughout their entire life.

The ‘Nicer Globe’ initiative of ICC supports the chemical industry stakeholders to act responsibly and self-regulate for the safe and secure transportation and distribution of chemicals and to manage and mitigate risks and enabling efficient Emergency Response for transport incidents / accidents as well as enhancing transport security.

The outcome and recommendations arising from discussion during the technical sessions will form the basis for sustainable management of chemicals towards building a safer, cleaner and healthy environmental ecosystem.  

About Indian Chemical Council (ICC)

Founded in 1938, ICC is the National Apex body of Indian Chemical Industry covering Dyes, Drugs & Pharmaceuticals, Agrochemicals, Paints & Plastics, Petroleum Refining, Petrochemicals & Fertilizers, Polymers, Base Inorganic, Organic & Specialty Chemicals. ICC’s 500+ members represent ~85% business in the sector. Sustainability is one of the key focus areas for ICC.