Catalyst THE MAGAZINE OF CANADA’S
Fall 2009 INSIDE THIS ISSUE: CCPA Appears Before the Industry Committee’s Subcommittee on Industrial Sectors Chemistry Transforms Ice Cream Website Demystifies Chemicals for the Public
Chemistry = Solutions www.canadianchemistry.ca
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CCPA Editor Michael Bourque Vice President, Public Affairs Assistant Editor Nancy Marchi Public Affairs Co-ordinator President & CEO Richard Paton Association Office Canadian Chemical Producers’ Association 805-350 Sparks Street Ottawa, ON K1R 7S8 Tel.: (613) 237-6215 Fax: (613) 237-4061 www.ccpa.ca NAYLOR Publisher Elena Langlois Editor Suzy A. Richardson Sales Manager/Project Manager Alana Place Book Leader Robert Bartmanovich Sales Representatives Anook Commandeur, Mark Hawkins, Wayne Jury, Cheryll Oland, Dawn Stokes, Blair Van Camp Research Zach Swick Layout & Design Catharine Snell Advertising Art Elaine Connell Editorial Office Naylor (Canada), Inc. 2 Bloor Street West, Suite 2001 Toronto, ON M4W 3E2 Tel: (416) 961-1028 Fax: (416) 924-4408 www.naylor.com Catalyst is published four times per year by Naylor (Canada), Inc. for the Canadian Chemical Producers’ Association (CCPA). The CCPA represents over 70 chemical manufacturers, which collectively produce more than 90 per cent of all chemicals in Canada. Responsible Care®, an initiative of Canada’s Chemical Producers, is an ethic for the safe and environmentally sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycle. Invented in Canada, Responsible Care is now practiced in 47 countries. Copyright by the CCPA. All rights reserved. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or the CCPA. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior consent of the association. PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 2009 CDC-Q0309/8343
Contents Volume 6, Number 3, FALL 2009
FEATURES 8 Recap: Industry Committee’s Subcommittee on Industrial Sectors Speaking notes from CCPA’s appearance before the Industry Committee’s Subcommittee on Industrial Sectors.
11 Website Demystifies Chemicals for the Public
Now, when people worry about a chemical-related issue that’s in the public eye, they can turn to www.chemicallyspeaking.com to help identify and demystify myths and misinformation. By Lucy Frigon
12 Global Chemistry Industry Announces Findings of Carbon Life Cycle Analysis
The International Council of Chemical Associations announced in July the findings of a carbon life cycle analysis of the chemical industry.
13 Minerva: Making a Difference in Safety, Health and Environmental Education
Minerva Canada Safety Management Education Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the teaching of SHE Management in post-secondary schools across Canada. By Tony Pasteris
14 Opinion: Can You See a Difference?
Ontario passes a new law to regulate toxics, while the world-renowned federal Chemicals Management Plan continues to deliver results. By Scott Thurlow
COLUMNS 5 Edifications
A Dissonant New Era By Michael Bourque
7 Responsible Care®
Speaking in Code: The first in a series on the New Responsible Care® Codes of Practice By Julien Lavoie
DEPARTMENTS 16 Company Profile: NOVA Chemicals
In July, NOVA Chemicals became a private company, remaining committed to the highest standards of corporate social responsibility and continuing to operate under the principles of Responsible Care®. By Greg Wilkinson
17 Fun Facts: Chemistry Transforms Ice Cream
In 1999, Will Schroeder and Thomas Paskach were chemical engineering graduate students at Iowa State University. Their science experiment as students has become a business for the now-owners of Nitro Ice Cream – advertised as the “world’s smoothest ice cream.”
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A DISSONANT NEW ERA By Michael Bourque
WE HAVE ENTERED a new era in government regulation. This new era was not planned and did not happen overnight. It was not the subject of a Federal-Provincial First Ministers’ conference or extensive policy debate by political parties. It wasn’t started as a motion during the annual meeting of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities or the Public Policy Forum. And yet, here it is, the era of “regulatory dissonance” in matters relating to science. I believe there are three primary drivers for regulatory dissonance. The first driver is the era of minority government, which we have seen both federally and provincially. Nobody would have predicted that a consequence of the minority government era would be bad policy. In fact, the opposite was expected. Parliamentary Committees are not stacked with government members and governments cannot expedite debate the way they can in majority times. Most observers expected laws to come out of committees as works of compromise, reflecting the views of stakeholders. And yet, we have seen all kinds of legislative proposals arise in Parliament that are not grounded in substantive policy debate and in some cases that are just plain crazy. For example, one proposal during the review of C-6, the Consumer Protection Act, was to ban a range of consumer products, which would have included gasoline.
We are supposed to be a science-based, high-technology, knowledge-worker economy. Yet we behave as though science is the enemy. Second is the new internet-led media and the 24/7 news cycle. The media have played a huge role in the creation of regulatory dissonance. There are so many media outlets now. A blog site operated by an individual with no science background can make claims that will be picked up by the mainstream media. Within hours, it has circulated around the globe. Once it is reported in the media, politicians will ask the government what they are doing about it. Reporters rarely have a science background. The government spokesperson rarely has a science background. Outrage is ignited by ignorance and fuelled for political opportunity. (If I had listed a fourth driver, it would be the lack of science expertise in bureaucracies—it is hard to push back on your political masters when you don’t have the science knowledge to back it up.)
The third driver is the internet-savvy Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that are real beneficiaries of this vicious circle. NGOs operate in specific markets. They pick issues that will help sell memberships, boost revenues and steer clear of the campaigns of other NGOs. Many of these essential watchdogs have slipped into a cynical pattern. It is characterized by a high degree of opportunism, fanaticism and sadly, lack of respect for science. I recently heard an NGO spokesperson say simply: “We don’t care about the science.” Many NGOs are actively working to tear down the science-based decision-making mechanisms that have characterized western societies, and they are succeeding. Every level of government is now contributing to regulatory dissonance. Municipalities and provincial governments regulate pesticide use, even though we have a significant federal body, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, with the resources, expertise and mandate to do so. The federal government regulates air quality, driving affected provincial governments to cross into other areas of federal jurisdiction. The most recent example is provincial governments doing food inspections. Perhaps they’ve not heard of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency? Well, this is a federal agency with more than 6,000 full-time employees and a budget of some $740 million. Science-based decision-making at all levels and for all products—from healthcare to consumer products—is impacted by this new era of dissonance. The producers of these goods are no longer sure what the rules are and have trouble making investment decisions. Companies are resorting to using the courts to fight government decisions. Even a recession on the scale we are currently witnessing does not stop the overlap, duplication and over-regulation of this new era. Sadly, the end result will be higher prices for consumers, higher taxes and no net gain for health or the environment. We are supposed to be a science-based, high-technology, knowledge-worker economy. Yet we behave as though science is the enemy. What can we do about it? That would be the subject of another column. But the best idea I’ve heard in a long time is the creation of a Science Court, which would provide an independent venue for challenging governments that choose to act out of political expediency rather than logic and science. A Science Court would provide a check and balance in the new era of regulatory dissonance. A Michael Bourque is Vice-President, External Relations, Canadian Chemical Producers’ Association. He can be reached at email@example.com. Catalyst Fall 2009 • 5
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SPEAKING IN CODE
Striking the Right Balance for the New Responsible Care Codes of Practice By Julien Lavoie WITH A NEW ethic and a new set of principles designed to explicitly deal with sustainability, the beating heart of Responsible Care is now much more in tune with Canadians’ expectations on a host of issues, including climate change, chemical content of consumer products and business ethics. But as much as Responsible Care’s ethic and principles offer aspirational goals for its adherents, it’s the Responsible Care Codes of Practice that guide companies through the day-to-day decisions that are crucial to the attainment of sustainability objectives. What criteria should guide the review of management systems to ensure they protect the long-term health and safety of employees and communities? What policies or standards should be applied to the design of new products or the purchase of new equipment? What plan should be in place to deal with incidents, eliminate waste or conserve resources? These are only a few of the questions the Responsible Care Codes of Practice address. Over the next issues, Catalyst will provide an overview of the new Responsible Care Codes of Practice as they are being developed by specialized steering committees and will provide insight into some of the major changes being proposed. The first big change is that the number of codes will be streamlined from the current six to a comprehensive and inclusive three, namely the Operations Code, the Stewardship Code and the Accountability Code. “The existing six Responsible Care Codes of Practice had essentially remained unchanged in the last 20 years,” says Brian Wastle, CCPA’s Vice-President of Responsible Care. “Even though these codes continue to deliver improvements in the health, safety and environmental performance of chemical companies, people’s expectations are now much higher.” Yet before attempting to update them, CCPA reflected on the need to have codes of practice at all. “There are a few models we could have emulated, including what the American Chemistry Council has done, which is to rely on risk assessment as part of the ‘plan’ step of a management system approach to guide needed action, underpinned by a more rigorous regulatory system than we
have in Canada, instead of a more prescriptive set of codes,” Wastle says. “Ultimately, the board agreed that having a set of codes provides an opportunity to further elaborate on the collective expectations – or aspirations that we have, especially on the new sustainability elements in the Responsible Care principles.” But the CCPA Board was concerned about striking the right balance between prescriptive codes and ambitious principles. “An overly prescriptive set of codes would fail to recognize the diversity of our membership, would impede innovation and would turn verification into an auditing process,” Wastle adds. “It’s also hard to write codes for the vast variety of companies currently in the membership. However, a loosely defined set of principles which provide no details on how to achieve continual improvement is open to misunderstanding and ultimately meaningless to the everyday work that companies engage in.” To make the transition from six to three codes, code elements were grouped under three headings, starting with those over which the company often has more direct control, such as manufacturing and transportation (Operations Code), through those that involve developmental work or more indirect influence via suppliers, customers and distributors (Stewardship Code), to those that involve the issues of engagement with other stakeholders, both locally and broadly (Accountability Code). After the general concept of three codes came into focus, CCPA reached out to its membership, staff, former and current verifiers, and advisory panel members to form three steering committees tasked with writing the new codes. The committee members were chosen for their expertise with Responsible Care and the chemistry industry, and for specific areas of knowledge which they could contribute to the elaboration of the operations, stewardship and accountability codes. “We literally started with a blank page,” says Graham Creedy, CCPA’s Responsible Care Consultant entrusted to participate in the elaboration of the Operations Code. “We looked at every aspect of the existing codes and weighed them against the new sustainability expectations to make sure the new Operations Code would be as comprehensive as the ones it replaced.” Deciding not to reinvent the wheel, the committees charged with reviewing the codes – or Code Builders, as they have been nicknamed – opted not to alter their fundamental continued on page 10 Catalyst Fall 2009 • 7
RECAP: INDUSTRY COMMITTEE’S SUBCOMMITTEE ON INDUSTRIAL SECTORS Following are the speaking notes from CCPA’s appearance before the Industry Committee’s Subcommittee on Industrial Sectors as delivered by Richard Paton on Thursday, April 23, 2009.
I AM GOING to start my presentation with a question. In roughly five years, Canada has seen its manufacturing sectors go from 18.1% of our GDP down to about 14%. The manufacturing sector has lost over 320,000 jobs between 2004 and 2008. That’s more than one in seven manufacturing jobs disappeared. In addition to the men and women who have lost their jobs, this is a hit to communities across the country—especially in Ontario and Quebec. In the chemical sector, we have lost about 12 plants in the past five years, two major plants in Montreal, as well as several plants in Ontario. So my question is this: What’s an acceptable number for our manufacturing sector? Would letting this number slide even more to, say, 12% or 10% be OK for the future? Or should Canada develop a robust manufacturing strategy that will either maintain or rebuild the core role of manufacturing in the economy? I know that your main focus has been on the forestry industry and aerospace—both of which are very important sectors that deserve attention. But today I am here to try to convince you that Canada needs to move beyond dealing with specific sector problems on an urgent basis to recognize that we need a clear approach to the Canadian economy that will enable Canada to come out of the recession stronger and more competitive. The three major points I want to make today are: 8 • Catalyst Fall 2009
First, that the chemical sector is a very good illustration of why we must focus on the interdependence and synergy among resource development, manufacturing and services to create a strong Canadian economy that benefits Canadians and Canadian communities. Secondly, manufacturing has to be an integral part of our economy if we want to maximize our standard of living and employment for Canadians. And thirdly, that government policy matters, but major improvements are needed to create the policy environment for the investment and growth of the Canadian economy and manufacturing. MY FIRST POINT: The chemical sector depends on a robust Canadian economy, including a resource and services sector as well as a dynamic and growing manufacturing sector. As I am the President of a Canadian chemical association, you are probably wondering why I am going to speak to the broader economy and not just my sector. The reason is that the $48-billion chemical industry is what we call an enabling—or linking—industry. As the fourth-largest manufacturer in Canada, we transform resources like oil, gas, salt and electricity into chemical products, which are then used by a wide variety of industries such as automotive, forestry, mining, pharmaceuticals and plastics, as well as
products and technologies that reduce pollution, clean water and support medical applications. Chemical producers add five to 20 times the value to base resources through this conversion process, thus directly creating wealth for the economy as well as all the other sectors we depend on and supply. Our industry cannot prosper in isolation of a strong and vibrant resource development sector, or without other manufacturers to use our products. Chemicals are one of the major input costs for pulp and paper production, so when the forestry industry is in trouble, some of our companies are in trouble. Approximately $5,000 of every car manufactured is a chemical product— whether it be in plastics, rubbers and increasingly in composite products, which make cars lighter, or batteries which enable hybrid cars. We are also highly dependent on a wide range of services such as banking, computer support, transportation (especially rail) and waste management. For these reasons, my industry has a very strong interest in the strength of the total economy in Canada. We prosper as the Canadian economy develops and, like most manufacturing sectors, 87% of our products are exported to the U.S.—making us part of the overall North American economy. Since 2006, our Association— alongside many others—has called attention to the decline in Canadian manufacturing. The current economic crisis has only exacerbated the loss of
manufacturing jobs to jurisdictions with a more favourable investment climate. However, I am hopeful that a good crisis will not be wasted and that Parliamentarians will hear the wakeup call for our economy and the need to have more robust strategies for the future. The hard question is: Does Canada want to avoid the 10% solution—and simply watch passively as more manufacturing plants close and more jobs are lost in vital communities? If not, then governments must fundamentally change the approach we have taken to the economy, especially related to manufacturing. THIS BRINGS ME to my second point: Canada is missing major opportunities to build an economy that maximizes the value-added potential and resource base of our economy. Canada is resource-rich, and we pride ourselves in our growing service industry. However, those two sectors are linked and highly interdependent with manufacturing. Without our manufacturing sector, all we are doing is extracting resources here and shipping them out to other countries that add the value of five to 20 times and then sell them back to us. Increasingly, this is what is happening with the emergence of China and India as huge global manufacturing centres. Right at this time, pipelines are being built to move raw bitumen from Canada to the U.S. for upgrading. Alberta is one of the few provinces with a clear strategy to upgrade those resources—even though it is challenging. I would strongly argue that an economy that capitalizes on its resource advantage by adding wealth or value to these resources is better off than one where resources are just shipped to other countries to develop. As a country, we should be maximizing the value of those resources for Canadians and doing everything we can to achieve this objective.
Given the huge value of our forestry, mineral, oil and gas and agriculture base, one would think that Canada would have developed a strong, valueadded resource upgrading strategy for the country to maximize the value of these resources for Canadians. Sadly, this is not the case, and we are now paying for it and will pay even more in the future with the loss of employment for our skilled workers. Canada needs to recognize that to build a truly powerful global economy, we must build on the strengths of our unique resource base and maximize the development of manufacturing related to this resource base. A strong manufacturing sector is also critical to having an effective service sector. Services such as IT, environmental clean-up and even R&D are dependent on a vibrant manufacturing sector. And as Sir John Rose, the chief executive of Rolls-Royce, brilliantly pointed out last year: “We must stop hiding behind the myth that we have become a post-industrial economy as if this was a helpful concept and a meaningful ambition.” Mr. Rose goes on to state the challenge in these terms: “The less manufacturing we have, the more skills will be lost, the less capacity we will have to innovate and create products, and the more limited the options we will have as a country.” It’s worth noting that Mr. Rose’s comments were made about the United Kingdom, and this, before the global financial meltdown—and we can see the dangers of relying on a service-only industry as has been done in the UK. For Canada, if we continue to lose capacity in manufacturing, real wealth creation and economic growth will be at risk. When looking to other countries to put this into context, DOW Chemical Company CEO Andrew Liveris had this to say: “ … emerging economic powers like China and India understand that when you build an economy from the ground up—make a strong manufacturing base as its foundation—benefits flow to everyone.” He
quantifies this by saying that: “The 14 million men and women who work in U.S. manufacturing created about $1.6 trillion of wealth in 2007.” Countries like China, India, Germany and Singapore have understood the crucial importance of manufacturing to their economies. These are our competitors. They know the global game that we are in. They align their policies to make sure their manufacturers can increase their market share in the global economy. MY FINAL POINT today is that government has a role to play in ensuring a robust manufacturing sector. The fact is that government policy does matter in the development of a strong manufacturing sector or chemical industry. There are many areas of government policy, both federal and provincial, which add costs to industry, which make it more difficult to introduce products, which create unnecessary overlap and duplication between the federal and provincial governments, or where there are significant policy vacuums that lead to counterproductive policies. One example of a huge policy vacuum is energy policy. Each year, CCPA produces a competitiveness scorecard for various governments, including the federal government. We’ve circulated copies for you. These scorecards analyze the complete business factors that make Canada a competitive jurisdiction in which to invest. These scorecards look at everything from fiscal and monetary policy, inflation, corporate taxation, labour costs and trade policies, to things like the legal system, insurance, energy supply and pricing, transportation and infrastructure in place, workforce availability and R&D tax treatment. The fact is—in this globally competitive world, to win is a bit like trying to win the Stanley Cup in the playoffs. Every team is good. The game is really rough and fast. To win, you must have the total package. This is an example of the total package for our industry.
Catalyst Fall 2009 • 9
There is a need for political leaders of all parties to
SPEAKING IN CODE
work together to create the conditions for a strong and
continued from page 7
competitive manufacturing sector in Canada—of which
purpose. Through these changes, the codes will remain, in essence, a summary of the aspects of company life that must be addressed by a company’s management system in a manner consistent with the Responsible Care ethic and principles for sustainability. The codes will continue to provide a description of the desired outcomes that a comprehensive, robust and self-healing management system must deliver. According to Wastle, the codes are a combination of “warnings” of what has gone wrong in the past and might go wrong in the future, and a “vision” of what needs to be addressed to empower a company to sustain itself profitably over the long term. The hope is that the codes will continue to be flexible to varying circumstances while providing sufficient clarity to allow companies to abide appropriately by the ethic and principles. In essence, some code elements will be more applicable than others to certain companies. “There are tough elements to grapple with in the principles,” Wastle sums up. “Things like innovating for safer products or meeting expectations for social responsibility are crucial to our collective vision of a sustainable chemistry industry, but they need concrete definition if they are to be truly meaningful and a central part of Responsible Care.” A
the chemical industry is an important part. You can see, even without reading the text, the number of positives and negatives, and you can see that there are a lot of areas for improvement. Industries like ours do not favour subsidies or handouts or even special treatment. But, we do expect governments to do their part in creating the policies that are required for manufacturers to compete globally and at least avoid introducing measures that undermine or reduce competitiveness. Canada needs to develop policies to encourage investment in manufacturing, which encourage upgrading of resources, and which stimulate progress towards sustainability objectives. Although some progress has been made recently in terms of corporate tax and with the harmonization of taxes in Ontario, the fact remains that there are major obstacles to investing in Canada compared to other jurisdictions. These issues were well documented in the excellent all-party Industry Committee report led by then-Chair James Rajotte in 2006, which made 14 recommendations to improve the situation of manufacturing. Few of these recommendations have been addressed.
Conclusions We are at a critical time. The creation of this subcommittee corresponds
with the urgency that is being felt in many sectors of the economy. But, as trying as these times are for manufacturing, there is a real opportunity to create some policy direction for the Canadian economy after this recession. There is an opportunity to rethink some of our assumptions about Canadian manufacturing and to develop a real roadmap for the future. This subcommittee has an opportunity to make its mark in how we will recover and can set the tone on the kind of leadership that we will need to get through this stronger than before. I may be asking you to work on a direction that is not specifically your mandate, but there is a need for a robust debate on this subject and the engagement of Parliamentarians. If not you, who will do it? I would like to encourage you and your committee to build on the work of the Rajotte committee report and think beyond the problems of a particular sector or even this recession period and address the medium-term and longer-term requirements for a competitive manufacturing sector as part of a strong Canadian economy. A Richard Paton is President, CCPA and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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WEBSITE DEMYSTIFIES CHEMICALS FOR THE PUBLIC By Lucy Frigon
CHEMICAL SCIENTISTS AND engineers in all fields are passionate and proud of what they do. They all share one ultimate goal: to help make the world a better place to live. However, over the years, many have had to develop a thick skin because few of their achievements are known, and little positive news about chemistry is mentioned in the media. Instead, we hear a lot of negatives. The frustrating part is that a significant portion of these negative statements may not be justified. Why? Perhaps in large part because of popular myths, lack of knowledge and misinformation. So, what can the chemical community do? We can organize ourselves and share our knowledge in a way that is easy to understand for non-scientists. We can assist a range of people— parents, teachers, bureaucrats, etc.—to help them make sense of household chemicals and their perceived or real danger. We’ve taken one important step in this direction. The Canadian Chemical Producers’ Association (CCPA) has partnered with the Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) and Dr. Joe Schwarcz to create the new website, www.chemicallyspeaking.com. It is an easy-to-understand, go-to source that demystifies the role of chemicals in our daily lives. Through videos, reference articles and commentaries, the website sheds light on issues and helps make sense of perceived or real chemical risks. How often have we heard about this or that chemical in baby shampoo, shower curtains, plastic bottles and so on? Or all those chemicals that end up in our blood because of our environment? It always sounds alarming, and
people are legitimately concerned about their health and that of their loved ones. Are these serious threats? Can people believe what they hear in the media? Now, when they worry about a chemical-related issue that’s in the public eye, people can turn to www.chemicallyspeaking.com to help identify and demystify myths and misinformation in a vocabulary that is accessible to anyone. Often, there is not a clear-cut right or wrong answer, but it is important to be aware of what’s out there and be able to separate myth from truth: www.chemicallyspeaking. com aims to do just that.
The website will also help people realize that decisions they make every day in their house, backyard, car or workplace have an impact— “chemically speaking.” For example, did you drink orange juice this morning as your dose of vitamin C or did you choose grapefruit juice instead? Depending on the type of medication you already take, this decision may have an impact on your health. In the backyard, how do you maintain your lawn? Did you have coffee, and did you have it in a reusable mug or in a paper cup on your drive to work? What are your kids’ toys made of? How do you package leftovers at home or carry water around? Do you use sunscreen? These questions are related to decisions people make every day that are associated with chemicals.
www.chemicallyspeaking.com is fortunate to count on a recognized, trusted partner. Joe Schwarcz is the director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society. He is well known for his efforts at interpreting science for the public and for demonstrating the importance of understanding chemistry as it pertains to daily life. He explains facts in straightforward layman’s terms, and he truly has a talent for putting facts into perspective. His calm approach is simple and makes sense. “Chemicals in and of themselves are not safe or dangerous, there are only safe or dangerous ways to use chemicals,” Schwarcz says. He adds that: “Many natural substances can be dangerous if taken by the wrong person or in the wrong quantity. Conversely, many chemicals that are perceived as harmful may not be when used responsibly. The idea of this website is to have a trusted source for making choices.” www.chemicallyspeaking.com pledges to remain unbiased and will not be influenced by CCPA and its member societies or partners, by the CIC or any other entity. It will remain independent and seek to present facts as they are. The new website is a positive initiative of CCPA that was shared with the CIC. It is now a component of the overall CIC Public Understanding of Chemistry Program. As it develops and grows, we invite you to get to know it and direct people to it whenever they wonder about chemicals in their everyday life. A Lucie Frigon is the Communications Manager for the Chemical Institute of Canada. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Catalyst Fall 2009 • 11
GLOBAL CHEMISTRY INDUSTRY ANNOUNCES FINDINGS OF CARBON LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS THE INTERNAT IONAL COUNCIL of Chemical Association s (ICCA) announced in July the findings of a carbon life cycle analysis of the chemical industry. The study found that for every unit of greenhouse gas (GHG) emitted directly and indirectly by the chemical industry, the industry enabled more than two units of emission savings via the products and technologies provided to other industries and consumers. The study also found that by 2030, the ratio of GHG emission savings to emissions could increase to more than “four to one,” provided certain actions are taken by industry, stakeholders and policymakers. McKinsey & Company and the Öko Institut (Institute for Applied Ecology) jointly participated in the study of the global chemical industry’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions through the life cycle of chemical products and the
difference these products make in the applications they enable. Analyses were performed for more than 100 individual chemical product applications. Emission savings were compared with all emissions linked to the chemical industry. The analyses spanned the major relevant products and sectors of the chemical industry and covered a representative amount of the CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) emissions linked to the chemical industry. All industry production-related
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emissions were included, whereas only the major use-driven emissions savings were measured. Additional life cycle analysis could therefore reveal greater emissions savings than reported in this study. The full report is available online at www.icca-chem.org. The chemical industry is the first global industry to embark on such an initiative and confirms that it is an enabler of solutions to decarbonize the global economy by making products that save energy and create net emission reductions. The most significant emissions savings by volume were found to be from building isolation materials (such as expanded polystyrene, extruded polystyrene or polyurethane), agrochemicals, lighting, plastic packaging, marine antifouling coatings, synthetic textiles, automotive plastics, low-temperature detergents, engine efficiency, and plastics used in piping. A
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6/12/07 4:14:43 PM
MINERVA: MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN SAFETY, HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION By Tony Pasteris
WITH THE CURRENT pace of retirements, more engineers are being fast-tracked into operating positions where safety is an important and vital component of their work. Educators are beginning to hear from industry, including CCPA member-companies, that there is a need for engineers better-educated in the areas of Safety, Health and Environmental (SHE) Management and Process Safety Management (PSM). Minerva Canada Safety Management Education Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the teaching of SHE Management in postsecondary schools across Canada. It targets the educators of tomorrow’s leaders by encouraging colleges and universities to embed SHE management education into the core curricula of business and engineering schools. Minerva’s Board of Directors and Working Committee consists of volunteers from industry, government, academia and Health and Safety (H&S) associations. Minerva provides case studies, engineering and business student awards competitions along with its Summer Institute program to help educators and students become more aware of and better understand the importance, the need for and the fundamentals of SHE management education. To carry out its mission, Minerva Canada must rely on continued financial support from industry and government and is grateful to have the Canadian Chemical Producers’ Association and some of its membercompanies supporting its programs. Initiated in 2004 through the process safety management divisions of the Chemical Institute of Canada and the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering, the Summer Institute
introduces engineering and business professors to the principles of SHE management education, including process safety management concepts for engineering professors. It is an intensive three-day training program consisting of workshops, industrial site visits, panel discussions, and presentations from industry, government and H&S associations. Since 2008, the Summer Institute has reached out to younger professors in Chemical Engineering and to professionals with little industry experience. The 2008 and 2009 Institutes provided professors with the greatest-ever teaching resource materials for their classes and information on where to find other material easily. The Summer Institutes have focused on six key themes: 1. SHE management systems and the PSM elements of the Center for Chemical Process Safety 2. Safety engineering technology 3. Engineering design 4. Ethics 5. Regulations, codes, standards and operating practices 6. Leading SHE teaching practices and research. A special session was organized this year in which two recent chemical engineering graduates discussed their working life and what they would have liked to learn in their undergraduate engineering program. One of the graduates works for a large multinational company and the other is the sole engineer with a small specialty chemical producer. Their feedback underlined the need for improved training in SHE management. A particular weakness they noted was the lack of hazard recognition training, and Minerva plans
to include a session on this subject at future Summer Institutes. As a result of the efforts from some of Minerva’s directors, the level of risk-management education will be a new component to be audited at each Canadian engineering school by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB). A framework for what should be assessed by the CEAB was developed at this year’s Summer Institute. Minerva knows it is making a difference towards assisting Canadian universities and colleges in including more of the fundamentals of process safety and loss management in their courses across Canada. However, the work is far from over. To date, 135 professors from 27 Canadian universities have attended the Summer Institutes. Ninety percent of these professors have implemented some part of the SHE teaching materials given to them within two months of the commencement of classes. The Summer Institute is a longterm initiative that will have a valuable impact for organizations like CCPA. It will help to prepare tomorrow’s corporate leaders with the proper SHE and process safety management education mindset and thereby help to reduce process-related incidents and the adverse safety, health and environmental consequences associated with them. A Tony Pasteris is President, Minerva Canada Safety Management Education Inc. He can be reached at minerva@ safetymanagementeducation.com. For more information about Minerva Canada and The Summer Institute, visit www.safetymanagementeducation.com. Catalyst Fall 2009 • 13
CAN YOU SEE A DIFFERENCE?
Ontario passes a new law to regulate toxics, while the world-renowned federal Chemicals Management Plan continues to deliver results. By Scott Thurlow I N T H E S P R I N G of 20 09, t he Government of Ontario passed its Toxics Reduction Act. There was no real substantive debate. There was no genuine engagement with the industry affected by the statute. Most importantly, sound science was excluded from the discourse. From its introduction to its passage in less than two months, less than 24 hours of debate was dedicated to it in the Legislative Assembly and in committees. During the committee stages, a string of industry advocates pushed for changes that would make the proposed bill workable. These advocates were completely ignored by MPPs who were not at all interested in the effect this new law would have on Ontario’s economy. The most important question is why the government needs to grant itself the power to regulate the content of a product if no part of its manufacturing process calls for specific abatement of a toxic. Cynics would argue that the plan, as laid out, is simply window dressing to justify limitations on the use of certain substances. A side-byside comparison of the two regulatory approaches reveals the extent to which Ontario erred. The first stage of the federal risk assessment process is a CEPA Section 71 Survey, a gathering of information to assess whether a substance is toxic or capable of becoming toxic, based on how it is manufactured, imported, used, sold and released in Canada. The first stage of the Ontario process is a “materials accounting” which uses a system that is distinct from the federal plan. This new layer of accounting will add costs to manufacturing in Ontario as companies redeploy resources to meet these requirements, which 14 • Catalyst Fall 2009
will have no actual impact on reducing risk. In Ontario, a substance was added to the proposed list because the government believed it to be toxic. Ontario hasn’t conducted independent risk assessments, and has no intention of doing so – meaning the process is hazard-based and not risk-based, which is a significant concern to industry stakeholders. Ontario proposed to list hundreds of substances as toxic under the new legislation, to be compiled from the most dangerous substances on the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI), the Great Lakes Regional Toxic Air Emissions Inventory, California’s Proposition 65, and the lone substance found in Ontario’s Regulation 127/01: acetone. Put bluntly, the list was compiled by looking at existing Certificates of Approval and cross-referencing it with an array of “lists” of products from other regulatory bodies. This was a completely different process than that which gave birth to the Canadian Chemicals Management Plan (CMP). The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) required that 23,000 existing substances on the Domestic Substances List be screened. The criteria used were persistence (P) in the environment, possibility of bioaccumulation (B) in fish or other organisms in the food chain, inherent toxicity (iT) in the environment, greatest potential for human exposure, and toxicity to humans. The federal government is doing a comprehensive review of the substances for which it has the most concern (high priority) in batches of 15, and will deal with medium- and low-priority substances in the future. No substance will be declared toxic without a risk assessment and public comment period
when both ENGOs and industry have the opportunity to use science-based evidence to respond to the conclusions reached by the government. A summary of each submission is provided publicly, and there are numerous stages in the process where any party can take issue with any finding. Admittedly, there have been differences of opinion over some conclusions, but at no time was any stakeholder left out of the process. The Ontario list, by contrast, was designed in the “black box” of an advisory panel that did not have the benefit of input from companies that use these substances every day and have the most expertise working with them.
Ontario companies will be further discouraged from investing in Ontario because of the added paper and regulatory burden. Without industry’s input, Ontario declared a litany of substances to be toxic by passing the legislation and it did so based on concerns, not evidence. Ontario has not even definitively stated that it will abide by the results of a federal risk assessment under the CMP – and it will act on substances even if the federal government declares that they do not qualify as toxic under CEPA. Ontario claims that its program will work in conjunction with the federal program, but to date there has been no evidence to substantiate this claim. The final stage of the federal plan is a dialogue with stakeholders (industry, ENGOs, communities) with several
distinct phases: the review of possible risk management solutions, settling on direct proposals and implementing those proposals. Each phase is open to public scrutiny and review. The original Ontario survey for stakeholders bluntly asked if there was support for Ontario banning substances with limited scientific evidence of hazard, let alone risk. That, in and of itself, speaks volumes on the intent of the government to manage these substances. There are many possible repercussions to the Ontario Toxics Act: • Ontario companies will be further discouraged from investing in Ontario because of the added paper and regulatory burden. • Ontario industries will find substances on the Ontario list and present evidence for excluding them. If that industry fits into a Minister’s portfolio, it may find an ally in that Minister. Because the list is hazardbased and not risk-based, it lends itself to political interference.
• ENGOs will continue to seek additional changes to the Act so that “toxic” substance reduction will be mandatory—not just reporting. This will occur even where substances are not putting the public at risk. Eventually, industries will be forced to manufacture elsewhere, although their products will still end up in the hands of Ontario consumers. It is unclear what regulatory gap in the federal government’s CMP the Ontario plan is designed to address – except that it claims to go further. The federal plan is not flawless. It takes a precautionary approach to many aspects of chemical regulation and, in some limited cases (i.e. Bisphenol A), it ignores its own risk assessment to take regulatory actions that will not limit the risks identified. In some other cases, it ignores the axiom “the dose is the poison” and creates a hazard-based management system. By comparison, however, the federal plan is much stronger and is not
susceptible to the same type of political interference. It is interesting that the Ontario government prides itself on being the jurisdiction of the future and the center of innovation, when it will not even use science as the basis for a program that directly targets the most innovative industries in the province. It is unfortunate that Ontario’s legislators refused to listen to industry representatives who offered them constructive solutions. The sad reality is that their actions have added to an already onerous paper burden that makes working in Ontario even more cost-prohibitive than operating in other jurisdictions. Meeting regulations that do not add value will drive up manufacturing costs and, consequently, consumer costs. To a sector that is already feeling the pinch from the slowing economic climate, this legislation is toxic indeed. A Scott Thurlow is Senior Counsel at Temple Scott Associates in Ottawa. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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Catalyst Fall 2009 • 15 6/11/08 7:43:58 PM
NOVA CHEMICALS: COMMITTED TO RESPONSIBLE CARE® IN TIMES OF CHANGE By Greg Wilkinson
IN JULY, NOVA Chemicals became a private company, under 100% ownership with the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC). As a private company under this new ownership, we will continue to operate in the IPIC business portfolio. Going forward, NOVA Chemicals remains fully committed to the highest standards of corporate social responsibility and will continue to operate under the principles of Responsible Care®, which include maintaining high levels of performance related to health, safety, security and the environment, as well as maintaining high standards of ethics and regulatory compliance. We maintain our high levels of performance by investing in our operations. As a Responsible Care® company, we believe investing in our operations is an investment in our people, our community and the environment.
Addressing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Our approach to managing GHG emissions is proactive. Our strategies continue to support investment in technology and projects that drive step-change improvements in energy efficiency. The investment in upgrades and technology at our eastern Canadian assets is a good example of this approach. We are in the midst of investing almost $500 million to upgrade and improve our eastern facilities. The modernization projects at our eastern polyethylene assets are the largest capital projects now underway in the company. In early July, the delivery of a new hyper-compressor for the Moore polyethylene plant replaced a 30-year-old compressor. This state-of-the-art compressor—a key asset required to make lowdensity polyethylene—will help support ongoing safe and reliable operations, and decrease GHG emissions through improved energy efficiency. As well, early in 2007, we completed the last phase of our modernization projects at our Corunna site. Upgraded equipment and technology have improved the operating efficiency of the site by 15% and will make a direct positive impact on our GHG emissions intensity in the coming years.
Our Actions are Aligned with Our Strategy We have developed our strategy to reduce the intensity of GHG emissions to reflect our principles for sustainability and our commitment to Responsible Care®. Our strategy focuses on: • New technology to drive step-change in energy efficiency and GHG intensity reductions. We believe the most effective solutions to climate change will be achieved through transformational technology that drives step-change improvements 16 • Catalyst Fall 2009
in energy efficiency. Improving and developing new catalysts that reduce the amount of energy used in various petrochemical processes results in higher efficiency. • Continuous process improvements in our operations. With the acquisition of our company by IPIC, we expect greater opportunities to build on our world-class technology. We continue to invest in projects that improve our manufacturing capability and energy efficiency, which in turn improve our GHG emissions profile. • Partnerships to improve energy efficiency throughout our product chain. Our commitment to technology and energy efficiency goes beyond improving our own emissions profile. Our approach includes pursuing innovative upstream and downstream partnerships and improving energy efficiency throughout the product chain—right to the end user. This strategy has resulted in overall net GHG intensity improvements.
Our Approach We believe the issue is global and the solutions must also be global. GHG emissions and air quality are important public policy issues and require the involvement of all stakeholders. We will continue to work cooperatively with others in our industry, communities and governments to develop and implement effective solutions. We continue to report our GHG performance data and encourage stakeholder input and dialogue. Our 2009 Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report is available online at www.novachem.com. This report describes our position on GHG emissions, demonstrates our ongoing commitment to continuous improvement and provides an overview of our GHG emissions performance for 2008. A
About NOVA NOVA Chemicals develops and manufactures chemicals, plastic resins and end-products that make everyday life safer, healthier and easier. Our employees work to ensure health, safety, security and environmental stewardship through our commitment to sustainability and Responsible Care®. NOVA Chemicals is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Greg Wilkinson is Vice-President, Public & Government Affairs, NOVA Chemicals.He can be reached at email@example.com.
facts CHEMISTRY TRANSFORMS ICE CREAM Using Liquid Nitrogen to Make a Tasty Treat IN 1999, Wi ll Schroeder and Thomas Paskach were chemical engineering graduate students at Iowa State University. They used liquid nitrogen to flash-freeze ice cream for a science project. Their “instant ice cream,” which forms in 0.007 seconds at more than 700 km/h, was a major hit. Much to their surprise, the experiment became a business for Schroeder and Paskach, now owners of Nitro Ice Cream—advertised as the “world’s smoothest ice cream.” Schroeder and Paskach eventually formed Blue Sky Creamery (www.blueskycreamery.com). The first retail location opened in Ankeny, Iowa, in 2002. Schroeder says he was at first reluctant to get into the ice cream business. “We just thought it’d be cool to get a patent on a resume when we were going (looking for) jobs. Our degrees weren’t in food … they were in petroleum and stuff that had nothing to do with ice cream, but it’s a pretty good way to sell ice cream.” Schroeder even turned down a job with ExxonMobil as a research engineer in Texas to pursue his ice-cream dream. The chemical engineers did some research and discovered that because liquid nitrogen freezes the ice-cream mix so quickly, it makes the consistency perfect. They took their product and ice-cream machine—which cost them upwards of $40,000 to assemble—to their first state fair in 2000 and have been touring the U.S. ever since. Nitrogen makes up 79% of what humans breathe. But to make ice cream, nitrogen is cooled and compressed into a liquid form to obtain the most cooling power possible: -195.56˚ Celsius. The big trick was figuring out how to arrive at the proper scooping temperature—about -15˚ C. Schroeder and Paskach had to ensure their machine could produce a lot of ice cream safely and quickly. However, their first machine worked only 20% of the time. They perfected it by improving the efficiency of the machine to make upwards of 100 liters of ready-to-eat ice cream per hour. To save time, Schroeder says they have kept their ice-
“The faster you freeze ice cream, the smaller the ice crystals are. The Nitro Freeze process freezes the ice cream in less than one second, forming exceptionally small ice crystals. The result is a product that is just unbelievably smooth.”
Co-inventors Thomas Paskach and Will Schroeder in front of a Nitro Ice-Cream booth.
cream selection simple, offering one flavor—vanilla—and only three toppings. In the past decade, the chemical-engineers-turnedbusinessmen have started distributing and franchising Blue Sky Creamery nitrogen ice cream across the U.S. and Canada. They served it at 24 events last year, including the Calgary Stampede. Why does Blue Sky Creamery ice cream taste so much better than regular ice cream? “Our freezing technology allows us to make the smoothest ice cream on the planet, but also the densest,” Paskach explains. “Most ice cream is pumped up with air, as much as 50% by volume. That means when you buy a container of ice cream, you’re buying a lot of empty space. Blue Sky Creamery ice cream has virtually NO air in it. That means you get more in a pint of our ice cream than in any other brand. Our ice cream is the smoothest because of the speed of freezing. When you make ice cream, you’re freezing the water that is part of the milk and the cream in the recipe, forming small ice crystals. The larger these crystals are, the more ‘grainy’ or ‘icy’ the ice cream will taste. The faster you freeze ice cream, the smaller the ice crystals are. The Nitro Freeze process freezes the ice cream in less than one second, forming exceptionally small ice crystals. The result is a product that is just unbelievably smooth.” A Sources: The Calgary Herald, www.blueskycreamery.com Catalyst Fall 2009 • 17
AND INDEX TO ADVERTISERS
BLENDING BLADES & MIXING EQUIPMENT Conn and Company, LLC .........................................6 BULK SHIPPING PDI .........................................................................4 CHEMICAL & SERVICE PROVIDERS NOVA Chemicals (Mktg Communications).................6 CHEMICAL PRODUCERS Imperial Oil Ltd, Chemicals ............outside back cover MEGlobal International FZE .............. inside front cover NOVA Chemicals (Mktg Communications).................6
CHEMICALS - FORMULATING & PACKAGING NOVA Chemicals (Mktg Communications).................6 CHLOR ALKALI CHEMICALS Olin Chlor Alkali Products.......................................15 CUSTOM COMPOUNDS & CHEMICAL ADDITIVES NOVA Chemicals (Mktg Communications).................6 DANGEROUS GOODS COMPLIANCE ICC The Compliance Center .....................................4
Nalco has been doing business in Canada for nearly 70 years.
Essential Expertise for Water, Energy and AirSM Nalco Canada Co. Headquarters 1055 Truman Street Burlington, Ontario L7R 3V7 Tel: +1-905-632-8791 Fax: +1-905-632-0849 Customer Service +1-800-265-5059 (English) +1-800-265-5977 (French) Nalco Canada Co. Water & Process Services 1055 Truman Street Burlington, Ontario L7R 3V7 Tel: +1-905-632-8791 Fax: +1-905-632-0849 750 boul. Pierre-Bertrand Suite 180 Québec, QC G1M 3L2 Tel: +1-418-683-8000 Fax: +1-418 681-5377 Nalco Canada Co. Energy Services 180, 3553 - 31 Street N.W. Calgary, Alberta T2L 2K7 Tel: +1-403-284-6275 Fax: +1-403-282-2926 1149 Vanier Road, Unit 3 Sarnia, ON N7S 3Y6 Tel: +1-877-631-5299 Fax: +1-519-332-8297 Corporate Headquarters Nalco Company 1601 W. Diehl Road Naperville, IL 60563-1198 U.S.A. Tel: 1-630-305-1000 Fax: 1-630-305-2900
We are the leading provider of integrated water treatment and process improvement services, chemicals, and equipment programs for industrial and institutional applications. Our Energy Services division provides onsite, technology-driven solutions to natural gas, petroleum and petrochemical industries. In addition to recovery, production and process enhancements, we also deliver a full range of water treatment offerings to reÀneries and petrochemical plants.
HAZMAT TRAINING Canadian Emergency Response Contractors’ Alliance (CERCA) ..............................................18 Envirotec .................................................................6 IMPORTERS/EXPORTERS OF CHEMICALS VJCHEM Canada Inc..............................................10 PLASTICS NOVA Chemicals (Mktg Communications).................6 PROCESS AIDS - PLASTIC NOVA Chemicals (Mktg Communications).................6 PROCESS CONTROL EQUIPMENT NOVA Chemicals (Mktg Communications).................6 PUMPS, INDUSTRIAL Lutz Pumps, Inc. ...................................................15 RAIL TRANSPORTATION GATX Rail Canada ................................................. 12 TRANSPORTATION Harold Marcus Ltd. ................................................ 12 TRUCKING FIRMS Northwest Tank Lines ......................inside back cover
Essential Expertise for Water, Energy and Air.SM
WATER TREATMENT Nalco Canada Co...................................................18
Vision Our goal is to earn customers for life and enhance the lives of our employees while protecting the planet.
Mission Our mission is to lead the industry in creating value for customers and Nalco through differentiated services and technologies that save water and energy, enhance production and improve air quality while reducing total costs of operation.
Commitments Our shared commitments to: • Safety and Ethics – We conduct our business in a safe, lawful and secure way and act with integrity and honesty in all we do. We ensure a culture that requires action when a potentially unsafe or unethical situation occurs. • Essential Expertise – We create value for our customers, shareholders, and communities through the application of our knowledge and technical innovation. • Sustainable Development – We develop solutions and conduct our operations in a way that saves water and energy, preserves natural resources and improves air quality—beneÀting the planet, the economy and society.
Being safe is a core value. Making Safety Personal is your responsibility. 18 • Catalyst Fall 2009
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Why We Care. We execute the most principled business practices because we care about who we partner with.
We embrace very strict sustainability guidelines as a verified Responsible Care partner because we care about the people in the communities we travel through. We are proud of our rigorous hiring criteria and employee standards because we care about the people who work for Northwest and their profound effect on our customers. Why do we care? We care because people are at the heart of what we do every day at Northwest.
Life is a delicate balance…
Imperial opened land on a former refinery site in Mississauga, Ontario, to help complete a public trail along the shore of Lake Ontario.
When we manufacture and sell our products, we work to avoid upsetting that balance. It’s part of the Responsible Care initiative. It includes our commitment to develop products that minimize risk to people and to educate them on their use. Energy and petrochemicals are essential to economic growth; however their production and consumption need not conflict with protecting health and safety or with safeguarding the environment.
ISO 9000/14000 ISO 9000/14000
Responsible Care® Beyond what’s required.
*Trademarks of Imperial Oil Limited. Imperial Oil, licensee. ®Trademark of the Canadian Chemical Producers’ Association. Used under license by Imperial Oil.