American Chemistry Council to target smaller companies as members

01 December 2009 21:47  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW YORK (ICIS news)--The American Chemistry Council (ACC) aims to add hundreds of small to mid-sized companies to its membership to enhance advocacy efforts, CEO Cal Dooley said on Tuesday.

“We want to expand our base, adding small to mid-size companies. We’d be more effective if we included another couple hundred members,” said Dooley at a meeting with the trade press in New York City.

“In many cases, smaller family-owned companies are more effective advocates in the political and social realms than large companies,” he added.

The ACC currently has 135 member companies, representing 80–85% of chemical sales in the US, said the association.

Dooley acknowledged, however, that the ACC has been viewed as an association for large corporations.

Small to mid-size enterprises have considered the cost and time to achieve responsible care (RC) certification as a significant barrier to entry, he noted.

In its new initiative, the ACC will offer smaller companies three years of free membership, as long as they remain committed to achieving RC certification at the end of the three years. The association will also provide services to help smaller companies achieve that certification.

Small to mid-sized companies will be defined as those with 500 employees or less, he said.

“Small to mid-sized companies typically are family-owned, have a stable employment base and are embedded in the political and social fabric. We need to do a better job of bringing these companies under our umbrella,” Dooley said.

This contrasts to large companies where the primary contact within the community is typically the plant manager, he noted.

“These plant managers tend to churn every three years or so. The result is that they are not fully ingrained in the community,” said Dooley.

The ACC will devote nearly 60% of its 2010 budget of around $70m (€46.3m) towards advocacy – up from an estimated 30–40% in 2009 and just 27% in 2008, he noted.

The ACC will also change its existing “membership rule”, which will allow non-member chemical producers to participate in the council’s self-funded product groups such as the American Plastics Council and the Chlorine Chemistry Division.

Additionally, as part of its initiative, the ACC will create two membership categories – “affiliate” (for companies part of the chemical value chain such as compounders, plus other industry associations) and “associate” (law firms and consultancies).

However, these affiliate and associate members would have no participation on the board.

($1 = €0.67)

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By: Joseph Chang
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