04 May 2010 22:52 [Source: ICIS news]
By Joseph Chang
NEW YORK (ICIS news)--The National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) is seeking to create a global standard for its programme to improve health, safety and other areas, the president said on Tuesday.
The Responsible Distribution program is the NACD’s initiative focusing on continuous improvement in the areas of environment, health, safety and security among chemical distributors. The NACD certifies compliance through third-party verification.
“We want to gain greater recognition for Responsible Distribution globally so suppliers like Shell, Dow and BASF, who deal with distributors in different countries, will know they are working with partners that follow top environmental, health and safety practices,” NACD Chris Jahn said in an interview with ICIS.
The NACD aimed to first set a single standard for the US, Canada, Brazil and Mexico before the end of the year.
“Our goal is to sign a memorandum of understanding between trade groups in these four countries to build a common platform for all Responsible Distribution programmes. The key aspect to this will be third-party verification,” Jahn said.
The NACD, along with the Canadian Association of Chemical Distributors (CACD), Mexico’s ANIQ and Brazil’s Associquim Sincoquim, have agreed to develop a common set of principles for Responsible Distribution, Jahn said.
“Members of the Canadian and Brazilian associations already have a very similar third-party verification process through using Responsible Distribution,” he added.
The groups would develop a code of management practice that would be similar in content but allow flexibility in implementation and oversight for each country’s association members, he said.
The global standard for the Americas would encompass 447 chemical distributor companies within the trade groups, with more than 63m tonnes of shipments and combined sales of over $36bn (€27bn) annually, according to Jahn.
The NACD’s membership includes 248 companies with a combined $23bn in annual sales.
The NACD was welcoming participation from chemical distributors in Europe and Asia, Jahn said.
“Responsible Distribution will be the international standard. We welcome any country that would like to step up to the plate and join,” he said.
($1 = €0.76)
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