DUBAI – The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) continues to drive advancements in the region’s downstream industry around critical areas, including environmental and safety compliance, as it looks to position the Gulf as a global leader in best practice. The association will once again demonstrate its pioneering work in these fields during the three-day GPCA Supply Chain Conference, which will take start today (May 2) at the Rosewood Hotel, Abu Dhabi.
Across the region, compliance with the Gulf Sustainability and Quality Assessment System (Gulf SQAS) – a unifying system designed to evaluate the Environment, Health, Safety, Security and Quality (EHSS&Q) performance that was implemented in 2014 – has continued to grow. Today, the region boasts 73 assessed and verified Gulf based companies with more than 60 percent (45) companies from Saudi Arabia and another 28 percent (21 companies) from the United Arab Emirates.
The GPCA will look to extend its efforts to unify standards across the value chain with the introduction of its Responsible Care® initiative to include the petrochemical and chemical Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) in the region for the first time.
The expansion of the program is in line with best practices in developed regions where sustainability and quality assessment systems extend to the logistics industry. The move will allow downstream companies to make more informed decisions based on credible safety and sustainability data about the logistics services providers within their value chain. With this expansion of the industry-leading program, the GPCA reaffirms its commitment to furthering sustainability practices in the region and has established a benchmark for others to follow.
With transportation making up a significant component of the industry’s carbon footprint, the role of Gulf SQAS in addressing this prevalent issue is vital. The system will encourage producers to favor service providers adhering to best practice in sustainability. It will also highlight logistics firms with the strongest road safety records, helping to collectively raise road safety standards among the logistic community in the region.
“We are broadening the Responsible Care initiative as a demonstration of our association’s commitment to continually advancing the sustainability agenda in the region’s chemical industry, ensuring that as the sector grows, environment, health, safety and security remain at the forefront of its priorities,” said Dr. Abdulwahab Al Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA.
“Offering the logistics industry – a key pillar of the downstream value chain who are on the frontlines of sustainability – the chance to become Responsible Care® companies, and offering producers that added layer of credible information on the performance of key actors within the industry, will further enhance our progress,” added Dr Sadoun.
He underlined that “our aim is to position the Arabian Gulf not only as the beating heart of the global downstream industry, but also as a bastion of international best practice.”
With the petrochemical and chemical industry being a major driver of growth in the region and heavily dependent on logistics, Gulf SQAS plays a central role in promoting the continuous improvement of EHSS&Q standards in logistics operations. The program will ensure that the logistics industry will implement the highest standards in environment, health, safety and quality and drive continuous EHSS&Q improvements across the supply chain.
Gulf SQAS is a key element of Responsible Care applied to logistics operations. It expands the coverage of Responsible Care throughout the product supply chain, focusing on continuous improvement of EHSS&Q within the Logistic Service Provider industry partners.
Commenting on the overwhelming success of the initiative, Alan Izzard, Director for Responsible Care and Gulf SQAS, GPCA, said: “Transportation and distribution is a significant contributor to the carbon footprint within the supply chain. We believe that this new service will not only empower better supply chain decision-making from producers, but it will also raise the level of logistics providers across the board.”
“This cost-effective tool promotes transparency and accountability, and empowers our industry to take meaningful steps to address its environmental and safety obligations,” Izzard added.
GPCA’s Gulf SQAS program and dangerous goods road transport taskforce will be highlighted on Day 2 of GPCA Supply Chain Conference.
Held under the theme ‘Agile and Efficient GCC Supply Chains- The Role of Technology’, the conference will offer delegates an exclusive opportunity to explore the benefits of supply chain digitization in a complex and changing marketplace environment. — SG