Earth Day: Chemical Innovation is Key
4:25 AM MDT | April 22, 2010 | By CAL DOOLEY
President of ACC
Forty years ago, the first Earth Day ushered in a new era of environmental awareness for Americans concerned about the future health of our planet. To commemorate Earth Day 2010, American Chemistry Council (ACC) President and CEO, Cal Dooley, issued the following statement:
The values that encompass Earth Day are the same values that chemistry companies embrace on a daily basis. Since the first Earth Day, our innovative advances have contributed to the solutions that help preserve the environment, and protect the health and safety of employees, communities and consumers. Our Responsible CareÒ initiative commits all of our members to continuous improvement in areas contributing to the sustainability of our planet. This program has enabled companies to reduce releases to the environment by more than 73% since 1988. That’s progress.
We know a lot has changed in forty years. As our nation-and the world-pursue solutions to climate change, the business of chemistry is making essential contributions. Under Responsible Care, our members have reduced greenhouse gas intensity by more than 28% since 1992, a remarkable achievement for one of the most energy-intensive industries. And for every unit of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted by the chemical industry, society saves more than two units through use of chemistry products and technologies, like insulation, fuel additives, new materials for windmills, solar panels, and more.
Earth Day also reminds us of our individual responsibilities -- for example, the responsibility to use and dispose of post-consumer waste wisely. For two decades, our plastics industry has been at the forefront of developing the technologies and infrastructure that allow Americans to recycle more. Many widely used plastics—like bottles, bags, wraps and containers—can be recycled into useful new products such as carpeting, clothing, backyard decks, and new packaging. We continue to work with consumers to help raise awareness about the importance of recycling. And it’s working. Plastic bottle recycling by consumers increased 75 million pounds in 2008, reaching a record high of more than 2.4 billion pounds for the year.
As we celebrate Earth Day 2010, the chemical industry is proud of the contribution of its products make to a better and more sustainable world. We invite you to learn more about the way we are improving our performance, investing in our communities, and educating consumers about product recycling by visiting www.americanchemistry.com/earthday and www.americanchemistry.com/responsiblecare.