Chemical producers in the Arabian Gulf have cut waste generation by 29% in 2019 and emissions by over 35% in the last six-year period, despite a continuous increase in petrochemical production across the region, a new report by the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), the voice of the chemical industry in the Arabian Gulf, has found.
According to GPCA’s 2019 Responsible Care® Performance Metrics report “Our Commitment to Sustainability” released today, the volume of waste generated by GPCA member companies decreased by a third from the year before, while production went up 2%. The new milestone was achieved as a result of successful waste reduction projects undertaken by chemical companies in the region in line with their commitment to sustainability and the circular economy.
Emissions reduction per ton of production recorded over the last six-years were even higher, dropping by 35% (NOx) and 39% (SOx), respectively. However, despite remaining at a steady rate in the previous two years, average GHG emissions (in tons of CO₂e) increased slightly in 2019 by 1.7%, which is largely attributed to higher production rates across the region. CO2 intensity has been on a downward trend since 2013, decreasing by 23% overall during the seven-year period.
According to the report, GPCA Responsible Care® companies also implemented a series of efficiency projects to decrease wastewater generation and increase the efficiency of wastewater treatment at their plants, resulting in a 40% improvement over the last six years.
GPCA is also pleased to report that the industry achieved a new safety record in 2019, with no fatalities recorded, despite an increase of 23% in man-hours worked. This, coupled with a significant drop of 51% in the Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR), showcases the uncompromising commitment of all GPCA member companies towards inculcating a culture of safety and compliance within their organizations.
Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA, commented, “Now in its 7th edition, the GPCA Responsible Care® Performance Metrics report has demonstrated the chemical industry’s commitment to sustainability and the highest degree of transparency. I congratulate all 38 member companies who participated in the report, submitting a total of 836 data entries, for their achievements and success, and encourage them to continue on the trajectory of continuous improvement.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented innumerable challenges for all, but the efforts of GPCA member companies to ensure the highest level of safety, while maintaining high production, highlights the importance of the Responsible Care® program as well as the ability of chemical companies in the region to respond to the crisis with agility and resilience. That said, more needs to be done to truly transition towards a sustainable future. I am confident that with the adoption of the right technology, research and innovation, and continuous investment in the skills of its employees, the chemical industry in the region will improve on its performance even further and help to meet global and regional targets.”
 CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent, is a standard unit for measuring carbon footprints.
 CO2 intensity is presented as the average volume of carbon dioxide generated per equivalent ton of production.