UK chemical firms "cleaner in 1999"

Annual environmental performance report records energy efficiency, water use, improvements

UK chemical firms are "on track" to achieve a commitment to cut output-related energy consumption by 20% on 1990 levels by 2005, according to the national Chemical Industries Association (CIA) latest annual environmental report. The report also records an 18% annual cut in total water use in 1999 and an 18% cut in emissions of volatile organic compounds.

The energy efficiency target was agreed in a voluntary agreement signed with the UK government in 1997 (ENDS Daily 19 November 1997). According to the CIA, its members' energy consumption relative to production decreased by 2.1% in 1999, bringing the overall energy efficiency improvement since 1990 to 16.7%. The improvement during 1999 was just over double that achieved the year before.

Marking the CIA's tenth year of participation in the international chemical industry "responsible care" programme, the report notes that 25% of UK chemical firms have externally certified environmental management systems and the number is increasing. More aspects of the industry's environmental performance will be reported annually in future, the report adds. Trends to be tracked include discharges of nutrients, heavy metals, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.

Follow Up:
Chemical Industries Association, tel: +44 20 78 34 33 99, and UK indicators of performance 1990-99.

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