CHLOR-ALKALI INDUSTRY REVIEW 2019-2020

Marleen Pauwels, Managing Director

Underpinning the Green Deal…

The past year has been all about new beginnings and adapting to significant change.

We have European institutions whose priorities are shaped by citizens’ desire for a ‘greener’ Europe. From this, we have seen the EU’s ‘Green Deal’ that covers everything from energy policy, climate neutrality, circular economy, zero pollution and many other elements of relevance to our sector.

With this year’s far-reaching COVID-19 crisis, the Green Deal has now evolved into a ‘Green Recovery plan’ and this will impact the whole chemical industry in the coming years. We have pre-empted the Green Deal with our new Mid-Century Strategy for a Sustainable Chlor-Alkali Industry (MCS), and we will further respond together with Cefic and other key players.

COVID-19 also introduced new challenges, bringing new ways of living and working as the world adapts to its impact. I am personally very proud of how our membership stepped up during the crisis, donating chlor-alkali based disinfectants, protective equipment and resources to help fight the virus. This reminded everyone just how crucial our products are for society. I am also proud of my team, who courageously continued working from home and found ways to either postpone live events, or turn them into successful virtual meetings. We have now all seen each other’s home offices, living rooms and kitchens and the moral support we gave each other has created bonds that will never be broken.

I hope you enjoy reading this report of our activities from the past year (September 2019-August 2020). To ensure that we remain a safe, competitive and green part of Europe’s future, we are all enthusiastic about our new MCS. Even in these unprecedented times, I know for sure that we are up to the challenge and have the right tools in place to tackle it.

Jürgen Baune, Chairman of the Management Committee

…with a new European chlor-alkali strategy for 2050

Over the past two years as Euro Chlor Chairman, I have worked with our members to ensure that the Euro Chlor ethos of a safe, sustainable and successful industry for Europe is maintained. However, as the late Lauren Bacall once noted, ‘standing still is the fastest way of moving backwards in a rapidly changing world’. We need to keep moving forwards to ensure that our sector remains a valued part of Europe’s daily life.

As such, we are proud to present the Euro Chlor MCS, which gives us a direction that will ensure that a safe, competitive and green European chlor-alkali industry is here for the benefit of Europe in 2050. Building on the Cefic Mid-Century Vision (MCV), my speech from 2018, and the work of Roland Berger, our new strategy helps to plot a course for European chlor-alkali over the next three decades.

The MCS is made up of a new Vision, Mission and has four key priority elements: Euro Chlor as a Safety Leader, Competitive Supplier, Circularity Champion and Climate Neutral Player. Within these priorities are individual activities which will be addressed in the coming years to help us thrive. These will be expanded on via the various Euro Chlor Working Groups and Committees.

Whilst we do not imply that we have all the answers, we want to be able to play our part in a ‘greener’ future for Europe and in contributing to a better world. The work will also require the continued commitment and efforts of our members. I know we can rely on them, and on our new Chairman (Wouter Bleukx, Inovyn) to achieve this. Our future is in safe hands.

Wouter Bleukx, Vice-Chairman of the Management Committee

Thanks to Jürgen for his efforts in initiating the Euro Chlor MCS. Marleen is right, we are in challenging times. However, I am eager to start work on a strategy that not only defines what our industry could look like in 2050, but also outlines what is needed to get there. I look forward to working with the secretariat to continuously improve Euro Chlor’s functioning and with our members to create this even safer, more competitive and greener chlor-alkali industry for Europe.