United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

MEP, UNEP and Dow join forces to set standards for chemical safety and emergency preparedness in China

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A pilot project aimed at boosting operational safety and emergency preparedness among chemical companies in China was launched this week at the Zhangjiagang Yangze River Chemical Park.

It follows an agreement signed last September by China's Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and The Dow Chemical Company (Dow).

The pilot, in which Dow's Zhangjiagang facility has been selected as the primary demonstration site, was launched at a workshop involving close to 30 chemical and petrochemical companies alongside local and regional authorities and community bodies.

The pilot and workshop, jointly held by MEP, UNEP and Dow, is believed to be the first cooperative effort of its kind in China to explore and provide practical information on safer operation and the implementation of community-based emergency preparedness under the approach of UNEP's Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at Local Level (APELL) process.

'Dow is a proud partner in this standard setting collaboration with UNEP and MEP. This project will not only positively impact the sustainable development of China's chemical industry but also benefit the society as a whole,' said Neil Hawkins, vice president for sustainability and EH&S at Dow. 'Dow has always been committed to setting the standard for sustainability in locations where we operate, by engaging communities, establishing joint goals and taking action for the long-term success of all involved.'

'This pilot project will draw together the global and local management expertise of UNEP and MEP as well as the operational excellence of industry leaders such as Dow, and will provide valuable information and experience for the future nation-wide promotion of safer production and emergency preparedness in China,' said Arab Hoballah, Chief of the Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch of UNEP.

'UNEP remains committed to supporting the Chinese government and local communities to develop and implement policies and practices that preserve the environment and improve quality of life,' he added.

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