See our updated ‘Chemistry:- It’s All Around You’ video.

EPCA made this film, together with UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) on the occasion of the 2011 International Year of Chemistry. It shows the importance of chemistry in our daily lives. The film explains how chemistry provides the global population with access, in a sustainable way, to drinking water, food, clothing, health and health care, energy- and emission-friendly housing, transport, communication and education. At the same time, it underlines the importance of women in chemistry on the occasion of the centennial of the 1911 Chemistry Nobel Prize to Marie Sklodowska Curie.

The film is also available in 14 different language versions and can be downloaded on YouTube (put new YouTube address link). To know more about the building blocks of this film please click

Posted in Chemistry | 2 Comments

Xperimania V : industry representatives and students from 21 schools discuss the topic “Chemistry is all about you”

The first Xperimania chat in collaboration with inGenious took place on Thursday 25 October 2012. This chat dealt with the topic “Chemistry is all about you” which was inspired by the issues that were addressed in the EPCA film “Chemistry: All About You”.

During one and a half hour, students had the opportunity to ask topic-related questions to the four experts:
Aniouta Belevitch, Chairperson of the Young EPCA Think Tank, C4 Commercial Manager Europe, Total Refining & Petrochemicals
Wouter Bleukx, PhD, Member of the Young EPCA Think Tank, Order to Cash & Supply Chain Business Support Manager, Ineos Chlorvinyls
Pierre de Kettenis, Executive Director,  CEFIC Petrochemistry Industry Sector (APPE)
Christian Koulic, New Technologies Business Development Manager, Total Refining & Chemicals.

21 schools participated in the first Xperimania-inGenious chat: Belgium (1), Croatia (1), Estonia (2), Germany (1), Italy (3), Lithuania (1), Portugal (3), Romania (2), Slovakia (4), Spain (1), and United Kingdom (2). Experts answered the large majority of questions by referring to their experience, scientific knowledge and by bringing many examples. This made the whole chat very lively and interactive, allowed students to relate well to the experts and the topic and highlighted the importance of chemistry in our everyday lives.

Students asked a number of questions relating to chemistry, such as “How will chemistry help in the future”? Mr. Koulic replied to this question: “We know that in 2050 we will be 9 billion people. We will need more energy and more water. We have to be careful with greenhouse gases emissions and try to reduce them. For all those mega trends, chemistry can be considered a solution enabler.”

The students also showed their concern for chemicals used in food production, to which Mr. Bleukx reassured the participants by saying: “Often when we talk about chemicals in food people think that non-natural products are added, whilst they often are from natural original and they contribute for instance to a better food conservation.”

The students were also wondering “How realistic is the assumption that renewable energy sources can replace fossil fuels?” Mr. de Kettenis answered: “There are more and more studies now in different countries trying to quantify how much land you will need to replace the fossil material and the results are not very optimistic. I have one example of a study in the Netherlands which indicates that the Netherlands would use six times the surface actually used to grow sugar beets to replace only 10% of the olefin production capacity in the Netherlands”.

During the chat, the industry representatives also stressed the importance of recycling: “The aim is that plastic, for example, does not end up in the general garbage bag” emphasized Ms. Belevitch. The industry representatives also emphasized the important roles the students play in educating their parents to improve their families’ recycling habits.

Students participating in this chat were equally interested in knowing what a STEM job is like and whether more men or more women work in the chemical industry. The industry representatives explained how a typical working day looks like for them describing the vast number of tasks and responsibilities they accomplish every day. In terms of the gender balance within the chemical industry, they mentioned  that there is still a shortage of women, although this can vary according to the nature of the work.  Thus the industry representatives encouraged all students and especially girls to study STEM, as this will ensure a great career for their future.

The chat currently continues on the Xperimania facebook page (

This chat is also linked to a mini-competition in which every student is encouraged to participate. Students will need to submit a “lessons learned” document and the top 3 winners will receive an Amazon voucher.

More information on the initiative can be found on

Posted in Chemistry | Leave a comment

2012 EPCA’s Annual Meeting “Talent and Technology : Drivers of Innovation in the Chemical Industry”

Around 2600 executives from the global chemical business community gathered in Budapest from October 6 to 10, 2012 for the EPCA Annual Meeting. This year’s Meeting focused on the issue of talent and technology in the chemical and logistics industries. EPCA’s President Tom Crotty, Director Ineos Group, explained how the chemical industry will need to use talent and technology to drive innovative and keep pace with change. He told the EPCA audience “We have to innovate and continue to drive through those technological breakthroughs that meet the needs of an ever-changing world. Our ability to innovate is entirely dependent on and limited by the talents of our people.” Mr. Crotty also said that the chemical industry holds the key to resolving the twin challenges that face the world : how to meet the needs of a growing population while also reducing the impact of humankind on the ecology of a fragile earth. In the short term, the chemical industry is already using its talents and technologies to husband those scare resources. Chemistry is allowing the world to light-weight cars and planes and drive up their fuel efficiency to ease the environmental burden. The chemical industry is already underpinning renewable energy resources, whether by providing the materials for solar cells, the lubricants for wind turbines or the technology to make fuels from waste.

The next speaker, Dr. Ajit Baron Shetty, addressed the audience on talent, technology and innovation from a viewpoint from the healthcare and pharmaceuticals sector. Mr. Shetty focused on the importance of great leadership and the need to nurture a dynamic, creative working environment to foster and drive a culture of innovation with enterprises. He also acknowledged that the rising costs of developing new products and medicines is a challenge which today is increasingly being met through collaborative relationships with a wide range of partners with their own special talents and technologies. Dr. Shetty said that his career at Janssen Pharmaceutica gave him the opportunity to work under the guidance of Dr. Paul Janssen, who he describes as probably the most prolific researcher in pharmaceuticals that ever lived. Under Paul Janssen, the company’s business was based on strong, empowered teams. His door was always open if you needed advice, but people felt empowered to take responsibility and decisions. They felt they were running their own businesses, but everyone was also aligned to the business of improving healthcare and saving lives. Dr. Shetty also said that companies and their development teams need more women. Gender difference and more ethnic diversity is needed to better meet customers’ needs. And we also need more diversity of thought. Dr. Shetty urged the future managers to develop outside their comfort zones.

Academic, author and businessman, Soumitra Dutta, offered EPCA some thoughts on the importance of digitalization and social media technologies in innovation processes for businesses. Addressing the audience on “Turning Innovation into Sustainable Profit”, Mr. Dutta said that combining people with technology in the right way leads to innovation. But innovation in itself does not necessarily result in sustainable profit. Leadership is required to achieve sustainable profit. Mr. Dutta reminded the audience that consumers are adopting technology faster and faster. It now seems that organizations are now behind people when it comes to the adoption of technology. Mr. Dutta urged the industry to “close the technology gap” : an organization must adjust from email communication to the new reality of digital social media. Companies must make sure that they have the right technology base to communicate with the young people who are its employees and with those among its customer base.  To leverage connectivity, it is essential that companies match their structures and processes with the outside world.  Mr. Dutta said that there is a challenge for companies to design innovation into their companies and to balance learning – exploration – with efficiency – execution. The answer basically lies with leadership.

Mr. John Kao, Chairman of the Institute for Large Scale Innovation, and past Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council on Innovation, talked about the definition and adoption of appropriate models for innovation. He reminded everyone that innovation is a capability, not a wish.  Innovation is about changing the way things are done. Mr. Kao siad that all of us may be smarter than some of us. There’s the whole notion that a societal brain is now being enabled by social media.

The Monday evening address was delivered by Dr. Dambisa Moyo, author and economic. Dr. Moyo talked about “What is it Going to Take to Be Successful”.

This year’s Closing Lunch speaker was the Rt. Hon. Lord Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London’s Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games. Lord Coe’s speech focused on “Talent, Technology and Sports. What Business can Learn from the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics”. He reminded the audience that the chemicals sector helped make the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics a huge success. The chemical industry played an important role in helping to put sustainability at the hart of the 2012 Olympics. Sustainability impacted every aspect of the games from food to energy. It also meant London needed to become the public transport games for spectator access, with low emission transportation for athletes and officials, sustainable buildings, and social and economic transformation. The chemical industry played a key role in making these aims achievable. Lord Coe emphasized that it was important to make a connection with young people and therefore to use the language and technology that young people understand. Today, there are 3 billion people under 25, and they are online. Although today’s youth may be described as highly individual, they are also engaged through collaborative networks. For the 2012 Olympics, the organizers strived to create a “global conversation around London” that would engage young people.

On Tuesday morning the Supply Chain and Logistics Leaders gathered over breakfast to discuss the “Geographical Scope, Technology, Sustainability, Complexity and Transparency in the Chemical Supply Chain”. Reference was made to the Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 report for 2012 that had surveyed 298 global companies with sales in excess of $ 10 billion. Companies were positioned in terms of their degree of Innovative Excellence measured against Operational Excellence. The survey put several key chemical customers in the Top 25  but significantly no chemical companies. In round table discussions, participants came to the conclusion that the industry is making progress but no real breakthrough or paradigm shifts are happening. General consensus however was that the Gartner study should be a wake-up call and inspiration for the chemical industry. Apparently evidence of sophisticated relationships between producers, and customers and suppliers was in short supply. The chemical industry still appears in many respects to be a traditional and conservative industry, and continuing cost pressure and short-term, opportunistic commodity strategies were seen as barriers to open information exchange and collaboration. There was also a broad consensus on the view that sustainability still lacks clear targets and this is reflected today in soft KPIs. One view was that sustainability and end-consumer pressure will eventually help to drive investment decisions, new customer approaches, and modal shift, although today the latter is often seen as a function of cost pressure.

Please find the full meeting report here

Posted in Chemistry | Leave a comment

Kids run in Budapest : 5 Hungarian schools are awarded by Lord Coe in presence of Hungarian Secretary of State Dr. Rozsa Hoffmann

On the occasion of the 46th Annual Meeting in Budapest, EPCA signed up as one of the main sponsors of the children’s run for the Budapest International Marathon on 7 October 2012. Around 4000 students of 82 schools participated in this running the mini-marathon this year. The top five school teams were awarded by Lord Sebastian Coe, Olympic Athlete, Politician and Chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, in the presence of the Hungarian Secretary of State for Education Dr. Rozsa Hoffmann.

Participating schools in the ceremony were :

Szentistvantelepi Iskola, Budapest
Thomas Mann Gymnasium, Budapesti Német Iskola
Szent Istvan Gimnazium, Budapest

To see pictures of the marathon event, please visit


Posted in Chemistry | Leave a comment

EPCA and APPE launch a new educational initiative : Xperimania V “TALK2US”

What is Xperimania V “TALK2US” :

–          Joint EPCA – APPE (Association of Petrochemicals Producers in Europe) initiative

–          Part of the successful Xperimania series that focus on industry – school dialogue and exchange of information / learning

–          Four online chats will take place between the chemical industry and students

–          Chats are scheduled between end of October 2012 and May 2013

–          Chats will focus on the image of the chemical industry as an enabler of sustainable solutions and as a provider of many interesting career opportunities

EPCA and APPE (Association of Petrochemicals Producers in Europe) jointly launch the initiative « TALK2US « .  This initiative represents a new chapter in a series of successful Xperimania initiatives during which the chemical industry is talking directly to students on the attractiveness of chemical sciences and the exciting future the industry offers in terms of careers.

The TALK2US initiative is part of EPCA’s sustained educational efforts and is being developed in the context of inGenious, a large scale industry – school partnership to develop best practices to raise the uptake of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in Europe. Indeed, too few students opt for STEM studies and this results in the fact that companies are facing recruitment problems whilst at the same time competing for talents. Thus the need to introduce students to careers in industry at an early age, as well as to get them more interested in pursuing science studies is crucial.  In order to achieve this goal, industry needs to work closer with education than before.

In this context Xperimania V “TALK2US” has been created with the aim to increase students’ awareness and understanding of chemistry in their everyday life.  Four online chats and mini competitions will be organized until May 2012 featuring a number of topics and experts. The industry experts are already looking forward to getting a better understanding of young people’s perception of sustainable chemistry, and they can’t wait to get started with the first online chat on 25 October 2012.

More information on

Posted in Chemistry | Leave a comment

EPCA : Partner to the Budapest marathon – 7 October 2012

EPCA is an official partner of the 27th Spar Budapest Marathon taking place on Sunday 7 October.

This partnership will take the form of a special promotional campaign focused on the “kids run” that EPCA will sponsor and that will be integrated into the mini-marathon (7km).

A special reward ceremony for the 5 winning schools will take place during the EPCA opening cocktail and walking dinner at the Fine Arts Museum on the famous Heroes’ Square in Budapest. 

The itinerary of the marathon has been especially designed to avoid the area of the EPCA official hotels, so that the EPCA delegates will not be adversely affected by the marathon race.

This partnership allows EPCA to promote the film “Chemistry : All About You”, showing youngsters and the general public that chemistry is everywhere and that the chemical industry gives the global population access to food, drinkable water, clothing, energy and emission reducing, buildings and transport, communication as well as the technical development matching people’s needs. The film will be broadcasted in the Budapest airport as well as alongside the marathon itinerary in Budapest and on the outside of the EPCA hotels.

EPCA Annual Meeting delegates will have access to special conditions, applicable on a “first come, first served” basis, to participate in the marathon and ancillary activities:

–       The first 20 EPCA registrations are free;

–       The next EPCA registrations will benefit from a 50% discount on the relevant race registration fee.

The following race distances are available :

–       Marathon (42km) – starts at 09h30

–       30 km race – starts at 10h15

–       Mini-marathon (7km) – starts at 09h45

–       Fun Run (3,5km) – starts at 10h25

The start line will be on Heroes’ Square except for the 30km race that will depart from km 12.

16 000 runners coming from more than 50 countries are expected to participate in those races !

The scenic race itinerary will lead you through the most beautiful parts of Budapest including alongside historical buildings which are part of the Unesco World Heritage.

If interested to join this very unique sports event and defend the “EPCA colors”, please contact the EPCA team in Budapest (Room Panorama V, first floor, Hotel InterContinental Budapest) on Saturday 6 October morning at the latest.

More information on the marathon can be consulted on

Posted in Chemistry | Leave a comment

Building resilient supply chains : how to implement responsive and flexible supply chains for the chemical industry in a pro-competitive way

1/ How to cope with turbulance, uncertainy & volatility

Managing resilient supply chains implies companies need to manage their vulnerability, a combination of the likelihood of a disruption of their business processes and its potential severity. Resilient companies’ supply chains are designed in order to cope with low-probability occurrences with severe outcomes. A company’s potential financial, strategic, operations and hazard vulnerability needs to be mapped out using layered and balanced methods, separating threats from baseline activity, build partnerships, build a culture of awareness and sensitivity to security.

Beyond the three-layered approach, resilient supply chain management needs to focus at the margin level and not mainly on the volume flow as was the case in the past. Understanding value chain dynamics implies shifting the balance from the micro to the macro : increased planning decision frequency and shortening planning horizons, shifting the balance from planning precision to big picture understanding and risk awareness.

The current chemical supply chains are becoming longer, relatively more expensive and complex. Logistics are also becoming more important. Longer supply chains create challenges for managing safety, on-time delivery, flexibility, responsiveness and sustainability. Chemical producers may cut these longer supply chains up between many LSPs creating more complexity.

Achieving efficient supply chain implementation is important both for chemical companies and LSPs. IT tools will be needed to track and trace, vendor-managed inventory will increase and LSPs will need to communicate and collaborate in a pro-competitive way. Faced with volatility, supply chains will need global networks, with variable cost models, asset availability and speed. Responsiveness and flexibility will be key.

2/ Resilience through partnerships

A way to manage resilience in supply chains is to create “natural” supply chains. Natural supply chains are not synonymous to full customization, standardization or segmentation. They allow to differentiate service offerings and supply strategies without compromising scale benefits and complexity.

Another way of reducing the uncertainty in the supply chain is by pro-competitive collaboration. High performers build partnerships by exchanging information and setting up systems for structural collaboration such as VMI (vendor managed inventories) and CPFR (collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment). VMI for instance is a win-win : lower costs and more efficiency for supplier, customer and LSPs. All of the aforesaid is to be subject to competition law compliance.

While pro-competitive vertical collaboration along the supply chain improves performance, more benefits could be available via horizontal partnerships across chains at certain levels, which very often involve LSPs.

A critical success factor for pro-competitive collaboration is that companies stop their traditional thinking and start looking at the optimization opportunities beyond their own network. Opportunities for pro-competitive horizontal and vertical partnerships are based on leadership, common understanding of clear performance targets and rules for fair risk- and benefits- sharing between all parties involved, especially the customer : on a clear understanding of the respective roles and responsibilities of all contributing parties; and on mutual trust and openness.

For more information, read this report

Posted in Chemistry | Leave a comment

Global and more complex supply chains, new technology, transparency and openness in chemical supply chains

In 2011 the EPCA Supply Chain Program Committee has launched three different supply chain working groups for the chemical industry, in line with the EPCA supply chain strategy and following the conclusions of the round table discussions of the EPCA Supply Chain Leaders’ Breakfast at the 2011 EPCA Annual Meeting. These groups are dedicated to Global and more Complex Sustainable Supply Chains, new Technology as an enabler of Sustainable Chemical Supply Chains and Transparency and Openness in Chemical Supply Chains. The third working group will be a mixed EPCA-Cefic group. The working groups will meet between March 2012 and August 2013. The final conclusions of the working groups will be shared with the EPCA delegates at the 2013 EPCA Annual Meeting and beyond our audience via the EPCA social media.

Posted in Chemistry | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Several Awards for EPCA/UNESCO/IUPAC film “Chemistry : All About You”

The EPCA/UNESCO/IUPAC film “Chemistry : All About You” received worldwide acclaim and recognition !  On 17 April 2012, the film won a Gold Word Medal for Best PR film by the New York Festivals Awards. The film also received two IVCA (International Visual Communication Agency) Awards : one gold award for “Best Editing” and one silver award for “Best Business to Consumer Communication”. The film was also celebrated with a Cannes Dolphin Corporate Film Award for Best Original Soundtrack”.

The New York Festivals Awards have the largest and the most international advertising awards jury in the world featuring 300 members representing 60 countries. The jury consists of a group of prominent worldwide Chief Creative Officers from the world’s best ad agencies. The Award ceremony took place in Las Vegas, USA on 17 April 2012.

An IVCA Award ceremony took place in London, UK on 23 March 2012. The IVCA awards are driven by the British visual communication industry and involve a large variety of customers (government, non-profit, blue chip companies, etc.). The projects submitted for an IVCA award are of high quality and may have a wider or a global reach.

 The EPCA/UNESCO/IUPAC received its Cannes Dolphin Corporate Award in the city of Cannes, France on 17 October 2011. Like its bigger brothers the Cannes Lions and Film Festival, the Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards bring together corporations, institutions and agencies from around the globe to celebrate the best corporate film and videos, TV documentaries and reports, and online media projects. The EPCA film won its golden Dolphin Award for best music in the section “Production Arts & Crafts”.

In order to extend the shelf life of the film, it now exists without the reference to the 2011 International Year of Chemistry.  To this end EPCA has created a new YouTube channel featuring all 14 language versions (both short and long) of the said film. The old channel EPCA2011IYC is still up and running and is daily visited by people / organisations from around the world. Both EPCA YouTube channels have produced so far more than 75,000 views. We invite you to use the revised film in your future communication activities. Should you need any special format (avi, flv, mov or other), please let us know (

Posted in Chemistry | Leave a comment

EPCA – new partner in the inGenious project

EPCA has become an Associate Partner of the ECB – inGenious project.

The European Coordinating Body in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education – brings together major European Industries, Ministries of Education and national platforms to increase young people’s interest in science education and careers and thus address the future skills gap.

The project, co-funded by the European Commission and industry, is one of the largest initiatives in this field, involving 26 partners across 16 countries and a network of about 1000 schools across Europe.

In the scope of the inGenious project, EPCA will promote chemistry and the chemical industry in schools to help convince youngsters that chemistry is an attractive science and that the chemical industry is a good place to work for.

EPCA’s partnership with inGenious is in line with its objectives to contribute to the long term sustainable development of the chemical industry and to contribute to the improvement of the public image of the global chemical business community.

More information can be found on

Posted in Chemistry | Leave a comment

Resilient Supply Chains : Practical Recommendations to Implement Responsible and Flexible Supply Chains for the Chemical Industry

On 14 and 15 May 2012, EPCA will organize its third interactive workshop dedicated to Building Resilient Supply Chains.

The workshop will take place at the InterContinental Hotel in Frankfurt, Germany. It will start with a networking lunch from 12h00 to 14h00 on Monday 14 May and will finish at approximately 12h00 on Tuesday 15 May 2012, followed by a networking lunch.

The workshop will build on the conclusions from the 2011 workshop in Brussels and on the results from the EPCA Supply Chain breakfast during the Annual Meeting 2011 in Berlin. It allows participants to :
– learn from leading experts with global reach and in-depth knowledge of supply chains, also from other sectors;
– collect practical recommendations to implement responsive and flexible supply chains their in companies;
– learn how to cope in practice with turbulence, uncertainty and volatility and how to overcome problems in the supply chains through collaboration, both vertical and horizontal;
– actively participate in the debate via contribution in small discussion groups and formulate suggestions and action items that bridge the gap between current practice and future needs;
– optimize networking opportunities with industry peers.

This workshop is meant for heads of procurement, transport and logistics as well as supply/demand chains in chemical companies – traders – distributors – leaders / owners of transport and logistics companies – 3PL and 4PL service providers – ship-owners and operators – terminal owners and operators – port authorities – operations managers of companies involved in the production, handling or movement of chemical goods and international sales managers.

The Monday 14 May 2012 afternoon session will focus on how to react to turbulence, uncertainty and volatility in supply chains. The platform will be shared by :

– A leading Professor from Vlerick Management School, Leuven-Gent Belgium, one of the top 100 Business Schools in the world, expert in resilient supply chains;
– a global supply chain experts who will give practical examples, also from other sectors, on how to deal with volatility in supply chains.

The networking dinner on the evening of 14 May will feature a keynote speaker with financial background who will address the current geo-economic situation and likely evolution, with a focus on the Euro and business in Europe.

On Tuesday 15 May in the morning, workshop participants will hear from the Dean of Vlerick Management School and from an expert with in-depth knowledge from other sectors on how to build resilience through collaboration both vertical and horizontal, substantiated with practical examples.

After the speeches, concomitant round table discussions in groups of 10 delegates will follow, where participants will have the opportunity to challenge the keynote ideas and propose solutions based on their knowledge, experience and strategic focus. These discussions will be moderated by a chairperson at each table who will collect the findings and recommendations of his or her group. The chairpersons of the tables will report back to a supply chain opinion leader in the chemical industry, who will give feedback to the plenary session with his/her recommendations. The speakers of the sessions will respond and allow delegates to take back home with them some very concrete suggestions on how to implement responsive and flexible supply chains in their sectors of activity.

Full program and registration info : – tel. 32.2.741.86.60

Posted in Chemistry | Leave a comment