Middle East on the move

Over the past 30 years of so, the companies of the GCC have proved time and again that they can strategize to produce cost-effective products that the world needs and wants. The record has been impressive, with companies like SABIC growing from nowhere to being one of the top five forces in petrochemicals.

Now this same resolute analysis of the GCC companies is being turned towards the sustainability agenda. It is only a couple of years ago that the GPCA joined the Responsible Care Charter, but if you visit the region now you can feel a palpable desire to build sustainability concepts into individual company business plans.

I was privileged to moderate a discussion on sustainability at the GPCA’s Annual Meeting last month. What struck me was the very real-world approach to sustainability and the role that chemistry and chemicals should play. There is no magical thinking. There is no “green-washing”. There is a scientific approach to the subject and a realization that the chemical industry exists to innovate to solve sustainability challenges. Most importantly, CEOs are standing behind the drive to a more sustainable future.

Cementing this feet-on-the-ground approach, the GPCA will be holding its first Sustainability Summit this December 16-18. I am honored to have a role in program development for this key meeting. Please block out the dates on your calendar and plan to be there. I’ll publish updates from time to time in this column.