I want to thank the committee members for giving me the opportunity to speak on behalf of Dow Canada. I'd like to begin by letting the members know a little bit about the company which I represent here today.
The Dow Chemical Company is a 119-year-old global company which is a market-driven, industry-leading specialty chemical, advanced materials, agro sciences and plastics company which delivers a broad range of technical-based products and solutions.
We are the second largest chemical company in the world by sales. We operate in 179 sites in over 35 counties. Our global workforce is approximately 55,000 individuals with global revenue exceeding $50 billion annually. Our global headquarters are in Midland, Michigan, and Calgary, Alberta, is home to our Canadian office. We believe that Dow helps bring the global marketplace to Canada and also takes Canada across the globe.
Dow first established its Canadian operations in Sarnia, Ontario, in 1942. It's the first site that Dow located outside the United States and we have continued operations in Canada for almost 75 years. In Canada, Dow currently has manufacturing operations in Alberta, where we produce ethylene, polyethylene, and electricity, mainly serving the North America and Pacific Rim markets. In Ontario, we specialize in the manufacture of water-based emulsions that go into end products such as latex paint. In Quebec, we produce styrofoam SM brand insulation to build energy efficient homes.
Dow Canada is a founding member of Responsible Care, which is focused on responsible and sustainable chemical manufacturing since 1985, which is now practised in over 62 countries worldwide. We are committed to the ethic and principles for sustainability of responsible care. We dedicated ourselves, our technology, and our business practices to sustainability, the betterment of society, the environment, and the economy.
At Dow, we have long been and remain committed to applying science expertise to create sustainable solutions to some of the world's greatest challenges. We are focused on fulfilling our pipeline and harnessing the passion of individuals to work on products with the largest potential sustainability impacts. With more than 96% of all manufactured products enabled by chemistry, the solutions to sustainable development come down to the most basic elements in our universe. They come down to the power of chemistry. Dow uses science and innovation to develop more sustainable, safer solutions for the world.
We manufacture insulation products used by the building industry to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions.
We manufacture innovative products and technologies that enable more sustainable use and management of water across the water value chain.
We manufacture structural adhesives that enable automotive engineers to design vehicles for maximum weight-saving and reduction of fuel consumption and emissions.
We manufacture innovative water based polymers that reduce the use of energy intensive paint pigments and improve indoor air quality.
At the R&D Magazine's prestigious 2015 R&D 100 Awards, Dow was once again highlighted as a leading innovator, having the greatest number of finalists and winners of any single developer. In fact, since the green chemistry awards were initiated in 1996, Dow has won nine times, which is more than double any other company.
CEPA and the chemicals management plan have been an integral part of the legislation that has enabled Dow to operate in Canada and is a model for managing environmental performance and chemical development throughout Canada and internationally. This is readily apparent in the Canadian model potentially being adopted in numerous countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Peru.
Under CEPA and CMP, Dow has been able to run a successful chemical manufacturing business and reduce its environmental footprint. Since 1999, when CEPA was introduced, Dow Canada has reduced priority chemical emissions by 90%, a substance grouping which includes ozone-depleting substances, PTBs, persistent toxic bioaccumulative substances, known carcinogens, and high-volume toxics. We have reduced our chemical emissions by 41% and GHG emissions by 21%.
Since the beginning of the first CMP 10 years ago, the Government of Canada has assessed approximately 2,740 of the 4,300 substances identified for assessment. Approximately 87% of these science-based assessments concluded that the substance was not harmful to human health or the environment. Where the risk was found to be unacceptable, risk management instruments for substances or substance groups have been developed to reduce the risk to the public.
Dow Canada is not aware of any other jurisdiction in the world that has moved forward as efficiently and effectively with chemicals management as the Government of Canada. CMP is a world-leading program that we promote in other jurisdictions.
We promote CMP because decisions are based on risk assessments which consider best available technology, weight of evidence, and appropriate use of precaution.
Assessment decisions and risk management proposals are released, maximizing transparency. Risk management actions target identified risks for reduction. Risk managers select the best available instrument to reduce risk, regardless of the statute.
The risk assessment and risk management process are well defined and communicated. The process provides opportunities for stakeholders to inform both the assessment and the development of risk management measures. The burden of proof is appropriately shared between the government and industry. Confidential business information is protected under CEPA, and CEPA provides a formal review process for dispute resolution. Stakeholders have the opportunity to engage in science and program development via the advisory panels.
We face hazards and associated risks every day in our lives. As an example, there are hazards associated with risks for all modes of transportation, from walking to flying. In most cases, these hazards are well known, yet we don't ban transportation because there is a societal benefit. Rather, we manage the risk by reducing the hazard where possible and reducing our exposure to scientific hazards.
Parents instruct their children to look both ways before crossing the street. Governments set and enforce speed limits. Governments set safety standards for all modes of transportation, and airports implement security measures. In a similar fashion, the chemical management plan identifies and manages the risks associated with the manufacture, import, and use of chemicals that deliver solutions essential to human progress and sustainable development.
Assessment decisions based on risk and selection of measures to reduce specific risks are essential to our work to improve people's lives and the environment while striving to do no harm. This is a fundamental principle of responsible care.
Consider the example from CMP risk assessments. A CMP risk assessment of acrylamide concluded that it met the criteria in paragraph 64(c) of CEPA. As such, risk management measures were required, to reduce the risk of harm to Canadians. Measures implemented under the Food and Drug Act targeted the primary exposure of concern, which was food. Other beneficial uses of acrylamide were not impacted, such as the manufacture of innovative water-based polymers used in paint, which are an alternative to more environmentally harmful materials.
Assessment decisions based solely on hazard and management measures limited to chemical bans would make a substance such as acrylamide unavailable to Canadian enterprise, negatively and needlessly impacting innovation and the availability of innovative products.
Labelling of a substance as toxic under CEPA and the associated stigma has been problematic for industry. Substances are added to schedule 1 following a risk-based assessment; however, the public and increasingly our consumers view the list of toxic substances through a hazard lens: all substances listed are dangerous in all applications and at all levels. This is simply not the case.
The practical application of schedule 1 is the identification of substances requiring varying degrees of risk management. Ultimately, the risk management measures define the permitted, restricted, and prohibited use of a substance. As such, schedule 1 is a list of substances requiring risk management, not just understood as being toxic, and could be renamed to represent that reality.
With the debate on endocrine-disrupting chemicals, we believe the science should continue to be developed by the risk assessors and endocrine disrupters continue to be considered in assessments wherever appropriate. There is no need to take special consideration of endocrine disruption into CEPA. The potential bioactivity and its effects on potentially exposed subpopulations are already being examined as part of the regulatory process for new and existing chemicals.
In summary, the one point I'd like to leave the committee with is that CEPA and CMP are working. After 16 years, it's prudent to take a look at legislation to see where improvements can be made, but to suggest that the act is not achieving its desired effect is wrong. Let's continue with improving the management of chemicals in Canada by ensuring that the remaining chemicals are assessed and appropriately managed by the 2020 deadline. Excellent progress has been made to date, and we need to continue to move forward.
Thank you very much for the opportunity. I look forward to your questions.