The Biden administration on Wednesday confirmed its intent to nominate Radhika Fox to lead the Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water and Michael Freedhoff to oversee the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Faisal Amin is the administration's pick to serve as EPA chief financial officer.
During the latest episode of The Chemical Show podcast, American Cleaning Institute President and CEO Melissa Hockstad revealed how her organization and the cleaning products industry as a whole shifted to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic, reflected on some of the challenges encountered in the past year and discussed ACI's sustainability vision. Hockstad identified ingredient communication, climate and packaging, and topical antiseptics as ACI's top priorities right now.
Solvay is in the midst of a cultural transformation spearheaded by CEO Ilham Kadri, who, ever since she rose to the top position in March 2019, has been on a quest to redefine the company's purpose and unlock its full potential by putting an emphasis on sustainability, innovation, discipline, organic growth and strong cash generation. Under Kadri, Solvay has unveiled a new purpose, business strategy and sustainability roadmap to support its vision of becoming "a sustainable specialty solutions provider."
Growing consumer and investor interest in sustainability is prompting brands like Procter & Gamble's Tide and Unilever's Seventh Generation to adjust marketing strategies to incorporate green messages about their products. "Sustainability is now being seen by companies and consumers as part of the reason you buy the brand, much like product superiority or the level of service the brand gives or the pricing," said consultant and former P&G chief marketer Jim Stengel.
The industry and brand owners are working to increase recycling in the US through voluntary commitments and goals like the American Chemistry Council's plan to ensure all plastic packaging is recycled or recovered by 2040, but national strategies can also help promote plastics circularity, said ACC's Craig Cookson during the Plastics Recycling Conference. Legislation like the RECOVER Act and the RECYCLE Act could also help encourage recycling nationwide, said Cookson.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hear testimony from Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan this month on President Joe Biden's top-line budget for fiscal 2022. "We look forward to discussing EPA's priorities and hearing more about the Biden Administration's plans for solving the environmental and public health challenges before us," said Reps. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., in a joint statement.
Kansas City Southern and Canadian Pacific assert they have the "right" to have their proposed merger reviewed under a 2001 waiver granted to KCS, said the companies in a new filing with the Surface Transportation Board. "STB granted KCS, the smallest of the Class I railways, an exemption from the new merger rules in 2001 because a combination involving KCS did not raise the same concerns that any transaction between the larger six Class I's might create," the railroads said.
SK Capital Partners is reportedly in talks to buy Clariant's pigments unit. The potential sale would support Clariant's plan to restructure its portfolio with an emphasis on specialty chemicals.
Hydrogen is an emerging fuel source for US crackers as the industry seeks opportunities to curb carbon emissions, said Ramesh Ramachandran of MEGVIN Advisors. Dow and partners are also working on a new process that would use hydrogen to convert ethane into ethylene.
Sri Lanka has banned palm oil imports and ordered current domestic producers to replace 10% of their palm crop each year with more environmentally-friendly alternatives. In addition to environmental concerns, the country's leadership is concerned about oil palm competing with the coconut oil industry.
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