Britain's biggest manufacturing exporter, the chemical industry, has told Ministers and civil servants that the way to a green future for the country is through encouraging innovation.
Responding to the Government consultation on Environmental Principles and Governance Post EU-Exit, the industry says "we call for the inclusion of the Innovation Principle to deliver growth ensuring alignment of the 25-Year Environment Plan with both the Clean Growth and Industrial Growth Strategies".
The response, submitted by the Chemical Industries Association (CIA) also urges risk to feature in policy and law making. "We urge Government to retain the UK’s risk-based approach to legislation and to seek to attain consistent application of the principles in environment policy decision making, environmental law and its enforcement within the entire UK".
Speaking about the consultation, the CIA's Chemicals Policy Director, Nishma Patel, said "we all want to see a future where the environment features at the heart of Government policy. We believe the answers to this challenge lie in the effective implementation of industrial strategy including clean growth with innovation at its heart".
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- The chemical and pharmaceutical industry adds £18 billion of value to the UK economy every year from total annual turnover of £50 billion.
- In addition to gross value added, the sector also contributes to the UK economy in its position at the head of many supply chains within manufacturing and its employment of a well remunerated, high-skilled workforce. We support 500,000 jobs both directly and indirectly Chemical manufacturing adds £9 billion in gross value added annually and pharmaceutical manufacturing £9 billion.
- The wider chemical and pharmaceutical sector (manufacturing plus distribution) is the largest exporter of manufactured goods with annual exports of over £50 billion. The export of motor vehicle, trailers and semi-trailers is the sector with next highest exports of £35 billion. Aerospace is £32 billion.
- 63% of companies in the sector export what they make to the world, the highest proportion of any goods manufacturing sector in the UK economy. 60% of our exports go to the European Union and 75% of our imports and raw materials come from the European Union.
- The sector’s level of business investment is £4.3 billion, compared to automotive £2.7 billion and aerospace £2.1 billion, while the expenditure on research & development is £5.0 billion (automotive £2.7 billion and aerospace £2.1 billion).
- The products and technologies of the Chemical industry are essential parts of medicines, food & drink, telecommunications, energy-saving, I.T, clothing and much more.
- For every tonne of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emitted, our products and technologies enable over 2 tonnes of GHG emissions savings.