Press Release

The country’s largest manufacturing exporter, the chemical and pharmaceutical sector, set out yesterday how Britain can become the leader on delivering sustainable growth.

The industry’s trade body, the Chemical Industries Association has published Britain at work, a manifesto ahead of the general election which contains a series of policy proposals covering innovation, education & skills, energy & climate change, the regions and international trade. The document launched by the Association’s Chief Executive, Steve Elliott says chemistry is vital to growing the environmental, social and economic performance of our country.

In a speech to 800 people at the sector’s annual dinner, Mr Elliott said “The current global challenges are huge in areas such as population growth, demand for food, water, and healthcare. But these also present an opportunity for business to show what we can do and the chemical sector is right at the heart of this”.   

He went on to say “Not just for now do our companies have sustainability at the centre of their agenda, but for all time our companies have made the very products and materials to meet the continuing expectations of society. CIA member companies manufacture lightweight plastics, high-performance catalysts and new battery materials that contribute towards more sustainable mobility by lowering emissions and increasing resource efficiency. And those companies are responsible for technologies to increase renewable energy output by enabling longer wind turbine blades and anti-reflective materials for solar panels”.

He added “And, with a just transition including Government policy that recognises our industry’s unique or essential role in tackling climate change, our companies are well placed to ensure that carbon neutrality by 2050 could be a reality and not a fantasy”. 

He ended saying “Our manifesto is an open invitation to Government and society to engage with us and explore together how Britain can lead the way on sustainable growth”.

CIA Manifesto


For further information and an interview with Steve Elliott, please contact CIA's Simon Marsh on 07951 389197 or [email protected]

• The chemical and pharmaceutical industry adds £19.2 billion of value to the UK economy every year from total annual turnover of £55.5 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 over £10 billion in gross value added annually and pharmaceutical manufacturing over £8 billion.

• The wider chemical and pharmaceutical sector (manufacturing plus distribution) is the largest exporter of manufactured goods with annual exports of over £55 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 around £5 billion (compared to automotive £3.6 billion and aerospace £1.5 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.

Media & PR enquiries

For Media enquiries, please contact:

Simon Marsh

07951 389197

[email protected]


Laura Bamford 

07885 831615

[email protected]