The competition has been organized by the CEFIC (European Chemical Industry Council) since 2004 to promote the best European practices in the area of Responsible Care program activities. This year’s edition was devoted to initiatives to support the global fight against COVID-19. The organisers’ expectations were to remind about the basic values that should guide companies in their daily business activities: caring for employees and their families, local communities, suppliers and customers, and about responsibility in delivering safe chemical products. This idea was related to the slogan of this year’s gala – “Together we stand strong”.
The European RC Awards were granted during the Global Chemical Convention on October 13, 2020, which was held in a virtual form due to the current state of the pandemic. The jury assessed the submissions of the European companies’ initiatives in the following categories: Upholding and Reshaping Production Lines, Protection of Workplace and People, and Community Support.
When the award was granted, the impressive commitment of Grupa Azoty ZAK S.A. was emphasised in terms of the process of preventing the spread of the pandemic and acting to improve the safety of the local community. The jury appreciated the project of combating COVID-19 implemented by Grupa Azoty, with particular emphasis on:
- Systematic and immediate support for the infectious-disease hospital in Kędzierzyn-Koźle, including funds for the creation of a laboratory for coronavirus diagnostics. Grupa Azoty ZAK S.A. donated PLN 750,000 to the Independent Public Healthcare Complex in Kędzierzyn-Koźle. The support was a part of the comprehensive operation of Grupa Azoty, which, through four major companies, has already allocated over PLN 3 million to fight against the pandemic.
- Securing sewage and water intakes for the residents of Kędzierzyn-Koźle – providing the hospital in Kędzierzyn-Koźle, on an ongoing basis, with sodium hypochlorite – a substance for sewage treatment.
- Securing means of medical transport – lending 7 passenger cars to hospital facilities in the Opolskie Voivodeship. This support helped to relieve the specialised medical transport.
- Caring for the youngest – organizing the “House full of ideas” art competition, which was aimed at promoting the principles of safe behaviour during a pandemic.
- Implementation of the donation policy – financial and material assistance, including the transfer of personal protective equipment to social institutions in the Opolskie Voivodeship.
- The epidemic situation is a test for the whole society and allows to measure the strength of our solidarity. It is good that the slogan of this year’s gala refers to unity, because the companies of Grupa Azoty work hand in hand in the fight against COVID-19. That is why I dedicate the award to all employees of Grupa Azoty, says Sławomir Lipkowski, President of the Management Board of Grupa Azoty ZAK S.A.
The Responsible Care program was initiated in the 1980s by the Canadian Chemical Industry Association. It is carried out by the National Chemical Associations in 46 countries, where the associated companies produce over 87% of the world’s chemical production. In Europe, it is coordinated by the CEFIC with its registered office in Brussels. In Poland, the program operates under the name of Responsibility and Care managed by the Polish Chamber of Chemical Industry.
- Congratulations to Grupa Azoty ZAK S.A. on winning an award in an international competition under the Responsible Care program. In previous editions, no Polish company was awarded in this CEFIC initiative. I am glad that the competition jury appreciated the activities of Grupa Azoty ZAK S.A. to support the local community in a difficult time of the pandemic. It perfectly shows that the Polish Chemistry acts responsibly and cares for the safety of not only its employees, but also its entire immediate environment – summed up Dr. Tomasz Zieliński, President of the Management Board of the Polish Chamber of Chemical Industry.
Grupa Azoty ZAK S.A. has been implementing the Responsibility and Care program since 1994. The program is also implemented by Grupa Azoty PUŁAWY.
Grupa Azoty Zakłady Azotowe Kędzierzyn S.A. is a manufacturer of nitrogen fertilizers with exceptional seeding parameters, oxo alcohols and plasticizers, including the first Polish non-phthalate plasticizer. Products from Kędzierzyn, such as ZAKsan®, Salmag®, RSM®, Oxoviflex® and NOXy® are used in many sectors of the economy: agriculture, construction, chemical processing, plastics and automotive industry. The company has its own heat and power plant, inland port and provides specialist laboratory services. It is the owner and main sponsor of the Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle volleyball club.
Grupa Azoty is a clear leader in Poland and one of the key capital groups in the fertilizer and chemical industry in Europe. The Group ranks second in the European Union in the production of nitrogen and compound fertilizers. In addition, it has a strong position on the markets of such products as melamine, caprolactam, polyamide, OXO alcohols, plasticizers and titanium white. It develops intensively not only on the Polish market, but also abroad. An important step in this direction was the acquisition in 2018 of the Compo Expert Group, one of the leading players in the global specialty fertilizers market. Investments are one of the pillars of Grupa Azoty’s strategy. The largest project is Polimery Police, implemented by Grupa Azoty Polyolefins, a special purpose vehicle. It is one of the largest investments in the Polish and European chemical industry, which will enable the diversification of Grupa Azoty’s business activities, and will positively affect the position of Poland in the plastics segment as well as will strengthen the country’s energy and raw material independence. The project is scheduled for completion in 2022.