Responsible Care New Zealand

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Issue 20 – September 2010

The New Zealand Chemical Industry Council has changed its name to Responsible Care New Zealand (RCNZ) to better reflect the chemical industry's renewed focus on sustainability, helping to achieve safer workplaces and safeguarding the environment.

Bill Birch, Technical Manager, RCNZ, says the name change recognises the updating of the world's most successful voluntary industry compliance initiative.

'Re-branding the New Zealand Chemical Industry Council as Responsible Care New Zealand will facilitate and encourage wider acceptance of the global initiative Responsible Care® to manage the chemical product throughout its life cycle. This is particularly relevant to industries ranging from food processing to boat building, all heavily reliant on chemicals but which do not feel comfortable about participating in a chemical association.'

Birch says that unlike major industrialised countries, New Zealand does not have an exclusive chemical industry. 'Our future centres on the safe provision, use, and disposal of the huge range of chemical products we rely upon to help sustain our quality of life. This move reinforces our association's widely accepted and increasingly appreciated role as a trusted source of technical advice concerning chemicals and compliance with New Zealand's world-class chemical management legislation.'

Responsible Care New Zealand Life Members Announced

Responsible Care New Zealand has announced two new life members. Lyall Mortimer and Bill Birch were recognised at the organisation's recent conference for their outstanding, lifelong contributions to the chemical industry.

Lyall Mortimer began his 41-year public service career as a plumber and rose to the position of Principal Inspector of Health. He played a significant role in the development of New Zealand's world-class chemical management legislation. In his various roles with the Department of Labour (DoL), Mortimerserved as a liaison with Standards New Zealand and also represented DoL on a number of Standards committees. Mortimer has been engaged in World Health Organization chemical consultancy work in Samoa, Malaysia, Iraq, Mongolia, and the Cook Islands.

Bill Birch is the organisation's Technical Manager. His expertise comprises 50 years industry experience, including 35 years with chemical giant ICI, and 15 years with the New Zealand Chemical Industry Council (now Responsible Care New Zealand). Birch is an expert safety, health, and environmental auditor and is a member of the National Hazardous Substances Technical Liaison Committee. Birch is a valued contributor to a number of Standards New Zealand technical committees. Most recently he was instrumental in the publication of Dangerous goods – Initial Emergency Response Guide SAA/SNZ HB 76:2010.

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