The Chemical Industry Awards 2014: Winners announced

The winners of the 2014 Chemical Industry have been announced at a celebration dinner held at The Point Old Trafford, the home of Lancashire County Cricket Club. The dinner was held on Thursday 26 June.

Chief Executive of the Chemical Industries Association Steve Elliott said; “The 2014 Chemical Industry Awards celebrated the very best of our industry and I believe the very best of business and workforce achievement throughout the UK. All who entered have great stories to tell. Our winners should be very proud of their outstanding achievements”.

The 2014 winners were:

ABB Manufacturing & Resource Efficiency Award – Winner: Huntsman Pigments, Hartlepool

With the site having undergone a transformation, becoming one of the most efficient in the world. A strategic technical improvement programme was undertaken to enable a wider variety of more available and less expensive feedstocks to be used. Judges were impressed with a new reactor design to increase yield, a recovery scheme to create saleable products from waste and an overall reduction in waste and energy used.

BASF Young Ambassador Award – Winner: Peter Harding, GlaxoSmithKline, Worthing

With incredible talent this year, Peter won over the Judges with his experience in a short time working on three GSK sites as part of their Future Leaders Programme. He has always been keen to engage with young people and in 2012 ran GSK’s graduate recruitment programme for all their UK manufacturing sites. As part of his desire to encourage younger people into the industry he is a STEM Ambassador and developed a tablet-making workshop which is now used by GSK throughout the UK. Peter was also selected to represent GSK as the Young Engineering Ambassador for the Queen Elizabeth II Prize for Engineering.

Bilfinger Industrial Services Engineering Excellence Award – Winner: Carcharodon, Thornton Curtis

As a small company Carcharodon has formed a very close partnership with BP and other companies on the Saltend complex.  Their initial challenge was to review BP’s analyser maintenance operations and, after six weeks, a way of reducing workload by 32% was agreed. The next challenge was to facilitate a major maintenance cost reduction program, with an ambitious project that visited every aspect of maintenance. The company’s role was to provide best practice and expert problem solving and a comprehensive change process and softer skills coaching for the project team. Maintenance costs were reduced by a quarter with quality and safety performance also improving.

Reputation Award – Winner: Syngenta Ltd, Huddersfield

New guidance from the HSE meant that the site had to increase its Public Information Zone by 100% from 4,500 to 8,700 households. The development of a new community plan in line with the SHINGO Principle helped to promote the Syngenta brand and not cause alarm with the extended community. Syngenta won this award with their approach to communicating the value of the business to the local community, forging even stronger links with schools and the University and engaging with key stakeholders. A survey showed that the company is held in very high regard and is recognised as a safe operator.

Environmental Leadership Award – Winner, Huntsman Pigments, Hartlepool

The Greatham site demonstrated their ability to surpass beyond regulatory compliance in many areas including protecting biodiversity, energy efficiency, waste minimisation and recycling. The site is surrounded on three sides by a Site of Special Scientific Interest which the company created and helps manage in partnership with Natural England and other NGOs. A wide range of habitat improvements have been carried out including establishing the first industrial biodiversity action plan in the UK. The site is amongst the best in the world for energy efficient production of titanium dioxide, with a 30% reduction in energy use per tonne being achieved in the last decade. The site has also made huge improvements in waste reduction including recovery of titanium dioxide from effluent lagoons and recycling of over 2,000 tonnes per year of other process waste previously sent to landfill.

Gold Standard Skills Award (Sponsored by Cogent and NASAPI) – Winner: Essar Oil (UK) Ltd, Stanlow Manufacturing Complex, Ellesmere Port

Essar developed The Technician Competency Management Programme in line with the company’s strategic business plan, recognising key areas being maintenance and production operations. Union endorsed grade progression development processes have been implemented, giving clear structure and precise levels of competencies that individuals require to develop in their current and future job roles. The quality of these processes has been highlighted by both Cogent during gold standard assessments and also by an external auditing company. Overall it is estimated that the programme is saving the site around £0.75 million per year.

Innovation Award (Sponsored by GSK) – Winner: Robinson Brothers Ltd, West Bromwich

Many accelerators used in the rubber industry are under the spotlight due to their toxic nature. One such accelerator, ethylene thiourea (ETU) is used in polychloroprene manufacture and current alternatives fail to deliver technical performance. Robinson Brothers won this award for their amazing invention of a new safe and effective accelerator, using an innovative approach which focused on a fundamental understanding of how ETU worked. With detailed study this potential replacement molecules were identified. To evaluate toxicology, QSAR modelling was employed, a technique never before used in the rubber industry. Trials proved the new material to be as good as ETU or better.

Health Leadership Award (Sponsored by Johnson Matthey) – Winner: Novartis Grimsby Ltd, Grimsby

Novartis new approach to health and wellbeing – “Be Healthy” – impressed judges, based on four pillars: Move, Choose, Know and Manage. Initiatives include a colour coded canteen menu with healthy options being lower priced and a study of the impact of shift working by Leeds Metropolitan University has led to healthy options being included in vending machines. The leadership team regularly review health related indicators and cascade the information to all staff through briefings.

Responsible Care Award (Sponsored by INEOS) – Winner: GlaxoSmithKline, Ulverston

GSK Ulverston continues to show great EHS performance – no reportable injuries for 3¾ years. The last few years has shown a significant investment into the local community – £620k helping to generate 70 new businesses and 187 new jobs, donations made to 80 local charities and organisations in 2012 and numerous days spent in schools. Many other initiatives are in progress, including “flow” improvements of materials across value streams from supplier to final customer and the embedding of sustainability principles across site with appointment of champions in every area.

Special Responsible Care Award for Process Safety Leadership (Sponsored by Shell) – Winner: Pentagon Chemicals (Holdings) Ltd, Widnes

With a clear lead set from the CEO, the Pentagon board was amongst the first to complete Process Safety Leadership training for senior managers. Key managers have also completed high level training and operators have undertaken Process Safety Management – Operations training. Training packages have been developed for every process comprising overview and process scheme, detailed manufacturing procedure and key equipment operating instructions, quality control and analytical testing procedures and process safety essentials.

CIA Company of the Year – Winners: Robinson Brothers Ltd, West Bromwich and Huntsman Pigments,

Hartlepool Robinson Brothers Ltd

Judges were impressed with the motivation of Robinson Brothers Ltd. Following the 2008 downturn Robinsons put a huge amount of effort into developing new product streams and selling into new geographical markets, as well as improving the efficiency of existing processes. This decision has reaped its rewards with dramatic increases in sales and operating profit in each of the last three years. They have a strong R&D focus, winning four Technology Strategy Board awards since 2012, as well as a major Euro Framework VII funded project. This success has seen capital ploughed back into the business with investment in a new powder handling facility, new distillation facilities, an increase in hydrogenation capacity and safety system improvements.

Huntsman Pigments

Capital investment at the Greatham site has been made on process conversion efficiency improvements transforming the site to world-class levels and on upgrading infrastructure and EHS improvements. Judges were happy to see how the site is engaging with the workforce, and taking action to become their ‘Employer of Choice’. This has seen over 40 people joining the company over the last two years. In addition, they are also very proud of being one of the largest sponsors of apprentices in the region, with 30 apprentices working at Greatham in a variety of process, instrument/electrical and maintenance roles.


Notes to Editors:

For further comment, please contact Lena Nunkoo 07951 388 919 or Simon Marsh 07951 389197
The Chemical Industry:
• Contribute over £70 million everyday to the UK economy
• spend over £5 billion each year on research and development
• invest almost £2 billion a year in capital expenditure.
• Provide employment for over half a million people in well paid jobs

Chemical Industries Association (CIA) is the organisation that represents chemical and pharmaceutical businesses throughout the UK