A long association with ECTA is coming to an end

personal article by evert de jong

While internally at De Rijke my HSE career took off in 1989 (remember: the second S was added only after 9-11-2001), in 1992 my work on Responsible Care matters really started ‘avant la lettre’ with the industry creation of SQRS, the predecessor of SQAS. When in 1997 ECTA was formed, the ECTA Board of Directors took the initiative to ask the LSP representatives in Cefic’s SQAS Technical & Accreditation Committee to join informal forces and try find common ground on HSSE issues important to the transport industry. At the time SQAS was already linked to Cefic’s Responsible Care initiative. When in 2009 ECTA’s Responsible Care program was launched, I became a founding member of the T&RC Committee. In 2016 I joined ECTA as RC Coordinator ad interim, and after my retirement from De Rijke early 2017 I joined ECTA directly.

looking back

Looking back at this specific period of 33 years I am leaving with a feeling of satisfaction over some important accomplishments. SQAS itself with all its aspects and program components, Industry Best Practice Guidelines, Workshops, HSSE promotional activities, many other activities and recently the introduction of RC Webinars proved to be challenging and interesting. Never a dull moment in 33 years – not many colleagues can say that.

Of course, I realize that the major factor in this long period of interesting work was the opportunity I had to meet motivated, intelligent and passionate people. Representatives from chemical producers, logistics companies, other associations and many others were able to create a working relationship based on common HSSE goals – and they allowed me to be part of it. I am very grateful to all these people over the years. And I apologize if during some meetings over the years I disturbed some colleagues by using 4-letter words. It was always intended to wake up people in such a way and to shock them into trying to be better able to think outside the box. Health and safety sometimes needs more than diplomacy.

looking forward

Retiring from ECTA on 31 December 2023 does not mean a change to non-activity for me. I look forward to new challenges – either in Europe or the Caribbean. So, this farewell may well turn out to be ‘till we meet again’.