Switch of ECTA Responsible Care Directors

article by Steve rowland, new ecta RC director in 2024

As we approach the end of 2023, we also approach the end of Evert de Jong’s time as ECTA Responsible Care Director. Evert is retiring at the end of December after 7 years of passionate service in his leading ECTA RC role. He has certainly made his presence felt over the years with his vast experience gained in Health, Safety and Sustainability. His will be difficult shoes to fill but the transition has been well planned by ECTA and I have been working in parallel with Evert for the whole of this year, progressively taking on more of the tasks and meeting the key contacts. I have to say, I am as ready as I will ever be. I would like to thank Evert for his patience and diligent approach to my apprenticeship!!

Steve Rowland, new ECTA RC Director in 2024

my views on the future

As the new incoming ECTA RC Director, I would like to share my views on what lies ahead in the near future. Significant changes are expected over the coming year but, as Heraclitus, the Greek Philosopher, once said “the only constant in life is change”. Some of it we know and can prepare for such as the SQAS 2024 revision, the revision of the freight emissions guideline in line with GLEC and ISO and the updates to Cefic-ECTA best practice guidelines. Other issues can arise unpredictably which means we have to be alert and attentive, keeping all our channels of communication open.

As well as building on the strong foundations that Evert has put in place across the field of Responsible Care, I must be careful not to be sidetracked down a particular path at the expense of other important areas. I sometimes think that with all of the current attention on emissions reporting, we may lose focus on the fundamental requirement to drive accident and incident rates down. In other words, safety has to remain front and centre of Responsible Care.

success of our members

ECTA is successful when our members are striving for SHEQ excellence and actively driving continuous improvement and part of my job will be to harness the vast range of expertise that the members hold, but in a time efficient manner, appreciating that they also work full time for the companies that pay their wages! To that end, we must always look for opportunities to use technology to make life easier.

final thoughts

In recent years, ECTA has also been successful due to the energy and hard work of the ECTA team and I must credit my colleagues with raising the profile of the Association to where it sits today, particularly in terms of its closer engagement with its ECTA members, the smooth collaboration across all chemical logistics stakeholders, the press and the use of social media channels.

So, in conclusion, it is an exciting time to be stepping into this role and I will certainly be working hard to put my own stamp on it and striving to serve our members well in dealing with the challenges that the coming years will throw at us.