USCIB Delegation Contributes to Extending a Global Pact on Chemicals

Mike Michener (USCIB) and Sophia Danenberg (Boeing)

A global framework for chemicals that was to end in 2020 will be extended and include the sound management of associated industrial waste, government officials from around the world agreed at a summit in Stockholm which ended Thursday, March 15. The meeting, hosted by the Swedish government and attended by representatives of UN member states, NGOs and business and industry, aimed to draw up a global strategy for managing waste and chemicals based on agreed international standards.  Mike Michener, USCIB vice president for product policy and innovation, Sophia Danenberg of Boeing, chair of the USCIB International Product Policy Working Group, and Frank Mastrocco of Pfizer represented U.S. downstream users of chemicals as part of the private sector delegation.

Global cooperation in chemicals is currently governed by the UN-backed global initiative, the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), but this only extends to 2020.  Sweden wants SAICM to be replaced with a global deal, similar to the Paris Agreement for climate.  The meeting decided that existing principles of SAICM should be retained beyond 2020, including risk reduction and illegal international traffic.

“This was the first meeting, so nothing is decided,” stated Michener. “The countries that participated all agreed they want to work jointly on extending an international agreement on the management of chemicals and waste, and that a global deal approved at the highest levels is necessary. Now the SAICM co-chairs will begin work on a zero draft of a new agreement, to be approved by member states sometime before 2020.”


USCIB Member Appointed Chair of ICC Environment Commission

Justin Perrettson (Novozymes)

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) announced the appointment of USCIB member Justin Perrettson of Novozymes as the new chair of the Commission on Environment and Energy. Perrettson is head of global engagements at Novozymes, the world`s leading bio innovation company, where he leads a series of policy and stakeholder interactions that support its sustainability agenda.  He also has broad international policy experience from consulting, finance and not-for-profit sectors and has served as an active member of the Commission on Environment and Energy over the past seven years.

“We are excited that Justin has been appointed chair of the ICC Environment and Energy Commission,” said Norine Kennedy, who leads USCIB’s work on environment, climate and SDGs. “He has taken USCIB’s work in environment, climate and SDGs to another level in international forums, and we know he’ll bring the same amount of energy, commitment and passion about sustainability to enhancing those synergies working with ICC.”

Perrettson has been instrumental in leading the business voice for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), climate change and public-private partnerships, serving as vice chair of USCIB’s Environment Committee and leading USCIB work on sustainable development as member of its SDG Working Group.

Perrettson will be responsible for leading the Commission on Environment and Energy in a renewed strategic direction and will ensure that ICC is leading responsible business engagement that promotes sustainable, inclusive economic growth in line with the UN Climate Change and Sustainable Development Goals.

Perrettson has said that he is “both delighted and honored to take on this new role within ICC and to work with the world’s largest business organization to drive the global sustainable business agenda forward.”

Perrettson will take over from Kersten Karl Barth, who has led the Commission on Environment and Energy’s work for the past five years.

USCIB attends Business “Talanoa Dialogue” to Advance Climate Policy Implementation

Tomasz Chruszczow, Climate Champion, Poland makes remarks

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) convened a business workshop under the UNFCCC Talanoa Dialogue process last week. The day-long meeting at ICC Headquarters in Paris brought business leaders together with influential government representatives leading the UNFCCC negotiations to discuss where business can contribute and strengthen implementation of national and international climate policy.

The Talanoa Dialogue, previously referred to as the Facilitative Dialogue, aims to overview collaborative action by governments, business and others to move the global climate agenda. A year-long process of discussions, consultations, events and expert inputs that will culminate at the 24th Conference of Parties in Poland, the Talanoa Dialogue is the first time business and other stakeholder inputs are to be mainstreamed into the UNFCCC deliberations.  ICC serves as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Focal Point for business and industry, and has represented global business in the UN climate deliberations since 1993.

Tomasz Chruszczow,  climate champion, Poland, opened the meeting with a plea for business involvement, stating, “Business creates jobs, makes investment decisions. We need business to solve the challenges ahead in the transition towards a low-carbon economy.”  Phil Kucharski, ICC’s chief operating officer announced that ICC would make an organization-wide commitment to both the Paris Agreement and to inform the Talanoa Dialogue.

The Talanoa Dialogue is a process led by Fiji to invite and gather information, examples and discussion on 3 questions relating to the UNFCCC, Paris Agreement and the need for additional greenhouse gas reductions, resilience, funding and technology cooperation:

-Where are We?

-Where are We Going?

-How Do we Get There?

“While the Talanoa questions appear very basic, business will re-frame them to be relevant to private sector investment and implementation, and then bring forward value-added information and recommendations in response,” stated Norine Kennedy, who leads USCIB’s work on climate change, energy and the environment. Other USCIB members attending this workshop included Nick Campbell, Arkema and Justin Perrettson, Novozymes.

The discussion tackled concerns with assertions made by anti-business interests about “conflict of interest” as a justification to ban certain business sectors from observing the UNFCCC deliberations. Elina Bardram, head of Unit for International Climate Negotiations, European Commission stated that since the challenges involved in catalyzing climate action are daunting “for technical negotiators alone to tackle, so we need real world expertise – from business & other non-parties – included in the process.”

Other speakers included Deo Saran, Fiji’s ambassador to Belgium and permanent representative to the European Union and Brigitte Collet, France’s ambassador for Climate Change Negotiations, Renewable Energy & Climate Risk Prevention.

USCIB recently submitted recommendations to the UNFCCC on the importance of substantive business involvement in the UNFCCC going forward. USCIB will work closely with ICC in future Talanoa Dialogue meetings, and will consult its members as it prepares USCIB contributions to the Talanoa Dialogue scoping exercise en route to the next UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Katowice, Poland in December.

BIAC/OECD Meeting of Chemicals Committee, Working Party on Chemicals, Pesticides and Biotech, Paris, France

Business at OEC (BIAC) and OECD Joint Meeting of the Chemicals Committee and the Working Party on Chemicals, Pesticides and Biotechnology – February 5-7, 2018 in Paris, France.

BIAC will hold its meeting the afternoon before the start of the Joint Meeting, i.e. on February 5th. OECD Joint-Meetings will follow February 6-7. Items on the OECD agenda include, but are not limited to: Progress and Highlights in the EHS Programme; Draft recommendations for the control and management of Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Freshwaters; Thought starter on possible work to address issues associated with intellectual property rights and confidential business information related to chemical safety data; and an update on including chemicals management in OECD Environmental Performance Reviews.

Contact Mike Michener ( for details.

Fighting for American Business: USCIB in the News in 2017

Throughout 2017, USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson, alongside other USCIB leaders and staff, garnered important coverage from the news media on issues critical to USCIB members. Policy issues ranged from NAFTA and the need to enshrine investor protections to the need for reform at the United Nations.

USCIB members and committee leaders, particularly Jerry Cook of Hanesbrands and Tam Nguyen of Bechtel, also made headlines on issues such as customs and trade facilitation and the evolution of corporate sustainability standards, respectively.

“USCIB won important news coverage in a wide variety of areas,” said Jonathan Huneke, USCIB’s vice president for communications and public affairs. “Thanks to outstanding thought leadership from USCIB President Robinson, as well as committee leaders and our staff experts, we were able to consistently punch above our weight, holding our own in a crowded media environment.”

Read the full 2017 media review here. To request an interview with a USCIB expert, contact USCIB Communications.

US Business Helps Launch First Ever Business Meeting at UN Environment Assembly

President of the UN General Assembly, Miroslav Lascak

The UN Environment Assembly (UNEA), the highest level policy making forum on environment in the UN system, opened its 3rd session under the auspices of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP or UN Environment) on December 4 in Nairobi, Kenya.  Environment Ministers from over 60 countries and delegates from all UN member states are gathered to refocus UN system environmental policy towards combatting pollution and its impacts. 

The overall theme of this session is, “Towards a Pollution Free Planet,” and governments are considering decisions to limit plastic debris in oceans, increase cooperation on air pollution and more closely link environment and health policies, with an emphasis on the “precautionary principle.”  Responding to numerous statements welcoming business involvement at UNEA3 and encouraging greater involvement by business at future UNEA meetings by UN officials and government representatives, USCIB Vice President for Strategic International Engagement, Energy and Environment Norine Kennedy stated, “U.S. business is attending this meeting to keep the focus on infrastructure, alignment with SDGs and enabling frameworks for private sector innovation and investment, and is keen to keep this fruitful dialogue and partnership going.”

USCIB and its members have led the U.S business presence at this session, working closely with the American Chemistry Council, American Plastics Council and Croplife, among others.  USCIB took part in the first ever Science-Policy-Business Forum, and organized for the first time a Global Business Symposium at UNEA with the Global Business Alliance for Environment.   The President of the UN General Assembly, Miroslav Lascak welcomed the business initiative, stating that “Businesses are critical to achieving sustainable development.”

In his presentation at the Business Symposium, Erick Omollo Juma, Novozymes, drew attention to how his accompany is pursuing opportunities to link cooperative implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and environmental protection through business action.   

Commenting on the examples of business initiatives to reduce risks from pollution during the Business Symposium, Walker Smith, director of global affairs and policy, U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA), recognized efforts by USCIB members, including the Walt Disney Company, the Coca-Cola Company, Dow Chemical, IBM and Procter & Gamble, to reduce food and plastic waste, and eliminate lead in paint.  USCIB has worked closely with the U.S, Department of State, EPA and NOAA representatives attending these meetings to reflect U.S. business views and achievements.

As part of her statement on behalf of the Business and Industry Major Group at the UNEA3 Opening Plenary Kennedy stated, “We need tailored specific responses to each source of pollution, reflecting economic and social circumstances. Business emphasizes the importance of building national capacity and infrastructure to address pollution through sound regulation and management, stimulating innovation and seeking pragmatic policy options and partnerships.”

On partnerships, Kennedy noted, “Business in its diversity is a critical part of solutions and investment, and is ready to work with governments and other stakeholders to act on UNEA outcomes to reduce pollution and associated risks – let’s identify practical solutions and policies and get to work.”

USCIB will present and discuss outcomes and next steps from UNEA3 at its next Environment Committee meeting on December 15 in Washington DC.

3rd UN Environment Assembly (UNEA3) in Nairobi, Kenya

3rd UN Environment Assembly (UNEA3) – December 4-6 in Nairobi, Kenya

UNEA has the mandate to take strategic decisions, provide political guidance in the work of UNEP and promote a strong science-policy interface. UNEA3 will focus on the draft report, “Towards a Pollution Free Planet.”

Contact Norine Kennedy ( for details.

USCIB 2017 International Leadership Award Dinner Honors Mastercard CEO and Celebrates SDGs

The 2017 USCIB Award dinner at the United Nations. L-R: Terry McGraw (S&P Global), Ajay Banga (Mastercard and 2017 honoree), Amina Mohammed (United Nations), Peter Robinson (USCIB)

At last night’s USCIB 2017 International Leadership Award Dinner, USCIB members and representatives of the international community turned out to honor Mastercard President and CEO Ajay Banga and celebrate the private sector’s contribution to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The dinner, which was held at United Nations headquarters in New York, drew over 220 high-level private sector individuals, UN dignitaries as well as press and featured keynote remarks by UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed.

“Business leaders are ever more eager to work with governments on the 2030 Development Agenda,” said Mohammed, praising the involvement and “sustained momentum” that has been achieved by the private sector to date. While urging the private sector to continue working towards the achievement of the goals by 2030, she also noted, “The UN itself needs to change since it has not yet fulfilled its full potential.”

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson, who gave welcoming remarks, highlighted 2017 milestones for the business community in aligning actions with the UN’s 2030 Development Agenda. “This has been a watershed year for American business in terms of focusing its attention on the importance of working effectively with international institutions – not just the UN, but also the G20, OECD, ILO and so many others,” said Robinson. “A key milestone came toward the end of last year, when the International Chamber of Commerce, one of three global business organizations for which USCIB serves as the American affiliate, won top-level Observer Status in the United Nations General Assembly.”

Terry McGraw, chairman of USCIB and chairman emeritus of McGraw Hill (now S&P Financial) echoed Robinson’s sentiments stating, “With elections and changing government leaders and priorities in the United States and literally around the world, it is more important than ever for business to stand up and continue to press forward an agenda that will strengthen important institutions and rules by which we work and trade.” McGraw also specifically acknowledged the role of the UN, noting, “To build a better world, we need institutions like the United Nations to function effectively and harmoniously, representing not just all of their member governments, but all interested stakeholders.”

Ajay Banga (Mastercard) and Eric Roston (Bloomberg News) engage in a fireside chat during the dinner

However the award honoree Banga emphasized that more needs to be done. “More than 2 billion adults around the world don’t have access to formal financial services, and the majority of them are women,” he said. “They have no way to do the things we take for granted – pay a bill, save money for a rainy day, borrow on reasonable terms. They are trapped in a cycle of poverty and faced with systemic barriers to the resources that would allow them change their situations and contribute to the growth and resilience of their communities. The private sector has a major responsibility and role to play in driving financial inclusion and, ultimately, inclusive growth, by bringing investment, innovation and scale to the table.”

The leadership award, which was established in 1980, is presented to a leading CEO, international figure or institution, and recognizes outstanding contributions to global trade, finance and investment, and to improving the global competitive framework in which American business operates. In honoring Banga, USCIB also recognized Mastercard’s leading work in global financial inclusion. Upon accepting the award, Banga was joined by Eric Roston, chief sustainability editor with Bloomberg News, for a “fireside chat” exploring Banga’s thoughts on business leadership and sustainability.

The gala event also served to showcase the private sector’s efforts to align its activities with the SDGs, including via a new video, spotlighting a number of USCIB member companies, for the Business for 2030 web platform launched by USCIB two years ago. Please visit to learn more about what companies are doing to achieve the SDGs.

Banga’s other achievements include leadership roles as member of the U.S. President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations and as a founding trustee of the U.S. – India Strategic Partnership Forum. He also served as a member of President Barack Obama’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity. Prior to Mastercard, Banga was chief executive of Citigroup’s Asia Pacific. He began his career at Nestle in India, where he also spent two years with PepsiCo.

Fall/Winter 2017 Issue of International Business Now Live

USCIB’s “International Business” Fall/Winter 2017 issue is now live!

The Fall/Winter 2017 issue features USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson‘s column on “The Global Goals: a blueprint for partnership and action” as well as articles on developments in the UN General Assembly, NAFTA and the World Trade Organization, plus news from our global network–Business at OECD, the International Organization of Employers and the International Chamber of Commerce.

“International Business,” USCIB’s quarterly journal, provides essential insight into major trade and investment topics, a high-level overview of USCIB policy advocacy and services, USCIB member news and updates from our global business network.

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2017 USCIB International Leadership Award Dinner

USCIB is delighted to honor Ajay Banga, president and chief executive officer of MasterCard. Each year this gala event attracts several hundred industry leaders, government officials and members of the diplomatic community to celebrate open markets and the recipient of USCIB’s highest honor.

Established in 1980, USCIB’s International Leadership Award is presented to a senior business executive who has made significant policy contributions to world trade and investment, and to improving the global competitive framework in which American business operates. Join us for what will be a truly memorable evening!