The European Chemical Industry Council or Cefic (from its former French name Conseil Européen des Fédérations de l'Industrie Chimique) is the main European trade association for the chemical industry. It was founded in 1959, and its history follows through the creation of the European Union. Its headquarters are located in Brussels. Cefic represents 29,000 large, medium and small chemical companies in Europe, interacting on behalf of their members with international and EU institutions, non-governmental organisations, the international media, and other stakeholders. Chemicals companies in the European Union employ a total staff of about 1.2 million.
The association was founded in 1959 under the name "Secrétariat International des Groupements Professionnels des Industries Chimiques des Pays de la CEE (S.I.I.C)". Two years later, the Conseil Européen des Fédérations de l'Industrie Chimique (Cefic) was created. In parallel, the chemical industry associations of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries also started to organise. The two organisations merged in 1972 under the Cefic name to better represent the interests of the chemical industry at international level.
In 1990, the association changed its name to European Chemical Industry Council to reflect the integration of the chemical companies. The Cefic acronym was nevertheless retained.
Since 2012, the president of Cefic has been Kurt Bock, from BASF.
Cefic represent the entire range of chemicals production.
Cefic governance is ensured by the Board and Executive Committee, elected every two years by the General Assembly, composed of all Cefic members - companies and national associations. The operational management of Cefic is ensured by the National Associations Board (NAB), the Industry Sector Board (ISB)and the Leadership Team.
Cefic comprises: - six horizontal programmes - four industry sectors - one service unit (finance and administration) - one International Chemicals Management unit.
Cefic activities also include the provision of advice and services to our industry - corporations and SMES (see Responsible Care) - and beyond, to the whole value chain of customers, retailers and transporters.
Cefic is an active member of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) which represents chemical manufacturers and producers all over the world and seeks to strengthen existing cooperation with global organisations such as UNEP and the OECD to improve chemicals management worldwide.
Cefic is composed of all Cefic member companies and national Associations. Cefic has 3 distinct groups of members: Corporate (ACOM) - Federation (AFEM) and Business (ABM) and 3 types of partnerships: Associated Companies, Affiliated Associations and partners.
About the European Chemical Industry
As one of the largest and most diversified industries globally, the European chemical industry supplies virtually all sectors of the economy, providing innovative and sustainable solutions to today’s economic and environmental challenges. It plays a vital role in providing all manufacturing sectors, as well as the construction, health and agricultural sectors, with essential products and services. It has created wealth and employment for millions of European citizens over the years. In the European Union (EU), it is the leading manufacturing sector in terms of value added per employee.
As a key partner to the EU institutions, the European chemical industry strongly supports and implements the Europe 2020 targets. The industry is facilitating an economy based on knowledge and innovation to achieve smart growth, promoting more resource-efficient processes to achieve sustainable growth, and encouraging a high-employment economy throughout the value-chain to achieve inclusive growth.
The European chemical industry is more than a supplier of products, it is a provider of worldwide sustainable solutions. Examples include efficiencies made through recycling and water management processes, breakthroughs in materials created for sustainable building and transport, and developments in areas such as nanotechnology, advanced materials and biotechnology. The industry is benefiting from its historic advantages of innovation, long-standing customer relationships, an efficient network of SMEs and large companies and a highly skilled workforce.