11 March 2019: The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) has released a report that reviews the chemical industry’s contributions to the global economy. The report titled, ‘The Global Chemical Industry: Catalyzing Growth and Addressing Our World’s Sustainability Challenges,’ examines the economic footprint of the chemical industry’s direct and indirect activities and services in sectors involved in the supply chain of chemical products.

The report finds that, in 2017, the chemical industry contributed USD 5.7 trillion to gross domestic product (GDP), an equivalent of 7% of the world’s GDP, and supported 120 million jobs. Other findings include:

  • The chemical industry directly added USD 1.1 trillion to world GDP, and employed 15 million people, making it the fifth-largest global manufacturing sector;
  • For every dollar generated by the chemical industry, a further USD 4.20 is generated elsewhere in the global economy; and
  • Over the course of 2017, the global chemical industry invested an estimated USD 51 billion in research and development (R&D), supporting 1.7 million jobs and USD 92 billion in economic activity.

The chemical industry is a source of skilled employment opportunities.

The report estimates that over 95% of all manufactured goods rely on some form of industrial chemical process. Most industry sectors make use of chemical products, from energy generation and transportation, to information and communication technology (ICT) and construction.

The publication highlights the chemical industry’s commitment to the sound management of chemical substances through the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and activities under SDG 12 (sustainable consumption and production). Calvin Dooley, ICCA Council Secretary and President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), noted that the report “makes clear that the chemical industry is an irreplaceable contributor to global GDP, a source of skilled employment opportunities and a major enabler of progress” on the SDGs and the environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainable development.

The report was produced by ICCA in partnership with Oxford Economics, and released in conjunction with the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4), taking place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 11-15 March 2019. ICCA is a trade association of the global chemical industry, representing chemical manufacturers and producers around the world. [Publication: The Global Chemical Industry: Catalyzing Growth and Addressing Our World’s Sustainability Challenges] [ICCA Press Release]