The chemical industry harvests raw materials, including minerals, natural gas, metals, water, air and oil. Through chemical processes and reactions, the raw materials are then converted into:
- Products such as petrochemicals, polymers, explosives, ceramics, oleochemicals, flavors, rubber, elastomers, fragrances and agrochemicals
- Consumer goods
- Inputs for the agriculture, construction, manufacturing, telecommunication, computing and service industries
As a result, the chemical industry creates many manufactured products and goods across numerous sectors.
Chemical manufacturers and processors are located where the raw materials are. Products such as pharmaceuticals, plastics and fertilizers are manufactured nearly anywhere. Many petroleum and natural gas refineries are wherever reserves can be found, usually on the coast or in the ocean.
The chemical industry influences the globe’s overall quality of life by impacting:
- Health care
- Safe water supply
- Computer technology
Some challenges within the Chemical Industry are:
- Environmental effects: Natural events in the region where your supplies come from can cause an environmental hazard, damaging the environment and your company’s employees and brand. Environmental damage requires remediation for the local area and your company’s reputation, as consumers negatively receive these incidents.
- Public health: In addition to the environment, chemical manufacturers are pressured to assess how their products and processes affect public health. Special varieties of chemicals may involve dangerous reagents that must be managed, and production may release high volumes of emissions.
- Geographic location: The location of the product’s origin can present financial and logistical challenges to your chemical company. The distance may make transportation complicated and expensive. Geopolitical events may interrupt the region’s supply chain, affecting your company’s product.
- Supplier visibility: Chemical companies need transparency in their suppliers’ business practices. This knowledge ensures the raw products are good quality. Supplier practices also need to meet environmental policies, security requirements and good manufacturing practice (GMP) regulations.
- Trade tensions: Complex and numerous trade agreements can lead to disputes that hurt your chemical company’s operations. Some causes of these disputes are supply disruptions due to geopolitical events and the unpredictable nature of foreign exchange.
ISO standards for the chemical industry can independently or cohesively target your supply chain. These regulations will help you identify, assess and mitigate your global supply chain processes and risks.