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Chemical solutions newsletter December 23

13 Dec 2023


Welcome to our chemical solutions newsletter

In this newsletter: Celebrating NCEC's 50th anniversary | Emergency response update | How to test your emergency response | Navigating climate risk and reporting including COP28 | Deep dive into Hydrogen | Updating poison centre notifications | Hazmat 2024 | Identifying future decarbonisation policies | 24-hour support during festive period | California's new sustainability disclosure laws | Road (ADR) incident reporting requirementsMeet the expert | Hotline highlights

Celebrating 50 years of supporting the chemical industry as part of Ricardo

2023 marked 50 years of the National Chemical Emergency Centre (NCEC), part of Ricardo. You may have noticed that in our recent communications, the NCEC name and brand has taken a back seat as we instead talk about Ricardo’s safety, sustainability and engineering capability within the chemical sector. With a strong worldwide reputation in supporting clients working towards a safe and sustainable world, the evolution in our brand reflects the support the chemical industry requires. Together, our parent company, Ricardo, and NCEC, have a much more harmonised framework within which we can support the industry, and you, our customers. Read our blog from Craig Thomson, Head of Chemical Risk, as he highlights our journey from NCEC to Ricardo.

Other than language though, very little has changed. We are still the same (and growing) team. We have immense pride in how NCEC, since its inception 50 years ago, has been supporting the chemical industry. We will continue to operate the UK’s (and some other jurisdictions) National Chemical Emergency Centre, and support our customers with the same capability, unrivalled expertise and customer support as we have always done.

We have been celebrating this year with a range of activities including a chemical incident series. And on the occasion of our 50th anniversary, we were honoured as our global chemical clients joined us for celebrations at the Royal Institue, London. The event had various panel discussions: from transition pathways and lifecycle thinking, to the safety challenges around energy storage and decarbonisation policies. It was great to see the level of engagement from our delegates and their commitment to transform for the future as we look towards the next 50 years. 

Our delegates and panellists shared their thoughts on the biggest upcoming challenges for the chemical industry, brought together in the video below.


Our key insights from the event (more to come) that combined the themes of regulatory, emergency response, sustainability and safety along with the activities we have been running throughout the year have been gathered here →



Emergency response

Chris Sowden, Head of Emergency Response Training


The last few months have seen a big change in the world of emergency response. The status for Brazil requiring safety data sheets (SDS) to have an emergency number shown has changed, and from July 2025, the provision of a local 24-hour emergency phone number will be mandatory in order to have compliant SDS when placing products on the Brazilian market. Read more →

We have also seen an increase in the number of issues arising from domestic and grid scale use of lithium ion powered products. Of the 65 known global incidents over the last four years, only details for three are widely understood. Read a summary of our invigorating discussion on the safety challenges around energy storage, held during our 50th anniversary celebration event →

Also as part of our 50th celebrations, our emergency responders have examined some of the biggest chemical incidents and the lasting impacts they have had on organisational safety, response and regulation. Our free eBook sees our emergency responders go through various incidents in detail and explore what the public and private sector can learn from these notable accidents now, highlighting the ongoing importance of robust risk management. 

And finally, as we move into the festive period, we want to remind you that our emergency response team will continue to work throughout this year’s festive period to provide a 24/7 chemical emergency response from our operations base in Oxfordshire. Whether you are roasting a turkey or a cauliflower on Christmas Day, off to a glitzy party or cuddling up on the sofa this New Year’s Eve, our team will be on hand, answering the phones for our customers. Find out more about the support provided during the festive period here →


Testing telephone emergency response 

In our experience, many organisations do not know how to structure an exercise programme that achieves their objectives in the most effective way. This guide explores what good exercise programmes should look like and how to implement them effectively.

Download our free guide here →





Climate risk and reporting for corporate decision makers

Leandro Peraro, ESG and climate disclosure expert

The sustainability and regulatory landscape is rapidly evolving and businesses are now under increased pressure to identify climate risks, disclose sustainability data and demonstrate how they will take effective action. Here we consider the best ways to make climate reporting useful to decision-makers in the private sector →

Last month we saw the production of the UK’s Transition Plan Task Force (TPT) “Sector Deep Dives” (open for consultation until 29th December 2023) which marks a significant milestone in the development of the concept of transition planning for all companies. UK’s TPT has also released the final version of its ‘gold standard’ climate disclosure framework and implementation guidance. The framework highlights the key components that should feature in a robust and credible climate transition plan and aims to provide organisations with best practice guidance to help accelerate their decarbonisation journeys. Large firms will require a credible climate transition plan to demonstrate to regulators, investors and other stakeholders how they will contribute to a low greenhouse gas economy including their net zero targets, actions they will take to meet their targets and how they will respond to climate-related risks.

Although many companies report having climate transition plans, only 81 of 18,600 organisations disclosing to CDP in 2022 had a 'credible' plan.  

We urge you to start or review your climate transition plan as a key part of your business strategy to develop resilience and work towards a low carbon future. You likely have the foundations already in place, it’s just a question of bringing it together. Find out here what a credible climate transition plan looks like →

We have already helped many businesses on their climate adaptation journey, and you can find more information on how we can support you here →

It would be prudent to remember that a climate transition plan includes reporting against the FSB's Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The strategic significance of environmental and climate-related matters means that business model disclosures need to fully represent and integrate the risks and opportunities companies face. 

Finally, as many of you may already know, COP28 marks the culmination of the first-ever Global Stocktake, a critically important element of the Paris Agreement that is required to take place every five years. COP28 negotiations have an urgent focus on countries setting more ambitious GHG reduction targets for 2030 and 2035. Ricardo is proud to be embarking on an ambitious support programme funded by the UK Government that will provide support for up to 15 countries around the world to tackle the problem of deforestation and forest degradation. Over the coming days and weeks, our team of climate change, agriculture, energy and sustainability experts will delve into key topics of concern relating to the climate crisis, and what needs to happen now to enable progress in the future. See our latest news section for updates →



As one of the most abundant elements in the universe, hydrogen offers real potential as a sustainable energy carrier. However, as hydrogen is used more widely as a fuel for mass transit, energy production, industrial processes and transport, all potential users of hydrogen will need to be aware of the safety risks and associated hazards. We take a deep dive into topics including the safe use of liquid hydrogen, the challenges within the hydrogen value chain and the importance of accredited training so you can be safe when working with this impactful element.

Read the full update here →


69% of webinar attendees said that their poison centre notifications are NOT up-to-date

Available on-demand: Are you ready for industrial use poison centre notification deadline and GB divergence of safety data sheets?

The 69% included those needing to review against new regulatory updates and those with products remaining to notify.

With less than 30 days left until the deadline to notify industrial-use products, we urge you to watch our poison centre webinar for more information on what industrial-use products are, the difference between limited and full notifications, why you need to use a rapid response number for your limited submissions along with examples of GB divergence, and how to maintain your regulatory compliance. 

Watch on-demand →


Hazmat 2024

22-23 May 2024
Crowne Plaza, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK

We are very excited to announce that the agenda for Hazmat 2024 – the must attend event for all hazmat professionals – is now available! 

We are looking forward to welcoming speakers from various UK fire and rescue services, Department for Transport, Environment Agency, and international hazmat experts along with Ricardo's own emergency response experts.

Plus, if you book before 31 December 2023, you can save almost £100 with our early bird offer! 

View the full agenda and book now



Risks from future sustainability and decarbonisation policies and technology 

In this blog, we discuss how decarbonisation policies and technologies can create risks in the future that we need to be prepared to respond to. This is particularly important as we ramp up the significant levels of activity needed to complete our decarbonisation journeys alongside creating and bringing to market safe and sustainable chemicals. 

Read the blog here  →



Providing 24-hour emergency response this festive period

You would be forgiven for thinking that our teams will have a quiet shift on Christmas Day. In reality, we receive a surprisingly high volume of calls, ranging from festive themed spills to potentially high-consequence industrial chemical emergencies. Read more →


Local laws with global reach – California’s new sustainability disclosure laws

California has passed new climate disclosure bills which will impact companies doing business in the state and their global supply chains. We explain the impact the bills will have, their global context and the steps you should take to prepare. Read more →


Chemical regulatory newsletter November 2023

A lot has been happening on the regulatory landscape with the policy paper on UK REACH ATRm, the delay of EU REACH revisions, upcoming industrial-use poison centre notification deadline and the update to GB MCL List. We discuss all this and more in our November regulatory newsletter. We also send regular updates to highlight any regulatory changes that may affect our customers. Sign up to receive these regulatory updates directly in the future.


Air Pollution Footprint Partnership

Current corporate reporting frameworks focus exclusively on measuring and reporting greenhouse emissions whilst air pollution and its impacts are not considered. Proactive reporting on corporate air pollution emissions demonstrates good environmental, social, and governance values, appeals to socially responsible investors and consumers. Read more →


FAQ: The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism

Ricardo can help your organisation to understand how the carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) will impact your business. Our expert advice can help you to avoid risks, develop the necessary systems and strategies, and maximise opportunities. Read more →


ADR reporting requirements

NCEC is conducting a project on behalf of the UK Department for Transport (DfT), part of which aims to raise awareness and promote the reporting requirements for dangerous goods incidents that occur on the road network. Read more →


Dr Hamish Nichol, Head of Hydrogen at Ricardo

Hamish is experienced in the technical and commercial leadership of projects in the hydrogen sector, from green hydrogen production plant delivery, transport deployments, to technology development and commercialisation.

He’s focused on developing strong partnerships with public and private clients to help understand the place for hydrogen, and where appropriate, implement hydrogen as part of client's decarbonisation roadmaps. 

Read more about Hamish →



Tales from our 24/7 chemical emergency helpline

Phosphoric acid 

Accident at a commercial 

Industrial cleaner releases gas upon heating


We hope you find this newsletter informative. Please feel free to contact us with any comments or suggestions for future content.

On behalf of everyone at Ricardo, we would like to extend our warmest wishes for the festive season and wish you a prosperous and peaceful new year. We look forward to continuing supporting you and the wider chemical sector throughout 2024.


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