Corporate Responsibility

Stepan Named CIA Chemical Company of the Year

Surfactant manufacturer Stepan UK is celebrating a double win at the  2021 Chemical Industry Awards including the CIA’s highest accolade, the Company of the Year

  • Stepan Stalybridge manufactures surfactant, the primary ingredient in fabric softeners
  • The Chemical Industry Awards are the chemical industry’s most prestigious awards.
  • The Special Responsible Care Award for Process Safety recognises the chemical site that demonstrates excellence in the way it protects its people and hardware and enhances the reputation and sustainability of the industry.
  • The Company of the Year can only be entered by companies shortlisted in other CIA categories and recognises growth and a sustainable contribution to the UK economy.
  • The results were announced on 17 June 2021 at a virtual event featuring all sponsors and nominees.

Stepan UK, part of the Stepan Group, a global manufacturer of chemicals, is celebrating a double win at the Chemical Industry Awards (CIA), the industry’s premier awards. At a virtual event for nominees and sponsors held on 17 June, the company’s Stalybridge site won the Special Responsible Care Award for Process Safety. The award follows significant investment in and implementation of a range of process safety and environmental system improvements that enhanced the reputation and sustainability of the industry.

“We are extremely proud of the fact that there have been no reportable process safety incidents at the site for 10 years,” said George Forrest, Site Manager at the Stalybridge Site. “We are conscious that there is never room for complacency. We see this award as validation of our focus on continuous improvement, ensuring our people, processes and equipment are constantly reviewed and optimised to ensure the Stepan Stalybridge site remains a safe place for our workers and neighbours.”

Company of the Year

In addition to the Process Safety Award, Stepan UK was also shortlisted for the CIA’s Health Leadership category and the dual nomination meant the company qualified for consideration – and ultimately won –  the most prestigious category of all: the Company of the Year.

The CIA notes that the winner of this Award will be, “In the view of the judges, the most outstanding CIA member company – demonstrating growth of its business and a sustained contribution to the UK economy.”

Over the past year, Stepan UK has achieved record growth, record production levels and record batch production times. The site received the company’s own President’s Flag award for achieving 12 months without a single injury.  And the site invested £3.5 million on capital projects designed to increase production capacity and protect and improve safety – all factors which led to Stepan’s win.

“Stepan UK is honoured to have collected numerous awards in recent years,” explained George, “but the Company of the Year is an accolade of which we can be especially proud, because in celebrating growth and contribution to the UK economy, it touches on all the aspects of the site that make us who we are – from process efficiency to innovation, working safely to putting our people first. 


“To say we are thrilled is a huge understatement.”