There are 54 national chemical manufacturing associations who comprise the global Responsible Care community. Individual countries’ programs are at different stages of development with different emphases, and are monitored and coordinated by the ICCA Responsible Care Leadership Group (RCLG).
ICCA is committed to the implementation of Responsible Care as broadly as possible within the chemical and allied industries. The network continues to expand to new regions, countries and companies, fostering capacity building, the sharing of health, safety and environmental information and employing an increasingly rigorous system of checklists, performance indicators and verification procedures.
Additionally, Responsible Care outreach spans a vast range of activities from cooperative performance-based initiatives with government agencies to community projects such as development of wildlife habitats and tailored programs for schools.
The Global Charter
Worldwide, fresh impetus has been given to the well-established Responsible Care initiative. Many of the top global chemical companies and all the national associations have signed up to the RC global charter, which aims to take the approach to new levels through:
- Implementing fundamental features of national Responsible Care programmes
- Commitment to advancing sustainable development of the chemical industry
- Continual improvement and performance reporting
- Enhancing the management of chemical products worldwide
- Championing and facilitating the extension of Responsible Care along the chemical industry’s supply chain
- Actively supporting national and local Responsible Care governance
- Addressing stakeholder expectations about chemical industry activities and products
- Providing appropriate resources to effectively implement Responsible Care.
Complimentary to the Global Charter, the Global Product Strategy (GPS) is another international voluntary initiative under Responsible Care, specifically focussed on advancing the product stewardship performance of individual companies and the global chemical industry as a whole. The main activities of the programme are around sharing best practice, capacity building, improving risk management and access to information on chemicals. In support of the latter, ICCA has created a portal where chemical manufacturing companies are welcomed to post information on their products.
Together with the Global Charter, GPS is the chemical industry’s contribution to the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). The overall objective of this policy framework, initiated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), is that by 2020, chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse impacts on human health and the environment.
The chemical industry is a responsible industry, holding itself accountable to society and committed to addressing its concerns actively and transparently, ensuring that chemical products manufactured and developed in Europe meet the most demanding safety criteria.
On the European scene, Cefic is the voice of 29,000 large, medium and small chemical companies in Europe, which provide 1.3 million jobs and account for one third of world chemicals production. Cefic represents its members and interacts daily on their behalf with international and EU institutions, non-governmental organizations, the international media and other stakeholders.
Going beyond compliance in Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) is now second nature to CIA members. All CIA members sign up to the Guiding Principles as a condition of CIA Membership. We make it easy for companies to demonstrate this commitment and embed these principles in the way they go about their business.
These principles clearly show the commitment that senior executives across CIA membership make to the Responsible Care ethic and just what the ethic means to their business:
- Policy – EHS is integral to the way we do business
- Employee involvement – ownership of EHS throughout the organisation
- Experience sharing – always learning from industry colleagues and from outside the sector
- Legislators and regulators – new levels of interaction with the regulators
- Process safety – assessment and management of the hazards and risks we work with day-in and day-out.
- Product stewardship – our responsibility for safe product handling through the supply chain
- Resource conservation – efficient use of raw materials, water, energy and waste minimisation
- Stakeholder engagement – liaison with our local communities on the key EHS aspects of our businesses.
- Management systems – managing EHS in the right way – planning, doing, checking and review
- Past, present future – being accountable for past and current operations, as well planning for the future.
Companies in CIA membership report annually their principle statistics for health, safety and environment. For many years we have therefore been able to demonstrate to our stakeholders how the overall chemical industry in the UK has performed.