What is Responsible Care?
Responsible Care is a voluntary initiative of the global chemical industry focused on improving performance, communication and accountability. Responsible Care commits companies, through their national/regional chemical associations, to work together to continuously improve the environmental, health, safety and security performance of their products and processes. It is a major contribution by the industry in achieving sustainable development.
Who runs the initiative?
The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) manages Responsible Care at the global level. National chemical associations commit to Responsible Care through the ICCA, and go through a formal application process administered by the ICCA's Responsible Care Leadership Group. The national association is responsible for overseeing implementation of the initiative by member companies operating in their country. ICCA aims to extend Responsible Care to all chemical-producing countries. You can find out more about how Responsible Care is applied in each country by contacting the relevant association directly.
What is the Responsible Care Global Charter?
Launched at the First International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM-1) in 2006 and updated in 2014, the Responsible Care Global Charter is the foundation of ICCA’s contribution to the UN’s Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). The Global Charter seeks to harmonize, govern and expand the Responsible Care ethic globally. It commits ICCA to a renewed and strengthened focus on product stewardship throughout the supply chain and embodies industry’s contribution to sustainable development. Global CEOs from 90% of the world’s leading chemical companies have signed a Declaration of Support for the Charter.
Do all chemical companies belong to Responsible Care?
No, it is a voluntary initiative, but a number of leading national associations have made commitment to Responsible Care a condition of membership. Virtually all the world's leading chemical manufacturers have signed up to Responsible Care. The initiative was started in Canada in 1985; 58 associations representing more than 60 economies around the world had been accepted as members of ICCA’s Responsible Care Leadership Group at the end of 2014.
How does Responsible Care work?
Responsible Care is a commitment by a chemical company's Chief Executive Officer (or equivalent) and carried out by all employees, to continuous improvement in environmental, health, safety and security performance, and to openness and transparency with stakeholders. Responsible Care helps companies improve performance by identifying and spreading good management practices and promoting mutual support between companies and associations through experience sharing and peer pressure.
How does Responsible Care involve external stakeholders?
Responsible Care commits chemical companies to be open and transparent with local, national and international stakeholders. It encourages dialogue and cooperation and has helped industry work more closely with local communities, governments, trade unions, international organizations, environmental groups and others to understand and address their concerns. Responsible Care also promotes cooperation with governments and organizations in developing and implementing effective regulations and standards, and helps companies meet or exceed these requirements.
What is Product Stewardship?
Product stewardship is Responsible Care applied to products. It covers more than just production and use of chemicals; it extends to other parts of the supply chain, including transportation, storage, use and eventual disposal. To be effective, product stewardship requires close cooperation of all entities involved in the product's life cycle. Companies work with their suppliers, customers, distributors and users to promote Responsible Care along the supply chain. In 2006, ICCA launched the Global Product Strategy, under which it has carried out activities to further strengthen its commitment to the safe management of chemicals throughout their life cycle.
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