Responsible Care

Responsible Care is an initiative developed and adopted by chemical companies to continuously improve environmental, health and safety (EHS) performance of their operations and products in a manner responsive to the concerns of the public. It is overseen by the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) through its Responsible Care Leadership Group.

Responsible Care was first adopted as a new model for the management of chemicals by the Canadian Chemical Producers Association (CCPA) in 1985 and has since been adopted by chemical associations and their members in over 50 nations. Responsible Care is the basis of significant cultural change within the chemical industry which is leading to improved performance and new levels of openness with the public. In 2006, the ICCA launched its Responsible Care Global Charter (attached) which describes the commitments to sustainability made by Responsible Care companies and associations. The CEOs of 150 of the largest multinational chemical companies and the Responsible Care chemical associations in over 50 countries have signed their commitment to the Charter.

The global chemical industry has embraced Responsible Care because it is viewed as both “good citizenship” and a positive impact on companies’ economic bottom line. For the individual company, implementation of Responsible Care leads to improve efficiency, lower environment, health and safety costs and improved relations with stakeholders. For the global chemical industry, successful implementation of Responsible Care demonstrates an appropriate public policy which protects its license to operate and its ability to innovate and meet society’s demands for its products. For the public, successful implementation of Responsible Care ensures that the chemical industry will continue to provide beneficial products to society and continually reduce its negative impacts on human health and the environment.

One of the key tenets of Responsible Care is openness and responsiveness to public and other stakeholder concerns about the management of chemicals. Therefore, the chemical industry has a keen appreciation of the need to seek input from the public and other interested groups, include this input in its development of policy, and report on its progress in meeting these expectations.

Benefits for companies committed to Responsible Care

Responsible Care contributes to sustainable development, benefiting not only environmental and social aspects but also delivering numerous business benefits that have led to a considerable commitment and participation from chemical companies in globe

Most commonly mentioned benefits from Responsible Care.

  • A comprehensive approach to managing all aspects of their business and operations
  • Synergy with ISO and other management systems approaches
  • Real cost saving through better safety and environmental performance
  • Assurance of due diligence through the codes and verification processes
  • Community feedback that they are “doing the right thing”
  • Acknowledgement by activist groups that they are part of the “leading edge”
  • Greatly improved treatment by governments at all levels
  • A greater voice in shaping public policy
  • Less worry about regulatory surprises and impacts
  • Fewer crises
  • Greatly improved employee morale
  • Reduced insurance and financing rates