Responsible Care | About the initiative

RESPONSIBLE CARE is a global initiative of the chemical industry worldwide. It is a voluntary commitment for continuous improvement in health, safety and environmental (HSE) performance in production process and through manufactured products for the benefit of the whole of society.

RESPONSIBLE CARE is both an ethic and a commitment intended to build trust and confidence in an industry that is essential to improving the living standards and quality of life.

Now 54 national chemical associations are members of the global family of RESPONSIBLE CARE.

The programs in different countries vary, however their implementation is monitored and coordinated at the global level by the Responsible Care Leadership Group (RCLG) - the group of national associations that implement RESPONSIBLE CARE to the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA). ICCA is committed to the implementation of RESPONSIBLE CARE as broadly as possible within the chemical and allied industries. The initiative continues to expand to new regions and companies, fostering capacity building, sharing health, safety and environmental information. Additionally, Responsible Care is engaged with a vast range of community activities in the field of nature protection, programmes for schools and implementation of the relevant legislation.

The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) is responsible for the group of EU member states participating in Responsible Care. Cefic is the voice of 29,000 large-, medium- and small-sized 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.

RESPONSIBLE CARE CORE PRINCIPLES

Responsible Care commits companies, national chemical industry associations and their partners to:

• Continuously improve the environmental, health, safety and security knowledge and performance of our technologies, processes and products over their life cycles so as to avoid harm to people and the environment.

• Use resources efficiently and minimise waste.

• Report openly on performance, achievements and shortcomings.

• Listen, engage and work with people to understand and address their concerns and expectations.

• Cooperate with governments and organisations in the development and implementation of effective regulations and standards, and to meet or go beyond them.

• Provide help and advice to foster the responsible management of chemicals by all those who manage and use them along the product chain.

The NATIONAL GUIDING PRINCIPLES are based on these Global RC Core Principles, to which the National Associations abide through DECLARATIONS OF SUPPORT for RESPONSIBLE CARE.

RESPONSIBLE CARE GLOBAL CHARTER

The Responsible Care Global Charter (2007) gave a strong impetus to the proper positioning of Responsible Care. Most of the world's chemical companies and all national associations gave their support to the Global Charter, which aims to achieve more through:

 

 Full implementation of the CORE PRINCIPLES in the National programs.

 Commitment to advancing the sustainable development

 Continuously improve and report performance

 Enhancement of the management of chemical products worldwide

 Extension of Responsible Care along the chemical industry’s value chain

 Address stakeholder expectations about chemical industry activities and products  Support Responsible Care regional governance

 Provide appropriate resources to effectively implement responsible Care

THE EIGHT FUNDAMENTAL FEATURES OF RESPONSIBLE CARE

Companies’ activities are based on the implementation of the Eight fundamental principles of Responsible Care:

 A formal commitment by each company to a set of guiding principles - signed, in most cases, by the Chief Executive Officer.

 A series of codes, guidance notes and checklists to help companies fulfill their commitment.

 The development of indicators against which improvements in performance can be measured.

 Open communication on health, safety and environmental matters with interested parties, both inside and outside the industry.

 Opportunities for companies to share views and exchange experiences on implementing Responsible Care.

 Consideration of how best to encourage all member companies to commit themselves to, and participate in, Responsible Care

 A title and logo which clearly identify national programmes as being consistent with, and part of, the Responsible Care concept.

 Procedures for verifying that member companies have implemented the measurable or practical elements of Responsible Care.

RC members are committed of going beyond the legislative and regulatory compliance regarding health, safety and environmental matters, which has turned into their “second nature”.

Companies are awarded Responsible Care-Logo Certificate and by signing an Agreement they engage to constantly improve their HSE performance with regard to production and production processes.

Implementation

The companies members of the BCCI participating in RC provide annual reports of their performance on health, safety at work and the main soil, water and air pollutants, transportation accidents, energy and water use. For that purpose they use Responsible Care Implementation Guides.

Since 2004 the Bulgarian Responsible Care family has aggregated annual data showing an improvement of 30% of all company performance indicators (per unit of production). Data are collected for all 54 states participating in RC and could be accessed via the ICCA website.

The chemical industry is socially responsible industry, which takes into account all public concerns about the transparency in its activities and ensures that chemicals are produced and used in accordance with the highest safety requirements. PRODUCT STEWARDSHIP – the management of the product throughout its life cycle is an integral part of the initiative RESPONSIBLE CARE. Companies’ management of the process relates to the product safety and is being implemented through the Global Product Strategy (GPS) and REACH legislation. For that purpose, companies use ICCA Product Stewardship Guidelines.