The American Chemistry Council (ACC) is celebrating the 35th anniversary of its environmental, health, safety, and security (EHS&S) initiative, Responsible Care.
The first program of its kind in the U.S., Responsible Care altered the chemical industry’s approach to facility safety, environmental stewardship, safeguarding workers and communities, and establishing a foundation for continual improvement, ACC said.
“When you look at the numbers, the story of Responsible Care’s impact on the U.S. chemical industry becomes clear: Our operations, workers, and community members are safer and more sustainable because of our industry’s commitment to improving performance,” Chris Jahn, ACC president and CEO, said in a news release.
“This 35th anniversary is a meaningful milestone for ACC’s signature EHS&S program, and we are committed to continuing to grow Responsible Care as a critical component of safe operations and corporate responsibility for the chemical industry.”
Responsible Care sets practitioners apart, ACC maintained. In fact, U.S. Responsible Care companies have a worker safety incident rate that is nearly five times better than the U.S. manufacturing sector as a whole, and almost three times better than the business of chemistry overall.
Responsible Care is a framework for companies to:
- Identify and establish appropriate safety, sustainability, and security measures
- Implement world-class management systems verified through independent auditors
- Track, report, and improve performance through established environment, health, safety, and security metrics
ACC adopted Responsible Care as a mandatory membership requirement in 1988, recognizing the value of the program in advancing safety and sustainability in chemical plants and facility communities. Importantly, Responsible Care also extends its ethos of safety throughout the supply chain, with nearly 100 certified Responsible Care Partners across 10 sectors, including transportation, logistics, and warehousing. Today, Responsible Care is practiced in nearly 1,500 facilities across the U.S.
In recent years, ACC and its members have enhanced Responsible Care to help organizations lower the frequency and severity of process safety incidents, respond to expanding security challenges in the face of growing cyberattacks and emerging technologies, enhance product stewardship, and expand transparent reporting of environmental performance metrics.
“We know that we must continue to do more and do better,” said Mitch Toomey, ACC vice president of sustainability and Responsible Care. “We must continue to work every day, in facilities across the nation, to help protect workers, communities and the environment.
“Through Responsible Care, we will continue to work with stakeholders to create programs that track and improve safety and environmental performance in facilities and throughout the supply chain.”