Responsible Care has eight basic features, which were agreed by ICCA (International Council of Chemical Associations).
- A formal commitment on behalf of each company to a set of Guiding Principles signed, in the majority of cases, by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO);
- A series of codes, guidance notes and checklists to assist companies to implement te commitment;
- The progressive development of indicators against which improvements in performance can be measured;
- An ongoing process of communication on Health, Safety and Environment matters with interested parties inside and outside the industry;
- Provision of forums in which companies can share experiences on implementation of the commitment;
- Adoption of a title and a logo which clearly identify national programmes as being consistent with and part of the concept of Responsible Care;
- Consideration of how best to encourage all member companies to commit to and participate in Responsible Care;
- Systematic procedures to verify the implementation of the measurable (or practical) elements of Responsible Care by the member companies.
“Responsible Care” is a voluntary initiative of the chemical industry. The industry has committed itself to strict self-controls in order to promote improvements in all aspects of health, safety and environmental performance.
Responsible Care was launched in Canada in 1985 by the chemical association which developed the guiding principles of Responsible Care. Shortly thereafter, the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) adopted the programme with the aim of implementing the programme through the national chemical associations in Europe. In Hungary, the Responsible Care program was launched in 1992 by the Hungarian Chemical Industry Association (MAVESZ), trade association of the chemical industry.
Requirements of Responsible Care
The specific requirements which have to be met under the Responsible Care program are laid down by the trade association of each country individually. In Hungary, MAVESZ decided to move from a system of self-assesment to independent auditing by outside experts in 2013.
The requirements a company has to meet within the framework of the Responsible Care programme go far beyond the legal requirements and provisions in Hungary. During the auditing process, about 300 questions regarding energy, disposal, storage, workers’ protection, industrial accident prevention, environmental measures etc. are evaluated. ISO 14001 and/or EMAS certifications are recognised by Responsible Care. To pass the RC audit, the company must make a minimum score of 80 % of the additional questions/requirements.
Responsible Care Certification
When the Responsible Care audit is completed and all requirements are met, the company receives the Responsible Care certification from MAVESZ. The company may use the logo and name in accordance with the relavant regulation issued by MAVESZ on the basis of ICCA rules (e.g. on business stationary). It is important that the logo must not be used for product promotion.
Comparison with EMAS and ISO 14001
Like Responsible Care, the EMAS Regulation (Environmental Management Audit Scheme) of the European Union and the ISO 14001 standard of the International Organization of Standardization are based on a voluntary commitment of companies. One main difference is that Responsible Care is not limited to environmental matters but also includes safety and health aspects, thus it has a wider scope. In addition, Responsible Care requirements are specifically designed for a particular industrial sector, in this case production plants of the chemical industry. In Hungary the program is also extended to chemical distributors with significant storage facilities for chemicals and chemical products that fall under SEVESO regulations.
PRESENTATION OF RC AUDIT CERTIFICATES AT MAVESZ GAs
DUNASTYR Polystyrene Manufacturing Zrt.
Tamás Varga Chairman & CEO and
Tibor Klement, President of MAVESZ
NITROGÉNMŰVEK Chemicals Zrt.
Magda Gáspárné Bada (MAVESZ), Dr István Blazsek, Mária Chronowski
and László Zelovics (NITROGÉNMŰVEK) with Iván Budai (MAVESZ)
This section – in the Hungarian version – contains also
- the Hungarian text of the Responsible Care Global Charter
- The Safety Code of the Chemical Industry
- The list of Hungarian chemical companies who have acceeded to the RC Global Charter