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Responsible Care® Initiative

Responsible Care® is a voluntary initiative of the global chemical industry to safely handle our products from inception in the research laboratory, through manufacture and distribution, to ultimate reuse, recycle and disposal, and to involve the public in our decision-making processes. Born in Canada in 1987, Responsible Care has quickly spread to 53 countries. While Responsible Care goes above and beyond what is legally required in most countries, we hold ourselves accountable by making Responsible Care a "condition of membership" in industry associations. Today, Responsible Care is taking leading chemical companies above and beyond their prior accomplishments, to achieve even higher standards of performance and generate greater value for their businesses.

In January 2008, Dow signed on to these more stringent Responsible Care Guiding Principles with other members of the U.S. American Chemistry Council (ACC). These Principles apply to Dow globally and are managed through the implementation and compliance with our internal Operating Disciple Management System (ODMS).

Dow re-affirmed these principles signing on to the revised Responsible Care Global Charter in 2015. First published in 2006, the Responsible Care Global Charter was revised in 2014 to address ongoing stakeholder expectations and evolving challenges, and to enable industry to speak with a common voice about its global commitments. Visit the Global Charter on the ICCA web page for more detail.

Aiming for Zero

Our industry creates products and services that make life better for people around the world - both today and tomorrow. The benefits of our industry are accompanied by enduring commitments to Responsible Care in the management of chemicals worldwide. We will make continuous progress toward the vision of no accidents, injuries or harm to the environment and will publicly report our global health, safety and environmental performance. We will lead our companies in ethical ways that increasingly benefit society, the economy and the environment while adhering to the following principles:

  • To lead our companies in ethical ways that increasingly benefit society, the economy and the environment.
  • To design and develop products that can be manufactured, transported, used and disposed of or recycled safely.
  • To work with customers, carriers, suppliers, distributors and contractors to foster the safe and secure use, transport and disposal of chemicals and provide hazard and risk information that can be accessed and applied in their operations and products.
  • To design and operate our facilities in a safe, secure and environmentally sound manner.
  • To instill a culture throughout all levels of our organizations to continually identify, reduce and manage process safety risks.
  • To promote pollution prevention, minimization of waste and conservation of energy and other critical resources at every stage of the life cycle of our products.
  • To cooperate with governments at all levels and organizations in the development of effective and efficient safety, health, environmental and security laws, regulations and standards.
  • To support education and research on the health, safety, environmental effects and security of our products and processes.
  • To communicate product, service and process risks to our stakeholders and listen to and consider their perspectives.
  • To make continual progress towards our goal of no accidents, injuries or harm to human health and the environment from our products and operations and openly report our health, safety, environmental and security performance.
  • To seek continual improvement in our integrated Responsible Care Management System® to address environmental, health, safety and security performance.
  • To promote Responsible Care® by encouraging and assisting others to adhere to these Guiding Principles.

Responsible Care is also a global initiative that is practiced currently in 53 countries, which share a common commitment to advancing the safe and secure management of chemical products and processes. Specific Responsible Care practices may vary from country to country as they are determined by each country’s laws, culture and national industry association requirements.

The American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care initiative requires that companies implement a Responsible Care Management System® (RCMS®), which is certified by third-party auditors. The RCMS assures continuous improvement in environment, health, safety, and security performance and its basic framework includes:

  • Policy & Leadership
    • Leadership Responsibility - Commitment
  • Planning (PLAN)
    • Define Risks/Hazards - Objectives & Targets
    • Process/Program Development - Communications
  • Implementation, Operation & Accountability (DO)
    • Training - Documentation
    • Procedures - Management of Change and Employee Empowerment
  • Performance Measurement & Corrective Action (CHECK)
    • Self-Assessment - Incident Investigations
    • Internal Audits - Records Management
    • Corrective/Preventative Action - Measurements
  • Management Systems Review (ACT)
    • Management Systems Review

The American Chemistry Responsible Care Partners play a critical role in extending the best practices of safe, secure and environmentally sound chemical management throughout the industry's supply chain. Each company in the Responsible Care Partnership program has endorsed the same guiding principles and implements the same performance initiative, certified by a third party, as each member of the American Chemistry Council. The Responsible Care Partnership program is open to companies not otherwise eligible for ACC membership, but responsible for chemical transportation, distribution, storage, use or treatment and disposal. Dow encourages participation in the Responsible Care Partnership program and has sponsored many partners.

For additional Dow information visit: Product Safety

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