The 1992 Environment and Development Conference in Rio de Janeiro, organised by the UN environmental organisation UNEP, established the general principle of Sustainable Development as a common objective for the international community.
The general principles of the worldwide Responsible Care¹ Initiative have been committed to by companies of the chemical industry and the German chemical distribution industry.
These companies agree with the ideas of UNEP that environmental and developmental problems are mostly of a global nature and that solutions demand responsible actions by everyone involved.
¹Responsible Care: sustainable improvement in safety whilst handling chemical products. The repository for this worldwide initiative is the Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA).
Responsible Care - prerequisite for sustainable development
- Products and activities in harmony with a balance between humans and nature,
- Benefits and risks in harmony with "Sustainable Development"
- Activities and objectives transparent to the public
- Credibility (has to be established).
The commitment to participate in the Responsible Care Program is a public commitment whilst at the same time, a visible proof of compliance to the 10 principles of the Responsible Care Program and their promotion. The respective guiding principles commit every member company to the following:
- Regarding safety and protection of people and their environment as a prime concern. Formulating guiding principles. Creating processes for their effective implementation.
- Promoting in all employees, a feeling of personal responsibility for the environment.
- Taking public questions and concerns regarding chemical products and company activities seriously and dealing with them adequately.
- Minimising dangers and risks in manufacture, storage, transportation, distribution, use and disposal of the products for the protection of their employees, neighbours, customers, consumers and the environment.
- Fully informing customers on safe transport, safe use and disposal of the products.
- Constantly widening and communicating knowledge on possible effects of products, production processes and waste on humans and the environment.
- If required by precaution for humans and the environment - limiting the distribution of products or stopping production (irrespective of commercial interests), fully informing the general public on this matter.
- In the case of health and environmental risks in a corporation - introducing all necessary measures in collaboration with authorities and fully informing the general public.
- Collaborating in the creation of practice orientated effective laws, directives and standards.
- Promoting basic principles and implementing the "Responsible Action" initiative - open interaction with people affected and with stakeholders.
Responsible Care is specific action within the framework of the legal guiding principles.
Responsible Care - more safety in all distribution channels
Under the umbrella of Responsible Care, the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) has developed programmes with its ICE (International Chemical Environment) management team, in order to sustainable improve safety in working with chemical products in the transportation and distribution channel outside the factory. These programs comprise emergency precautions and preventive measures.
Providing competent support to national emergency personnel aimed at limiting the consequences of transportation accidents.
TUIS: "Transport-, Unfall-, Informations- und Hilfeleistungssystem" [Transportation, Accident, Information and Assistance System]. Because of the variety of chemicals, local emergency taskforces are using more and more the knowledge of experts from within the chemical industry.
TUIS Emergency Call Scheme
accident site authorised authorities (police and local fire brigade)
TUIS-membercompany in Register of Companiesear the accident
- Near the accident
Emergency call within
1. Telephone advice
2. Expert advice at accident site
3. Technical assistance at accident site
- 24/7 every day of the year
The development of Safety and Quality Assessment Systems (SQAS), aims at minimising the risk of accidents. These systems are intended to continuously transform the principles of a sustainable development on the basis of Responsible Care into actions. These actions along the transportation and distribution chain will be regularly monitored by third-party assessors.
SQAS is structured like a library, so that anyone can use the programme corresponding to their activities (www.SQAS.org). Safety goes hand in hand with quality. Anyone who wishes to improve quality for their finished products and their services must work safely, and anyone who wishes to achieve their safety goals must improve quality.