Responsible Care: at the heart of a green chemical industry | Infrastructure news

Responsible Care (RC) represents the heart of the chemical industry. It demonstrates that this important industry is not about reckless manufacture or use of harmful substances and taking shortcuts, but about improving the lives of South Africa’s citizens while putting the safety of the environment and people first. Run by the Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA), RC is a global initiative that assists signatories to improve their safety, health and environmental (SHE) performance by continuously raising standards in management and operations. CAIA members sign a voluntary pledge, committing themselves to the guiding principles of RC and undergo regular third-party verification audits to ensure compliance.

RC starts when the CEO or senior executive of a company or site signs the Responsible Care Public Commitment in the presence of staff, union representatives and other stakeholders. The SHE performance of RC signatories is monitored annually by the reporting of key performance indicators. Legal compliance is important and it is expected that companies know what legislation they should comply with. Action plans must be in place should they not comply or if there is new legislation with new requirements.

A number of signatories have shown significant improvements in their SHE performance and have implemented worthy improvement programmes in the time that they have been committed to RC. Arch Wood Protection ran a ‘Goal is Zero’ campaign in 2010 aimed at achieving no recordable employee injuries or illnesses, process safety and environmental incidents, and accidents or spills during product transport. Resulting from this campaign, Arch recorded its best safety performance ever through the first three quarters of the year.

Idwala Sales and Distribution launched an energy conservation campaign in 2010that resulted in significant electricity savings at its Durban and Cape Town offices. RCalso supports a company’s sustainable development initiatives.


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