What Is Responsible Care?

Canadians are more concerned than ever about the effects of chemicals on their health and the environment. They are concerned about chemical plants in their neighbourhoods, the transportation and disposal of chemical wastes, and the use of pesticides and other chemicals around them. Responsible Care is the chemical industry's response to these concerns. It is a global commitment to the responsible management of chemicals through their entire lifecycle.

Begun in 1985 by the Canadian Chemical Producers' Association (CCPA), Responsible Care is a new 'ethic' for the safe and environmentally sound management of chemicals. This ethic has spread to over 40 countries around the world. This new ethic is captured in a set of 6 codes of practice, containing over 150 requirements:

  • Community Awareness and Emergency Response (CAER): Through outreach to the public, CAER aims for an informed public regarding chemical manufacturing facilities and community emergency response plans which take into account the presence of chemical facilities in the community.
  • Resarch and development: This code sets out guidelines for safety, health, & the preservation of the environment for all Research & Development.
  • Manufacturing: To ensure plants are operated safely to protect employees, the public and the environment, and to ensure that the public knows this.
  • Transportation: This code focuses on the prevention of transportation incidents and effective response to those that do occur.
  • Distribution: This code ensures that chemicals are handled safely when they are sold.
  • Hazardous waste management: This code advocates sound environmental practices in handling wastes to eliminate any adverse impact on the environment.