Responsible Care® Management Systems
Responsible Care® is a voluntary initiative through the American Chemistry Council (ACC) to safely handle chemical products from inception in the research laboratory, through manufacture and distribution, to ultimate disposal and re-use, and to involve the public in decision-making processes. Born in Canada in 1987, Responsible Care® has quickly spread to 45 countries. Since 1988, the U.S. chemical industry has implemented Responsible Care®, to achieve improvements in environmental, health and safety (EHS) performance beyond levels required by the U.S. government. The program has resulted in significant reductions in releases to air, land and water; major improvements in workplace and community safety; and expanded programs to research and test chemicals for potential health and environmental impacts.
New program enhancements adopted by the ACC include:
Responsible Care® is moving beyond codes of management practices to achieve better EHS performance and obtain more business value for our members and Partners. The RCMS replaces the current practice of applying seven Codes (i.e., community awareness and emergency response, distribution, employee health and safety, pollution prevention, process safety, product stewardship and security) with a combined 113 management practices. Instead, relevant aspects of the existing Codes are subsumed into a RCMS that is based on benchmarked best practices of leading private sector companies, initiatives developed through the Global Environmental Management Initiative, International Standards Organization and other bodies, and requirements of national regulatory authorities.
In a new initiative, the ACC has enhanced the Responsible Care® program, providing an opportunity for Member Companies to achieve third party registration to both Responsible Care® and the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) Standard, simultaneously. ACC has created a technical specification, which includes both Responsible Care® and ISO 14001 requirements. The result is a single, auditable specification, known as RC14001, to which companies can be registered. Third party registrars, who are recognized as registrars to both ISO 14001 and RC14001, perform the audit and registration. This program is voluntary under ACC. However, it allows Tier I automotive suppliers to meet customer requirements for ISO 14001 registration while differentiating themselves from competitors with only an ISO 14001 registration. Additionally, registration to the RC14001 Standard meets the ACC's requirement for all Member Companies to certify their Responsible Care® management systems.
First Environment, Inc., (First Environment) and Verrico Associates, LLC, (Verrico) have teamed to better serve ACC members in their pursuit of RC14001 registration. This partnership combines First Environment's thorough knowledge of ISO 14001 and management systems and Verrico's unparalleled experience with Responsible Care®.
As the first engineering and environmental consulting firm to become ISO 14001 certified in the United States (1997); having participated in the development of the ISO 14000 series of standards; and having an extensive EMS practice, First Environment brings its comprehensive systems knowledge to the team. In fact First Environment worked with the RC14001 pilot location on behalf of ACC to evaluate the proposed EMS and provide input to the pilot facility on EMS design. First Environment brings a wide range of experience and expertise to EMS design and implementation. Our staff includes engineers with chemical manufacturing and Responsible Care® experience, as well as management systems experts, and certified ISO 14001and RC14001 Lead Auditors.
Verrico is a consulting firm headquartered in West Grove, PA. Verrico has been the sole contractor responsible for management and administration of the ACC’s MSV® process. In this role, Verrico met with over 100 ACC Member and Partner Companies, visited over 250 chemical facilities, and interviewed over 3,000 employees about Responsible Care® management systems. Verrico also helped develop the technical specification and guidance documents for both of the ACC’s new Responsible Care® management system certification programs. Verrico is currently the only approved auditor trainer for the ACC’s RC14001 technical specification and has trained over 150 auditors in this capacity.
Together, both companies have unequaled experience in the development and piloting of RC14001. Now, we are providing this knowledge and experience to assist organizations such as yours in implementing RC14001.