InterviewACC programme adopts new goals to boost safety

13 March 2009 20:59  [Source: ICIS news]

By Joseph Chang

NEW YORK (ICIS news)--The American Chemistry Council (ACC) will boost its focus on safety and product stewardship as part of its Responsible Care programme, president and CEO Cal Dooley said on Friday.

On 2 March, the ACC announced new goals under the programme, focusing on safety and product stewardship.

Under product stewardship, companies take responsibility for their products, from the sourcing of raw materials to the production of waste.

“One of the great attributes of Responsible Care is that it’s not a static set of standards or goals,” Dooley said.

“It’s a programme that allows for continuous improvement. Our board recently adopted some new targets that will drive further progress,” he said.

This included a 25% improvement in recordable-incident rate over five years for employees and contractors, a 20% improvement in lost-workday-case rate over five years, the development of publicly available product-stewardship summaries for 100% of high-priority chemicals by 2012 and an 18% greenhouse -as intensity reduction by 2012, using 1990 as a base-reporting year.

The ACC adopted the Center for Chemical Process Safety’s (CCPS) lagging safety metrics in 2008 as its process safety indicators, and its companies started to report on those metrics in January, said Debra Phillips, the ACC’s managing director of the Responsible Care initiative.

The lagging metrics are based on incidents that have already occurred. Leading metrics look toward the future and indicate the performance of work processes. They include things like near-miss accidents.

“We encourage our members to use the CCPS approach and are hopeful that even outside the US we can harmonise process safety globally,” Phillips said.

However, the ACC does not plan to adopt the CCPS leading indicators.

“Because of the huge volume [of leading indicators], we felt that was too much for us to be collecting on a national basis, so encourage companies to look at that in their individual facilities, but it’s not something we require to be reported into us at a national level,” Phillips said.

The ACC also plans to continue its focus on product stewardship and the wider impact of chemicals on society and the environment, Dooley said.

“We’ve already folded the Global Product Strategy (GPS) into Responsible Care. We are also tracking greenhouse gas emissions and improvements in energy efficiency,” Dooley said.

The Responsible Care Global Charter and GPS were launched in February 2006 at the United Nations-sponsored International Conference on Chemicals Management in Dubai. The GPS fosters, measures and communicates product stewardship efforts.

“And on the social side, as part of the Responsible Care program, we are asking our companies to communicate their industry outreach activities. That allows us to demonstrate how our industry is responding to specific community concerns,” Dooley added.

To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect
For further analysis of Responsible Care and its evolving direction, look for the 12 April issue of ICIS Chemical Business

By: Joseph Chang
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