Reporting of performance is at the heart of Responsible Care®.
Responsible Care® is the global chemical industry’s unique performance initiative to improve health, environmental performance, enhance security, and to communicate with our stakeholders. Until today, the voluntary programme has been implemented by 58 chemical associations in more than 60 countries around the globe.
Within the Responsible Care® programme chemical companies report openly on performance, achievements and shortcomings based on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Companies practicing Responsible Care submit KPI performance data on an annual basis to national associations of the countries in which they operate. These are then reported as national level aggregates to the ICCA (the International Council of Chemical Associations). For its European members, Cefic converts national level aggregates into European level aggregates that reflect the overall performance of companies operating in Europe. These aggregates are published by Cefic with the intention to showcase the industry’s progress.
Reporting of performance is at the heart of Responsible Care. Although the initiative is voluntary and data is somewhat fragmented, open reporting enables companies and associations to promote best practices and therewith help each other drive continuous improvements across the industry.
The latest data set shows the improvements made up until 2016 by companies practicing Responsible Care. Results from the last 10 years show improvements in safety and an overall reduction of the industry’s environmental footprint.
The annual data collection remains to be a relatively long process. This is the result of its complex and resource-intense nature. Although we provide the most complete dataset available for our industry, we are committed to continuously improve the way we measure, report and engage in dialogue about our performance.
Safety at Work
The safety of workers is an utmost priority for the chemical industry and the only acceptable target is zero. It is why safety is the number one concern ahead of all else.
Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIR)
For companies, safety in general - and safety of workers in particular - comes first. There is no sustainable business without safe operations. To better embed safety practices in company culture, monitoring and reporting of a new, harmonized Process Safety KPI began worldwide in early 2017.
Environment - Air
Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) (CO2-eq.)
Carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and hydrofluorocarbons are the three major gases emitted by chemical plants with Global Warming Potential (GWP), as listed in the Kyoto Protocol. CO2, which is primarily released from the burning of fossil fuels as energy sources, is by far the most important greenhouse gas by quantity.
Sulphur dioxide (SO2)
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is a major atmospheric pollutant responsible for acidification. Main emitters are combustion plants and refineries.
Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are responsible for atmosphere acidification and have the potential to contribute to photochemical ozone creation that may cause respiratory problems in people living in highly urbanized areas as well as ecological damage to nature.
Emissions of Non-Methane Volatile Organic Compounds
Non-Methane Volatile Organic Compounds (NMVOC) can contribute to photochemical ozone creation that may cause respiratory problems in people living in highly urbanized areas as well as causing ecological damage to nature.
Environment / Water
Nitrogen and phosphorus
Nitrogen and phosphorus are nutrients that are natural parts of aquatic ecosystems. However, when too much nitrogen and phosphorus enter the environment - usually from a wide range of human activities - the water can become polluted.
Too much of nitrogen and phosphorus in the water causes algae to grow faster than the ecosystems can handle. Significant increases in algae harm water quality, food resources and habitats, and decrease the oxygen that fish and other aquatic life need in order to survive.
Some algal blooms are also harmful to humans because they produce elevated toxins and bacterial growth that can make people sick if they come into contact with polluted water, consume tainted fish or shellfish, or drink contaminated water. Nutrient pollution of water resulting from excess nitrogen and phosphorus is widespread.
Companies constantly monitor the quality of water they return to the environment after the impurities removal, by measuring the quantity of nitrogen and phosphorus compounds present in the water.
Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)
Oxygen is necessary for life under water. As described above, the quality of the water companies return to the environment can impact the environment and human health in different ways. That is why companies measure the Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) of the water they return to the environment with COD measurement.
COD gives an indirect indication of the amount of organic compounds in water. The lower the COD, the more beneficial it is for the environment.
Nitrogen : change in the index of nitrogen present in the water returned to the environment (2007 - 2016)
Over the past ten years, companies have reduced the quantity of nitrogen in water by 40%.
Phosphorus : change in the index of phosphorus present in the water returned to the environment (2007-2016)
Over the past ten years, companies have reduced the quantity of phosphorus in the water by 50%.
Chemical Oxygen Demand: change in the index of the Chemical Oxygen Demand in the water returned to the environment.
Over the past ten years, companies have reduced the COD by about two thirds. The steep-reductions up to 2010 have now levelled off.