Responsible Care


An ethical framework towards safe chemicals management and performance excellence

Responsible Care® is the global chemical industry’s voluntary initiative, which – beyond legislative and regulatory compliance – commits companies, national chemical industry associations and their partners to:

  • Continuously improve the environmental, health, safety and security knowledge and performance of our technologies, processes and products over their life cycles so as to avoid harm to people and the environment.
  • Use resources efficiently and minimise waste.
  • Report openly on performance, achievements and shortcomings.
  • Listen, engage and work with people to understand and address their concerns and expectations.
  • Cooperate with governments and organisations in the development and implementation of effective regulations and standards, and to meet or go beyond them.
  • Provide help and advice to foster the responsible management of chemicals by all those who manage and use them along the product chain.

Launched in 1985, Responsible Care activity has since extended beyond chemicals manufacturing to other activities, especially those associated with the safe use and handling of products along the value chain.

In Europe

Cefic’s role is to promote Responsible Care in Europe and to ensure consistency of implementation by national member federations.  Each Cefic member federation is responsible for developing and running its own national Responsible Care programme with its member companies, and for overseeing implementation by those companies.

The Responsible Care Performance reporting

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential metrics used to measure and assess chemical companies’ performance.  In our latest report, chemical companies in 20 European countries report openly on performance, achievements and shortcomings based on Key Cefic Responsible Care Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Check out our latest report below (or click here if the image below does not display properly).

Cefic Responsible Care Key Performance Indicators
The European Responsible Care Security Code

In 2010, Cefic and its member federations adopted the European Responsible Care Security Code, whose role is to advance Responsible Care in Europe promoting and ensuring consistency of implementation by national member federations.  Each Cefic member federation is responsible for developing and running its own national Responsible Care programme with its member companies, and for overseeing implementation by those companies. Cefic also focuses on engaging with stakeholders, increasing the involvement of SMEs and extending Responsible Care throughout the value chain. 

The Responsible Care Global Charter

To create and foster a common global vision to improve the environmental, health and safety performance of chemical producers, CEOs of leading chemical companies signed The Responsible Care Global Charter in 2006.  Updated and strengthened in 2014, the Charter addresses ongoing stakeholder expectations and evolving challenges and enables industry to speak with one voice about its global commitments. By 2016, more than 90 percent of the world’s top 100 petrochemical and chemical manufacturers had signed on to the revised Global Charter (list of signatories).

Up until now, the voluntary programme has been implemented by 62 chemical associations in more than 70 economies around the globe. 

Responsible Care Global implementation map in the world

Supporting Documents and Guidances

Responsible Care Status Report 2018

Responsible Care Global Charter

Responsible Care is the global chemical industry’s environmental, health and safety (EHS) initiative to drive continuous improvement in performance. It achieves this objective by meeting and going beyond legislative and regulatory compliance, and by adopting cooperative and voluntary initiatives with government and other stakeholders.

Guidance to Responsible Care Global Charter

Responsible Care Security Code

The Responsible Care Global Charter arose from an examination of chemical industry practices and performance that has evolved since the mid-1980s, and was shaped by considering the recommendations of independent stakeholders (SustainAbility Survey published February 2004).

Cefic guidance on process safety indicators

introduces universally applicable process safety Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). It became effective September 2016. During a period of four years all chemical associations are requested to host national workshops in order to roll out this new guidance in their respective countries.