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Responsible Care companies are doing more today than ever before to improve performance. But how do companies and their facilities benefit from Responsible Care in a business sense?

I – Financial Marketplace Recognition

Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) indexes have been taking notice of Responsible Care companies. For example, the FTSE4Good Index (managed by the Financial Times and the London Stock Exchange) has notified ACC members and Responsible Care Partners of significant overlap between Responsible Care requirements and FTSE4Good environmental criteria. Additionally, FTSE has identified the strong possibility of streamlined inclusion on the FTSE4Good index through Responsible Care implementation, should that be something your publicly trading, large or mid-cap company strives to attain. FTSE selects companies for FTSE4Good participation based on extensive analysis of numerous socially responsible criteria, including environmental performance.

II. Compliance Assurance

GPCA’s Responsible Care Initiative Program and the management system will help member companies improve and sustain regulatory compliance. In the Responsible Care Initiative Management System there is a focus on maintaining current understanding of legal, regulatory, and other requirements. Also, internal processes are established to monitor and measure compliance and to take corrective actions on problems identified. Management is actively involved in reviewing compliance status as part of the management review process. All together, these steps can provide a reliable means of assuring ongoing compliance.

III. Return on Investment

Responsible Care Initiative can yield many business benefits important to senior management.

Implementation can focus on improving performance in HSSE through lower emissions, less waste, fewer injuries, and more secure facilities and operations. Responsible Care Initiative can also lead to lower operating costs, through more efficient and reliable use of labour, lower energy costs, fewer money spent on handling waste and/or emissions, and less time spent by management dealing with distractions of incidents or compliance problems. For example, member companies may receive lower insurance premiums and a better loan from the bank, because they implemented a HSSE management system and were able to demonstrate the “above and beyond” commitment of Responsible Care Initiative. In the establishment of goals, at the beginning of a Responsible Care Management System (RCMS) design project, financial efficiency and objectives/targets are given high priority.

Depending on the existing maturity of HSSE management at a member company, initially planning and implementing a RCMS can require a significant level of effort. However, a fully functional RCMS should quickly repay, through its increased efficiency, the initial effort within approximately one or two years, and often more quickly when significant opportunities for improvements are identified and put into place.

IV. Risk and Liability Reduction

Senior Management and Boards of Directors of publicly traded (and many privately held) companies are responding to the requirements emerging out of the Regulations and Acts such as management assurances for accuracy in financial disclosures. An RCMS can be very helpful in giving confidence to management that processes, methods, and practices are in place to assure compliance, and to identify and address HSSE risks and liabilities in a proactive and sustainable manner.

V – Gaining efficiencies

There are multiple efficiencies to be gained by taking advantage of existing management systems rather than creating new ones. In adopting a Responsible Care Management System®, facilities could draw on as many existing resources as possible. Significant benefits can be realized by implementing, integrating and streamlining existing, segregated management systems. Additionally, the Responsible Care certification process can encourage teamwork by bringing together diverse staff from multiple management teams, including environmental, health, and safety; ecology; community relations; shipping; security; regulatory compliance; and purchasing. Collectively, representatives from these groups can determine a way to combine their current systems into one complete and comprehensive management system.

VI – Improved community relations

The Responsible Care certification process can encourage and even improve successful communications with facility communities and other stakeholders. Responsible Care outreach can generate positive feedback, and, although it may be difficult to quantify in monetary terms, can additionally strengthen ties with communities, Responsible Care companies and communities become business allies.

VII – Competitive advantage

Responsible Care certified facilities locate a competitive advantage over non-certified facilities. Responsible Care certification represents superior environmental, health, safety, security, product stewardship, value chain performance and, combined with robust community outreach – a combination not provided by ISO certification. The competitive advantage will become even clearer as the Responsible Care ethic is spread along the value chain and continuous performance improvements are promoted.

VIII. Customer Expectations

Reliable management systems are increasingly demanded by a company’s customer network, and are common in the global market place. RCMS certification provides customers with the assurance that a company has met these expectations. Additionally, the RCMS enables the development or improvement of reliable business and operating practices that can extend into the supply chain; further demonstrating that the customer’s entire supply chain has systems in place to assure strong HSSE performance and continual improvement.

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