The Canadian Chemical Producers' Association Codes of Practice: Preamble
The codes of practice were developed to address and give substance to the guiding principles contained in the "Statement of Policy on Responsible Care7" and the commitment made to Responsible Care and its guiding principles by the chief executive officer or senior chemical executive of each member company.
The adoption and implementation of these codes by each member company reflects a renewed commitment to Responsible Care and its guiding principles by the chief executive officer or senior chemical executive. The code conformance process, including auditing and evaluation of policies, standards and procedures within an agreed milestone timetable, involves a further commitment.
The successful adoption and implementation of these codes of practice have a number of implications for member companies, their employees, and those with whom they have business relationships.
The codes, like the guiding principles, reflect an ethic, an attitude, a method of thinking about the way in which member companies do business and their role in society. In particular, they address the reality that corporate values must emphasize a long term commitment to community and occupational health and safety and to environmental protection. Indeed, the codes do not contain static requirements which, once met, never change. Rather, they necessitate continuous performance improvement in an environment of changing knowledge and regulation.
The codes encompass member company operations both inside and outside Canada. They include both existing and new chemical products, uses, processes, equipment, services and facilities. "New" may derive from research and development, purchase or acquisition. Each requires consideration of the codes both in making decisions and then in integrating new development or acquisitions into operations.
Code requirements must be integrated into corporate planning across each member company at all levels. Similarly, code requirements must be integrated into member company operations. Each code addresses specific activities within a member company. The responsibilities for code implementation and compliance must be clearly assigned. Beyond these designated responsibilities, successful code implementation and compliance requires everyone from the board of directors and senior management on down to think and act in ways that enhance rather than work at cross purposes with efforts to meet code requirements. To facilitate this, there must be a supportive working environment. Compliance with these codes is everybody's job.
The company's responsibility extends to its suppliers, transporters, distributors, other contractors and customers. Some of these such as certain transporters and distributors, are partners in Responsible Care. The codes, as they relate to these other parties, are not meant to relieve them of taking on their own responsibilities, but, instead, to motivate them to take them more seriously. Within the limits of due diligence, the member companies are required to satisfy themselves that their products are being handled by these other parties in accordance with the codes of practice.
The company's responsibility also extends to the communities in which it operates. This reflects the implicit social contract that member companies have with society in general and involved communities in particular, to behave ethically and responsibly.
The codes require a commitment to "know all laws and regulations concerning operations, and meet or exceed them in letter and in spirit". To meet only the letter of the law falls short of the intention of these codes. This is not "self-regulation". Self-regulation requires member companies to meet all laws and regulations in spirit or exceed them. To achieve this demands ethical thinking, decision-making and performance.
In order to meet the code requirements of "to protect" or "to minimize" the concerns and needs of all the stakeholders must be understood and addressed. "Stakeholders" is intended to include, but not be limited to, the public-at-large, customers, contractors, employees and any other people on company sites. Therefore, decisions affecting people and the environment must reflect these concerns and needs, and an understanding and adoption of values of health, safety and environmental protection.
This is the case whether decisions are made by company personnel acting alone or in consultation with affected stakeholders. Member company performance must also reflect these concerns, needs and values. This is ethical thinking, decision-making and performance. This is meeting the spirit of the law or exceeding it, both in letter and in spirit.
In adopting Responsible Care and these codes of practice, member companies and all of their people are accepting an important and demanding set of responsibilities. However, in fulfilling these obligations, member companies derive significant benefits. Collectively, they succeed in their goals of self-regulation and public confidence in the industry. Individually, each member increases its standing in the community in which it operates and with those with whom it does business. It experiences increased employee satisfaction and morale. Member companies and their people can be justly proud of their efforts and commitment. It makes them leaders.
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