Sustainability principles are embedded within our core company strategy. As a result, our employees focus on being more efficient in terms of resource use and cost effective; while providing innovative products to markets throughout the world. In this way, sustainability has become a part of our everyday business. In order to focus effectively on what matters, we identified six key areas for attention. These include: the need to operate our businesses reliably, safely and efficiently, to use our technical resources to develop better products, and to ensure that our operations and products are profitable. In following this approach, our strategy aligns not only with the general tenets of sustainability, but also with chemical-industry oriented principles defined within the Responsible Care® program.
Responsible Care® is the voluntary chemical industry program to continuously improve the health, safety, environment, and stakeholder engagement practices of participating companies. Originating within the Canadian chemical industry in 1985, the Responsible Care® program has grown into a global initiative encompassing 53 countries. Responsible Care® standards often exceed regulatory requirements within member countries, and therefore the program helps to establish industry best practices.
A dynamic program, Responsible Care® seeks to keep pace with changes in technology and community perception that affect the chemical industry. Recent initiatives have focused on themes such as improving chemical classification and labelling, green chemistry and more importantly, sustainability.
Responsible Care® - Underpinning the fundamentals
While environment, safety, health and community engagement are fundamental Responsible Care® themes, they are also central to our company’s approach. LyondellBasell’s back-to-basics strategy, launched in 2009, focuses on achieving excellence in the way we operate. The strategy includes central themes such as safety, efficient resource use, product stewardship and risk management; key themes which underpin sustainability as well as the Responsible Care® philosophy.
Our back-to-basics strategy outlines high level requirements and focuses on adding value while managing risk. This strategy also enables Responsible Care® elements to be embedded into our everyday business activities. This is done through our Operational Excellence management system, which ensures that Responsible Care® requirements are considered when making everyday decisions. In addition, embracing the requirements of Responsible Care®, within our Operational Excellence framework allows us to develop further alignment within our management systems structure and incorporate other systems such as the international environmental standard, ISO14000. This natural fit promotes a consistent approach to business and Responsible Care® around the world, regardless of the location.
LyondellBasell participates in Responsible Care® programs as relevant to each of the countries in which we operate. Our involvement requires us to assess our management systems and practices. The results of our assessments form a basis for further process improvements. An additional benefit is the ability to benchmark performance against industry peers and learn from leading industry practices. In many of the countries we verify our compliance with Responsible Care® requirements using independent auditors.
Responsible Care® requirements also extend into the supply chain. In many cases, we employ logistics contractors and warehouses who are accredited to transport and store chemicals consistent with Responsible Care® principles. Common requirements promote understanding and consistency, thereby furthering HSE performance on both sides.
In North America the LyondellBasell Tower offices and four sites are to be certified to the Responsible Care© Management System program during the course of 2013.