Responsible Care

Verantwortliches Handeln in der chemischen Industrie:

Die internationale Initiative - Grundsätze, Aktivitäten und Projekte


Europäischer Sozialpartner-Dialog

ECEG, EMCEF and CEFIC zu Responsible Care -

Memorandum of understanding on Responsible Care® between ECEG, EMCEF and CEFIC

The European Chemical Employers Group (ECEG) and The European Mining Chemical and Energy Workers Federation (EMCEF), having in mind:

  • that the chemical industry is one of Europe's most international, competitive and successful sectors, (it accounts for about 30% of global production, employs directly over 1.7 million people in Europe and makes a wide range of products that are essential to other industry sectors and society),
  • that the implementation of high levels of safety, health and environmental protection and a determination to continually improve performance in these fields has been, and continues to be, a high priority for chemical companies in the European Union,
  • their Joint Document signed on the 4th December 2002,
  • their commitment to contribute to sustainable development in Europe, through the activities of the chemical industry,
  • the necessity that public standards and rules must be defined and applied in an adequate and balanced way and the need to develop instruments based on voluntary commitments that could achieve more than rules and regulations on their own,
  • that Responsible Care programmes in European countries have demonstrated the ability to constantly make improvements in safety, health and environmental performance and to communicate with stakeholders in an open manner,
  • have agreed to extend their permanent dialogue between the Chemical Social Partners to the Responsible Care programmes operated in countries across Europe which are co-ordinated by CEFIC (European Chemical Industry Council).


ECEG, EMCEF and CEFIC recognise that:

  • Responsible Care is a most important global voluntary initiative managed on a country-by-country basis by the National Chemical Industry Federations and their member companies. In Europe this initiative is co-ordinated by CEFIC;
  • the aim of Responsible Care is to improve and communicate the safety, health and environmental performance of the Industry, thus protecting employees, neighbours, consumers and the environment. The initiative has received commendation from external organizations including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for the significant contribution it brings to sustainable development;
  • implementation of sustainable development requires the commitment of and contributions from many stakeholders. However, successful implementation of Responsible Care in Europe is one of the principal ways through which the management and employees and their representatives in the chemical industry can make their contribution to sustainable development.

In order to develop the involvement of workers and their representatives, ECEG, EMCEF and CEFIC have agreed:

  • To establish a dedicated Joint Monitoring Group composed of six representatives from EMCEF and six representatives from ECEG and CEFIC. This Group will meet twice a year with the aim of reviewing progress and exchanging information on the consistent implementation of Responsible Care in Europe,
  • To achieve effectiveness by maintaining a continuity of official members, whilst at the same time inviting experts when specific matters are being discussed,
  • To set agendas for the meetings of the Joint Monitoring Group which are agreed by them.

ECEG, EMCEF and CEFIC consider that the agendas could include:

  • review of the improvements in the safety, health and environmental performance of the chemical industry in Europe,
  • identification of training needs to develop Responsible Care programmes,
  • employee training and education practices in safety, health and environmental areas,
  • development of a simple procedure to exchange information relating to product concerns and on significant HS&E accidents in the chemical industry,
  • share information on the best practices to improve relations at national level on Responsible Care and to promote an active contribution from employees and their representatives,
  • means to assist the social partners in the Candidate Countries to enable them to play their role in improving performance in safety, health and environment.

ECEG, EMCEF and CEFIC shall inform their members about the activities arising from the Memorandum. They will review this Memorandum three years from the date of signature to check progress and if necessary, develop and improve the partnership.

Bruxelles, 21st May 2003