Topics in Focus

The Association of the Austrian Chemical Industry (FCIO) focusses its work on the following topics:

  • Chemicals policy and legislation on biocidal products in the frame work of health, safety and environmental protection - especially the Responsible Care-programme
  • Transport of dangerous goods (TUIS) and
  • promotion of science-oriented education

What is Responsible Care?

Objectives
"Responsible Care" is a voluntary initiative of the chemical industry. The industry has committed itself to strict self-controls in order to promote improvements in all aspects of health, safety and environmental performance. Chemical companies fulfilling the requirements of the programme receive the "Responsible Care" certification for a limited period of three years.

Background

Responsible Care was launched in Canada in 1985 by the chemical association which developed the guiding principles of Responsible Care. Shortly thereafter, the European Chemical Industry Council CEFIC adopted the programme with the aim of implementing the programme through the national chemical associations in Europe. In Austria, the Responsible Care certification was adopted in 1992 by the Fachverband der Chemischen Industrie (FCIO), trade association of the chemical industry.

Requirements of Responsible Care

The requirements which have to be met to receive a Responsible Care certification are laid down by the trade association of each country individually. In Austria, FCIO decided at an early stage to introduce strict auditing.

The requirements a company has to meet within the framework of the Responsible Care programme go far beyond the legal requirements and provisions in Austria. Companies are audited by two external independent auditors.

During the auditing process, about 300 questions regarding energy, disposal, storage, workers’ protection, industrial accident prevention, environmental measures etc. are evaluated according to a point system. Compliance with all legal requirements is a precondition. To pass the audit, the company must make a minimum score of 80 % of the additional questions. The audit has to be carried out for each site of a company. If a company operates at more than one location, it has to undergo several audits.

Responsible Care Certification

When the Responsible Care audit is completed and all requirements are met, the company receives the Responsible Care certification from FCIO. The company may use the logo and name for the following three years for company promotion (e.g. on business stationary). However, the logo must not be used for product promotion. After three years, the company must undergo a control audit to receive the permission for the continued use of the Responsible Care logo and name.

Comparison with EMAS and ISO 14001

Like Responsible Care, the EMAS Regulation (Environmental Management Audit Scheme) of the European Union and the ISO 14001 standard of the International Organization of Standardization are based on a voluntary commitment of companies. One main difference is that Responsible Care is not limited to environmental matters but also includes safety and health aspects, thus it has a wider scope. In addition, Responsible Care requirements are specifically designed for a particular industrial sector, in this case production plants of the chemical industry.

CST 2016 - the event was a great success!

On October 10th and 11th the conference "Chemical Safe Transport - CST" took place for the 15th time -  organized by the Association of the Austrian Chemical Industry (FCIO) with the support of the German Chemicals Industry Association (VCI) and the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC). 120 participants from 12 countries took advantage of the opportunity and exchanged experiences between transport experts from chemical companies or authorities and emergency staff.
"The great interest in the event shows the importance of safe transport of chemicals," explains Hubert Culik, chairman of the the Association of the Austrian Chemical Industry. "In line with our Responsible Care Program - a voluntary initiative for safety, health and environmental protection - CST is helping to improve transport safety. The responsibility of a company must not end at the factory fence, but extends over the entire sphere of influence of a company.

That’s why the safe transport of dangerous goods is of particular importance to us."

The first day was devoted to European legislation regarding hazardous goods. Experts discussed the forthcoming new regulations for the transport of dangerous goods.
The second day focused on current developments in the EU (EU Commission) and in Germany. During a panel discussion, experts dared to gaze in the crystal ball and discussed the future of transport of dangerous goods. In the end, the participants were prepared for the emergency with best-practice examples.


The handouts for the 20 anniversary conference are enclosed.