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Responsible Care


What is Responsible Care?

Responsible Care is the chemical industry’s commitment to continual improvement in health, safety, security and environmental (HSSE) performance. It is a global initiative. In the UK, Responsible Care covers the whole of the chemical supply chain – from manufacturers, through to distributors and logistics companies. Compliance with Responsible Care is expected for all CBA member companies involved in the trading, distribution, handling, movement and storage of chemicals.

What does the Responsible Care Programme involve?

Upon joining the CBA, Candidate Members subscribe to the RC Programme through a series of workshops and engagements, which once completed grant progression to the Existing Member cycle of RC engagements. This features a year-round programme of HSSE self-assessment, improvement planning and performance logging, all with the aim working towards the mission statement above.

How has performance improved since the Programme’s introduction?

When logging performance, CBA requires companies to track a defined list of indicators, referred to as the Indices of Performance. These have been tracked yearly since the beginning of the Programme in 1993 for distributors, with logistics specific collection beginning in 2007.

Indices of Performance cover:
• Fatalities and Reportable Injuries
• Lost Time Accidents
• Dangerous Occurrences
• Transport Incidents
• Waste Disposal
• Enforcement Actions

These figures, once collected, are aggregated and reported as lump sums, representing CBA membership performance as a whole. Whilst subject to year-on-year fluctuations, both the CBA’s Distributor Indices of Performance Bulletin and Logistics Index illustrate the long-term benefit of Responsible Care and its ability to deliver significant improvements in the industry’s health, safety, security and environmental performance.

Whilst the figures listed in our most recent Indices of Performance Reports boast an impressive overall reduction in incidents, it is worth stressing that the RC Programme is much more than just chasing targets. For the Programme to increase stakeholder and public confidence in the Chemical Industry, the constructive influence of RC permeates through core company values and culture. It is a programme that gives results proportionate to efforts, and that is continuously evolving to reward those who engage with the Programme to their full potential.

Responsible Care Award

The Responsible Care Awards make up a key part of CBA’s Chemical Supply Chain Awards, an annual event aimed at celebrating the successes of CBA members and the UK Chemical Supply Chain. Three Awards are presented – for operational sites involved in distributing, manufacturing or blending; office-only distributor companies; and logistics companies. These serve as an opportunity to celebrate the successes of the Programme, as well as the achievements of member companies beyond basic compliance with the programme.

For any queries on the Responsible Care Programme, please contact CBA’s Responsible Care Lead at

Eight Guiding Principles of Responsible Care

The Responsible Care Programme is guided by eight principles, each looking to contribute towards a comprehensive and successful Programme. As part of the Programme, the CEO of each Candidate Member company is required to sign a formal commitment to the principles, ensuring that the core of the programme is adhered to.

The Eight Guiding Principles of CBA’s Responsible Care Programme are:

  1. Legal requirements. Conform with all legal regulations and requirements and should operate in accordance with both government and industry codes of practice and guidance associated with their chemical activities.
  2. Management of riskEnsure that their activities do not present an unacceptable level of risk to employees, contractors, customers, the public or the environment.
  3. Policies and documentation. Have written documentation, which covers their activities, and ensure that their health, safety, security and environmental policies reflect their commitment to A Joint Responsible Distribution/Responsible Care Program as an integral part of their business strategy.
  4. Provision of information. Provide relevant health, safety, security and environmental information on company products and activities to employees, contractors, customers, statutory bodies and the public.
  5. Training. Ensure that all employees are aware of their commitment and provide the training necessary to enable them to be involved in the achievement of health, safety, security and environmental objectives.
  6. Emergency response. Establish and maintain an appropriate emergency response system.
  7. Ongoing improvements. Support and participate in those activities that will improve the quality of their own operations and strengthen health, safety, security and environmental consciousness and awareness.
  8. Community interaction. Maintain an awareness of and respond to community concerns that relate to their activities.

Business Case for Responsible Care

As part of the Responsible Care documentation for members, the CBA has put together a Business Case document for the Programme, outlining the key business-benefits of the Programme to those who comply with it:

Responsible Care Business Case

For further information, contact the Responsible Care Lead at

Responsible Care Awards 2022 Winners

The Chemical Business Association (CBA) has announced the winners of its Responsible Care Awards at the 2023 Chemical Supply Chain Awards ceremony. The Association, alongside members and invited guests, gathered at the Concorde Conference Centre in Manchester on November 23rd – 100 years to the day, since the CBA’s was first registered as the British Chemical Distributors’ and Traders’ Association (BCDTA) in 1923.

The Office-Only Distributor Award was won by Meade-King Robinson and Co. Ltd.

MKR were the outstanding winner of this category due to their focus on supplier approval focusing on quality and CSR. They also showed excellence in their product stewardship by developing processes to ensure efficient communication down the supply chain.


The award for Distributor with an Operational Site was won by Multisol UK Ltd.

The Distributor with an Operational Site includes companies that distribute and manufacture chemical, as well as blending or breaking from bulk.

Multisol were the stand out winner in this category due to their demonstrated safety culture, commitment to employee wellbeing and training.  It was clear to see the senior leadership commitment to safety and Responsible Care and this was demonstrated through their excellent safety record.


The award for Logistics Services Members was won by W H Bowker Ltd.

W H Bowker Ltd won through their demonstrated commitment to Responsible Care.  The judges were particularly impressed with their ambitious continuous improvement, varied local community interaction and commitment to training.