RC-14001: Unified Solution to EH&S Challenges

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Courtesy of AECOM

How can a business involved in chemicals or petroleum effectively protect its environment, community, workers, and customers? Until recently, a unified strategy for environmental, health, and safety (EH&S) issues was difficult to find or create. Businesses were generally forced to stitch together separate programs for environmental protection, safety, and outreach to neighbors and customers. Even more daunting, businesses often found the existing piecemeal standards to be inappropriate or incompatible, forcing invention of new systems from scratch.

Fortunately, beginning in 2002, prospects became brighter for EH&S managers with the introduction of the RC14001 management system standard. RC14001 combines the best of the American Chemistry Council's (ACC's) Responsible CareĀ® program and the International Organization for Standardization's ISO 14001 program. From Responsible Care, RC14001 embraces a broad spectrum of concerns: environmental protection, employee health and safety, community relations, product stewardship, and transportation. From ISO 14001, RC14001 embraces a management-systems approach and rigorous third-party verification.

Businesses certifying to the RC14001 standard can rest assured that their EH&S management systems are based on the best thinking of the world's leading environmental managers and the chemical industry. When a company certifies to RC14001, it sends a strong and credible message to its regulators, neighbors, investors, and customers that it is serious about managing its EH&S risk.

RC14001 utilizes the classic management system model of Plan-Do-Check-Act to continually improve EH&S performance. At the pinnacle of a company's RC14001 management system is its corporate policy statement and management plan. The heart of a RC14001 system stems from the actual implementation of the program, while credibility flows from periodic internal and external evaluations of the system. Finally, the flexibility of a company's system emanates from reviews by top management to periodically assess the program's adequacy, suitability, and effectiveness.

ENSR has teamed with Verrico Associates, the recognized industry leader in Responsible Care and sole ACC-approved trainer for RC14001, to provide unparalleled, comprehensive RC14001 assistance.

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