Responsible Care

Responsible Care is an industry-wide initiative aimed at fostering effective management of the environmental, health, safety and security risks arising from the development, production, distribution and use of chemicals. The program was started in 1988 and opened to partners in 1993. In 1995, Union Pacific was the first railroad to join the Partners program. We also were the first Partner company to undergo a certification of our processes RC/ISO 14001 in April 2005 and are currently certified under RCMS in the 2023-2025 cycle.

The Responsible Care® Partnership Program enables meaningful extension of the Responsible Care® ethic and its commensurate continuous improvement efforts beyond America’s chemical producers to include their supply chains - customers, shippers and others engaged in the business of chemistry.

At present, there are over 100 companies participating in the ACC Responsible Care® Partnership Program, raising the environmental, health, safety and security performance bar for all operations and business activities involving ACC member products. In 2005, UP became the first railroad certified in Responsible Care/ISO14001. UP was recertified under RCMS in December 2022 for the period 2023 - 2025.

Union Pacific adheres to the same Responsible Care® requirements as members of the American Chemistry Council. We apply the Responsible Care® management system to relevant portions of our operations; obtain independent certification that the system has been fully implemented and functions according to professional standards; measure and publicly report performance; and implement the Responsible Care® Security Code.

Responsible Care® is more than a set of principles and declarations. It is implementing world-class management systems, verified through independent auditors; tracking performance through established environmental, health, safety and security measures; and extending these best practices to business partners through the industry supply chain.

As a partner in the American Chemistry Council Responsible Care® initiative, we pledge to operate our business according to the following guiding principles. Accordingly, we believe and subscribe to the Responsible Care® initiative, the Responsible Care® Global Charter, and the following:

  • To lead our company in ethical ways that increasingly benefit society, the economy and the environment.
  • To design and develop products that can be manufactured, transported, used and disposed of or recycled safely.
  • To work with customers, carriers, suppliers, distributors and contractors to foster the safe and secure use, transport and disposal of chemicals and provide hazard and risk information that can be accessed and applied in their operations and products.
  • To design and operate facilities in a safe, secure and environmentally sound manner.
  • To instill a culture throughout all levels of the organizations to continually identify, reduce and manage process safety risks.
  • To promote pollution prevention, minimization of waste and conservation of energy and other critical resources at every stage of the life cycle of products.
  • To cooperate with governments at all levels and organizations in the development of effective and efficient safety, health, environmental and security laws, regulations and standards.
  • To support education and research on the health, safety, environmental effects and security of products and processes.
  • To communicate product, service and process risks to stakeholders and listen to and consider their perspectives.
  • To make continual progress toward a goal of no accidents, injuries or harm to human health and the environment from products and operations and openly report health, safety, environmental and security performance.
  • To seek continual improvement in the integrated Responsible Care Management System® to address environmental, health, safety and security performance.
  • To promote Responsible Care® by encouraging and assisting other companies to adhere to these Guiding Principles.

Responsible Care Management System® (RCMS®)
Responsible Care® is taking America’s leading chemical companies above and beyond their prior accomplishments, to achieve even higher standards of performance and generate greater value for their businesses. The Responsible Care Management System® offers an integrated, structured approach to drive results in six key areas: community awareness and emergency response; distribution; employee health and safety; pollution prevention; process safety; and product stewardship.

Implementation of the RCMS® follows a “plan-do-check-act” model that is consistent with international management systems:

  • Companies must first plan – by identifying, assessing and evaluating potential hazards and risks associated with their products, processes, distribution and other operations. They then establish goals and objectives to address any significant hazards and risks, taking into consideration the concerns of their employees, communities, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.
  • Next, companies must do what they have planned. They establish, document and communicate responsibilities to meet their stated goals and objectives.
  • Then companies must check their progress. This stage highlights performance measurement and corrective action. In addition, companies establish procedures for the identification and maintenance of Responsible Care® records.
  • Finally, companies must act. Senior management periodically reviews the continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness of a company’s RCMS® and makes any changes needed to enhance performance. The results of this process are shared with a company’s stakeholders.

A key part of the RCMS® process is mandatory certification by an independent, accredited auditing firm.

A credible, independent third-party will certify that each Responsible Care® company has a Responsible Care Management System® in place. The mandatory certification will be conducted at company/business group headquarters and chemical facilities on a regular basis. The RCMS® provides the framework and content for the identification and implementation of management systems elements that enable continuous improvement in all aspects of Responsible Care® implementation.

Union Pacific Responsible Care Contact

Matt Pick