United Nations
Commission on Sustainable Development

Background Paper

Commission on Sustainable Development      Background Paper No. 1
Sixth Session
20 April - 1 May 1998

                Chapeau for Business and Industry
                        Background Papers

Business and industry plays a critical role in the global drive for sustainable development. In the
run up to and since the Rio Earth Summit, business's commitment to this goal has been apparent
through many innovative initiatives launched by individual companies and business groups.
Ground-breaking private-public sector partnerships have also contributed significantly to the

The launch of many positive voluntary programmes, such as the ICC Business Charter for
Sustainable Development and as described in the WBCSD's report "Signals of Change: Business
Progress Towards Sustainable Development," indicates the broad agreement of industry world-wide to integrate sustainable development considerations into nearly every aspect of their day to
day activities.

Business's constructive role in the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development
(UNCSD) clearly demonstrates on-going commitment to this long-term process. Successful
technology co-operation, amongst the many varied contributions business is making to sustainable
development, is one process  which business can tailor to maximum effect in the pursuit of
balanced economic growth and development . During the 1998 session of the CSD, industry
wishes to underscore its on-going contribution to technology co-operation. Most importantly,
business has a key role to play in addressing poverty alleviation while stimulating more sustainable
consumption and production, all in the context of economic growth, environmental protection and
social development.

Industry's submissions to UNCSD 6 follows Agenda 21's approach in focusing on both the
internal operations of a company (corporate environmental management tools) and its external
relationships (responsible entrepreneurship). In addition, industry's role in technology co-operation and in freshwater issues are the third and fourth discussion themes in the Business and
Industry Background Papers summarized below.

Responsible Entrepreneurship (Background Paper No. 1)

Responsible, entrepreneurial businesses are the driving force for sustainable economic
development and provide the managerial, technical and financial resources to contribute to the
resolution of environmental challenges. Many challenges remain and industry must continue to
improve performance and keep stakeholders informed of its policies and practices. A particular
challenge will be bringing SMEs into the mainstream of good environmental management. 

More broadly, business and industry will continue to champion voluntary environmental initiatives
which encourage companies to go beyond regulatory compliance, in the spirit of responsible

Corporate Environmental Management Tools (Background Paper No. 5)

The development and use of corporate EMS (Environmental Management System) tools are the
mechanism to integrate sustainable development considerations into everyday business.
Furthermore, developing initiatives for public and private sector partnership show great promise
for the increased voluntary use of EMS and related corporate tools.  Such efforts will contribute
to a harmonization of environmental regulation and enforcement and will drive further
improvements in corporate policy and practice. 

Globally, the private sector is a primary source of employment creation, information, training,
and capacity building.  However, if the private sector is to make its full contribution to sustainable
development, an essential prerequisite is a sound policy framework, both at the national and
international level.

This will promote and encourage growth and development and maximize industry's ability to
employ the increasingly effective range of corporate environmental management tools to the
greatest benefit. To support these trends, the ICC and WBCSD recommend increased attention
to the development and integration of voluntary environmental management systems at all levels
of business.

Technology Co-operation (Background Paper No. 9)

Successful technology co-operation, tailored to the specific national or corporate case, is critical
to the implementation of sustainable development. . The concern that excessive government
regulation of technology co-operation could stifle innovation and limit access to needed technology
should be noted. Commercialization of R&D developments for new technologies to function as
part of normal business life as quickly as possible is important in order to achieve the common
goals. To this effect governments should enhance an effective business environment to catalyse
the process of commercialization. The private sector has an increasing role to play in delivery of
effective technology co-operation  which, clearly, involves the transfer of skills and knowledge
not just technological hardware. While it is apparent that the free market is the main driving force
for the efficient introduction and assimilation of technology, successful, long-term technology co-operation requires that all parties must gain from the co-operation, while,  at the same time, the
protection of patents and intellectual property rights of the developer is essential. The ICC and
WBCSD strongly recommend a concerted effort to ensure the  creation of an efficient framework
which promotes successful technology co-operation.

Industry and Freshwater (Background Paper No. 13)

The 21st Century will witness increasing competition for finite fresh water resources. 
Industry, which is not the main user of water, has financial, technical and management resources,
and is well positioned to contribute to the resolution of broader societal problems in this critical
area. It is apparent that all sectors need to co-operate if society is to avert or minimize adverse
effects associated with emerging fresh water shortages. 

The elements of a comprehensive water strategy are rather straight forward and apply to all
parties. Growing evidence demonstrates that industry has already begun to manage industrial water
use more effectively. One future task is to continue raising awareness within the business
community and encourage others , notably within the agricultural sector,  to take action now. The
issue of economic pricing of water, both in agriculture and domestic use, remains primarily a
government and public policy issue. Subsidies should be phased out since they encourage waste
and prevent better management of finite fresh water resources.  The 1992 Dublin Principle was
clear and correct :"Water has an economic value in all its competing uses and should be
recognized as an economic good."

Commission on Sustainable Development       Background Paper No.1
Sixth Session
20 April - 1 May 1998

             International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
    World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

"Responsive and entrepreneurial businesses are required as the driving force for sustainable
economic development and for providing the managerial, technical and financial resources to
contribute to the resolution of environmental challenges..........."

                     I.  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.   Since the UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992,
business and industry have already broadly improved environmental performance, while
simultaneously creating jobs and improving living standards. Acting jointly, business organizations
have further established voluntary business initiatives like the ICC Business Charter for Sustainable

2.   Eco-efficiency - a management approach championed by the WBCSD - is a practical
example of how business has responded to the imperatives of responsible entrepreneurship. In
addition, a number of specific initiatives have been adopted: among them, the chemical industry's
Responsible Care initiative. 

3.   Due to very different social, economic and environmental conditions around the world,
responsible entrepreneurship cannot be comprised in a «one-size-fits-all» definition. To be
successful, responsible entrepreneurship needs to combine regulatory instruments with voluntary
approaches and market-based initiatives, in a truly flexible and integrated manner. The goal is to
create value for society and the companies, by doing more with less over a product or service life

4.   Key tenets of voluntary initiatives are co-ordination between companies, dialogue and
openness and recognition of stakeholder's concerns, and partnership with operators along the
chain. Proper reporting of the voluntary initiative's achievements and wide communication of
these results are also essential for the initiative's credibility and its benchmarking, and business
and industry will continue to explore verification of adherence to voluntary initiatives.

5.   Voluntary Systems, and other agreements with policy makers, demonstrate that business
strategies can indeed address the complex problems of environmental, health and safety aspects of
products and processes. Voluntary approaches should, therefore, be used by policy makers as they
respond to business needs and market conditions complementing regulation.
                        II. INTRODUCTION
6.   As recognized by Agenda 21, "Business and industry, including transnational corporations,
play a crucial role in the social and economic development of the country. ... Increasing prosperity,
a major goal of the development process, is contributed primarily by the activities of business and
industry. Business enterprises, large and small, formal and informal, provide major trading,
employment and livelihood opportunities."

7.   Sharing the views of Chapter 30 of Agenda 21, the ICC and WBCSD believe that
"Responsible entrepreneurship can play a major role in the improvement of the efficient use of
resources, the reduction of risk, the minimization of wastes and safeguarding environmental

8.   The principle of Responsible Entrepreneurship, which is usually understood in an
economic sense, here speaks to the more flexible, market driven and innovative response that the
private sector has increasingly brought to bear on the new, ever more demanding challenges
associated with all three aspects of sustainable development.

9.   Since the UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992,
business and industry have broadly improved environmental performance, while simultaneously
creating jobs and improving living standards. Acting jointly, business organizations have further
established voluntary business initiatives like the ICC Business Charter for Sustainable Development
as the principles to which substantial number of companies worldwide are committed.

10.  The Charter and voluntary initiatives like it provide a common, global basis for improved
environmental performance, cooperation between companies, and for interactions with
stakeholders. The emphasis is on a process of continuous improvement rather than judgment on
any absolute standard, given the diversity of the business community. In so doing, voluntary
approaches minimize competitive distortions, transactions costs associated with regulatory
compliance, and inspire many companies to go beyond the regulatory minimum. 

11.  Eco-efficiency - a management approach championed by the WBCSD - is a practical
example of how business has responded to the imperatives of responsible entrepreneurship
becoming at the same time more competitive, more innovative, and more environmentally

12.  The formal definition is: "Eco-efficiency is reached by the delivery of competitively priced
goods and services that satisfy human needs and bring quality of life while progressively reducing
ecological impacts and resource intensity throughout the life cycle, to a level in line with the
earth's estimated carrying capacity."

13.  The concept makes seven main demands on companies:

     (a)  reduce the material intensity of goods and services;
     (b)  reduce the energy intensity of goods and services;
     (c)  reduce toxic dispersion;
     (d)  enhance material recyclability;
     (e)  maximize sustainable use of renewable resources;
     (f)  extend product durability;
     (g)  increase the service intensity of goods and services.

14.  Eco-efficiency is designed to help companies support sustainable development, and
encourages businesses to adapt to new ways of working without immediately abandoning their
traditional practices. Furthermore, the philosophy links the business concept of value creation to
environmental concerns. The goal is to create value for society and the company, by doing more with
less over a product or service life cycle.

15.  There are many contributions to improved environmental performance and quality which
business is uniquely placed to make, but it must fit into a framework of science-based, non-discriminatory environmental regulations relevant to the country or region concerned.

16.  Moreover, business and industry recognizes that much remains to be done, and in this paper,
identifies priority areas for further action, building on successes in each.


17.  With conditions so very different around the world, and with nations at different development
stages, it is hard to make a «one-size-fits-all» list of policies to help business better support sustainable
development.  But it is clear that such policies must be based on an integrated view of the economy,
society, and the environment.

18.  Every government's responsibility is - working with business and citizen's groups - to devise
the policy framework that will allow consistent and realistic goals to be developed and met. Such a
framework should be target-oriented and cost-effective in implementation.

19.  Governments should use market mechanisms to encourage actions that work towards the goal
of sustainable development. For example favorable treatment of investments in clean technologies,
within a revenue-neutral tax shift, could speed their introduction. Such instruments will encourage,
rather than force, industry to improve and reward companies which pursue good environmental
management in keeping with sustainable development, often inducing improvements that go beyond
minimum standards. 

20.  A truly integrated approach to sustainable development calls for a range of measures,
including market-based approaches, economic incentives and voluntary approaches. In particular,
voluntary approaches provide flexibility, allowing business to achieve the desired goals in the most
cost-effective manner possible. 

21.  Voluntary policies come in many forms, ranging from binding agreements to voluntary
initiatives and benefits the entire economy of the nation, in line with Agenda 21. For example, in
negotiated agreements between government and industry, certain industrial sectors agree to take
specific actions without the need for legislation. The negotiations allow industry to influence the
targets and objectives and to set a suitable time scale. Industry is left largely free to determine the
means by which targets and objectives will be met.  The Dutch have pioneered these agreements, and
other countries, such as Portugal, Australia and the U.S., are experimenting with them. 

22.  Initiatives taken voluntarily by industry, independent of government, such as those on energy
efficiency by the European chemicals industry and those by Japanese industry, may not have legal
status but nonetheless can achieve specific goals. The new «hybrid» voluntary environmental
management system processes such as the EMAS Regulation and the ISO 14001 standard look to
entrepreneurial solutions to environmental problems. Their value and benefit alongside, or in place
of, the regulatory requirements for inspection and reporting is already being usefully explored in a
number of countries.

23.  At the same time, the promise of developing economic instruments will play an increasingly
important role in moving the cycle of environmental improvement forward for business and industry.
The increasing interest given by national and regional governmental bodies to the positive application
of fiscal instruments and the recognition of the promise of emissions trading given under the Kyoto
Protocol will ensure that well balanced economic instruments, which take fully into account the
business viewpoint,  will be utilized to maximum positive benefit.


24.  In addition to general principles embodied in the ICC Charter, a number of specific initiatives
have been developed. For example, the chemical industry's Responsible Care initiative seeks to
continuously improve the environmental, health and safety (EHS) performance of the chemical
industry's operations and products in a manner responsive to the concerns of all stakeholders. 
Responsible Care was first adopted by the Canadian Chemical Producers Association (CCPA) in 1985
and has since been implemented by chemical associations and their members in an additional 39
nations.  Responsible Care represents an important corporate cultural change which has led to
improved performance and new levels of openness with the public.

                     A. The Voluntary Route

25.  In initiating and participating in voluntary programs like Responsible Care, industry's
expectation is that through improved performance the public's trust and industry's credibility will be
gained and enhanced and that this will enable it to operate, innovate as a fully accepted member of
the community and to contribute further to human development.

26.  Since its beginnings in the mid 1980's, the chemical industry has extended the reach of this
voluntary program to approximately 86 percent of the world's chemical production.  In each country,
the initiative is managed by the nation's primary chemical trade association representing both
domestic and multinational chemical producers.  Participating chemical companies, led by their
chairmen and CEOs, commit themselves to adhere to the Responsible Care Guiding Principles which
state that a company will manage its activities so that they represent an acceptably high level of
protection for the health and safety of employees, customers and the public and for the environment. 

27.  The chemical industry has made a concerted effort to respond to the challenges outlined in
Agenda 21's Chapter 19. These efforts include risk reduction efforts, many of which were underway
prior to Agenda 21. In many cases these voluntary risk reduction efforts have been conducted with
the participation of customers, suppliers and other stakeholders within the chemical distribution chain.

28.  The chemical industry's success with Responsible Care has led to its recognition at the 1992
UNCED meeting in Rio, by the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety at numerous forums,
by the United Nations Environment Program, by UNGASS in June 1997 and by President Clinton's
Council on Sustainable Development. Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry's Council
for Chemical Safety recognized Responsible Care as an example of an effective, voluntary initiative
which in combination with regulations can promote chemical safety.

29.  Another interesting example of voluntary initiative are the guidelines for global environmental
issues taken by Keidanren (Japan Federation of Economic Organizations) of 1991. Responding to the
Charter, the member companies established voluntary plans and reinforced action. Commemorating
five years after Rio, Keidanren published Keidanren Appeal on Environment in July 1996, a
declaration of voluntary action taken by Japanese industries to conserve the global environment,
which covered four focus areas: global warming, structuring of recycle-based society, restructuring
of environmental management systems and auditing, and attention to environmental considerations
in overseas projects. The Appeal has been reinforced by the voluntary action programs covering 36
business sectors with 138 associations, which shows the business' commitment towards and after the
year 2000 in the four focus areas identified in the Appeal. 

         B. Voluntary, Collective Action to Reduce Risk

30.  An important aspect of voluntary initiatives by industry has been the transformation of EHS
management from an individual company activity to the  responsibility of a group of like-minded
companies representing significant segments of a nation's industrial production. These companies
seek broad-based performance improvement, reduction of risk and the establishment of best
management practices, while lessening concerns about competitiveness, and taking advantage of
opportunities to network and cooperate. 

31.  Factors supporting this trend include:

     (a)  agreement among participating companies that successful EHS management can
be shared to promote collective performance improvement; 

     (b)  peer pressure among companies driven by an understanding that the failure of one
company to deliver on its commitment threatens the entire group's license to operate;
     (c)  input from interested parties or stakeholders both within and outside the industry
which continually emphasizes their expectations and raises industry performance;
     (d)  belief that given the opportunity to innovate and introduce flexibility into their
response to regulation, companies can meet and exceed regulatory and stakeholder expectations. 

                        V. PARTNERSHIPS

32.  All sectors of society, including government, business, public interest groups and consumers
have a role to play in contributing to sustainable development and business recognizes that these
sectors need to work in partnership, bringing their values and experience to bear on the challenge.
Sustainable development will best be achieved if each stakeholder fully plays its part, focusing on
what each can do best. Through partnerships, local, national and global, society can build on the
strengths of each group.

 A. International Business Partnership in Voluntary Initiatives

33.  The growth and integrity of Responsible Care is guided by the Board of the International
Council of Chemical Associations (ICA) and its Responsible Care Leadership Group.  The latter has
identified certain fundamental features of Responsible Care which must be present in each national
association's initiative and which are designed to ensure global consistency of the initiative for the
chemical industry and for its stakeholders. The ICA is actively promoting the spread of the
Responsible Care ethic both within and outside the chemical industry.

34.  An important function of the international Responsible Care network has been its ability and
success in bringing EHS innovations from one company or country to the attention and benefit of all. 
So, for example, a novel technique for presenting safety performance data in Norway, verification
trials being conducted in the United States, an Australian approach to management commitment and
a successful working practice in Japan are all readily accessible to the 40 federations and their

35.  Some concrete examples of the practical results of this leadership are listed below:

     (a)  Working with the OECD's Risk Reduction Program, a group of chemical companies
concerned about the health and environmental effects of brominated flame retardants have conducted
extensive research and education activities, including a series of conferences on brominates flame
retardant issues in Europe, Japan and the U.S.

     (b)  Chemical companies working in concert with shippers and users of hydrogen fluoride
in the United States and Mexico have sponsored a number of programs to improve the safe handling
of this material. This is part of a larger effort to co-ordinate chemical distribution safety programs in
North America, which  is co-sponsored by the U.S., Canadian and Mexican chemical associations. 

     (c)  In Europe, 16 of  21 member federations of the European Chemical Industry Council
(CEFIC)  have processes for responding to chemical transportation emergencies under the umbrella
International Chemical Environment (ICE) program, and information on best practices have been
transferred to countries in eastern Europe.   A similar program has been operated in the U.S. and the
Mexican and Brazilian federations are operating emergency response centers.  

    B. The Product Supply Chain as a Vehicle for Partnership

36.  Chemical manufacturing associations are aware that the Responsible Care message and its
benefits must be shared, and policed, throughout the chemical supply and customer chain to foster
product stewardship and improve chemical risk management. An increasing number of corporate
buyers are demanding comprehensive environmental and social information on the products or
materials they purchase - a practice that has become known as supply-chain auditing. 
37.  Consequently there has been a campaign to encourage those associations involved in the
supply chain to become literally «Partners» in the Responsible Care program. The international
distributor and coatings associations have entered into partnership agreements with a number of
organizations and in many of the countries where Responsible Care has been established. The strength
of the resulting coverage of a product life cycle has become very substantial and is a powerful
example of a voluntary partnership.

38.  The strategy adopted by a major Italian car manufacturer in reducing the number of suppliers
and demanding improved quality is an example of how higher-quality products can be combined with
better partnership with suppliers.  A document called "Guidelines for Cooperation," signed in
February 1994, states that "the partners accept the increasing environmental compatibility of their
products and manufacturing processes as a priority, while respecting the economic and competitive

39.  A survey of 360 suppliers was conducted in 1994 to monitor their management of
environmental resources (energy, water, air, and so on). The information allowed improvements that
led to savings and the anticipation of expected legislation.

40.  A "waste database" has been created with the local Chamber of Commerce. This puts
companies producing waste in contact with those who can re-use or recycle it. A real "goods
exchange" is operating with the company's expertise under the "Control of Machine Waste" program,
which is extended to 20 first-level suppliers, and is also on the Internet.

41.  At a local plant, which produces car instrument dashboards and bumpers, a "packaging waste
control" program is under way with 70 suppliers, monitoring incoming and outgoing materials. The
above partnership with suppliers has proved valuable in creating significant improvements in the
company's quality and environmental performance.

                 C. Dialogue with Stakeholders

42.  One of the key tenets of Voluntary industry initiatives such as Responsible Care is openness
and responsiveness to public and stakeholder concerns. Public interest groups and individual
consumers exert pressure through their behavior and attitudes. Therefore, industry appreciates the
need to seek out these concerns and to include them in its development of policy.

43.  Following the example pioneered by the Canadian CCPA, several national chemical
associations have established National Advisory Panels to provide public input into the development
and implementation of Responsible Care.  These panels ensure that the performance expectations of
interested groups are a part of the industry's planning processes.  Formal national Responsible Care
panels are now also sponsored in the United States, Australia, Japan and Germany.

44.  In addition to these national advisory processes, individual chemical companies have realized
the need for local community dialogue about their production and distribution facilities.  A growing
number of formal and informal mechanisms are being established by chemical companies around the
world to foster dialogue with local communities.  One successful example is the Community Advisory
Panel, the local version of the National Advisory Panel, which provides input to chemical facility
management and reinforces the local facility's accountability to the community in which it operates. 
In cases where panels do not yet exist, facility managers seek outside parties' input through other
forums such as meetings with local leaders, open houses or progress reports to the media.

45.  Discussions between stakeholders on the best way to reach sustainability are often hampered
by a lack of credible information. A pioneering study to address this problem with regard to the pulp
and paper industry is the WBCSD initiative to commission, with multi stakeholder funding, a study
by the International Institute for Environment and Development entitled «Towards a Sustainable
Paper Cycle. The findings were published after over two years of research. They created a focal point
for further debate and consultation, triggering a series of presentations and seminars to analyze the
study's recommendations and evolve local programs of action.

46.  Also useful within such debates are examples such as that of a paper company active in Brazil
which has created social development in a sustainable way in areas where hardly anything existed but
poverty and misery. It now employs more than 5,000 people directly and indirectly, supporting a local
population of over 20,000, and has invested $125 million in creating a social services infrastructure,
such as schools, medical facilities and housing. It also provides financial and human resources for
projects that lead to self-sustaining improvements in the living conditions of neighboring communities.

47.  The company planted eucalyptus trees in areas which had mostly previously been degraded
and manages them, in a way to preserve the Biodiversity and protect the soil and water resources.
To assure a balanced environment, the eucalyptus plantations are interspersed with 56,000 hectares
of native reserves, where about one million native trees per year are planted in order to enhance
biodiversity. These preservations correspond to 27 percent of the company's total landholding. The
eucalyptus wood is processed into pulp in a modern mill, which complies with world class
environmental standards.


48.  There has been a substantial growth in company environmental performance reports called
for in the ICC Charter's 16th Principle on compliance and reporting. Modelled on financial reports
and accounts, these reports typically describe corporate responses to environmental issues, such as
management and company attitudes to emerging areas of debate, along with data on wastes and
emissions performance.

49.  Various broad-based standards, such as the Public Environmental Reporting Initiative (PERI),
the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) and those from the United
Nations Environment Program (UNEP), have emerged to make the data more comparable across
sectors and the reports more consistent in their content. The production of such reports often helps
companies to get to grips with parts of their business that have not come under such specific
management scrutiny before. Many stakeholders, particularly the investment community, are
increasingly looking to these reports for evidence of the effective management of environmental risk.

                A. Sustainable Development Report

50.  An example of the role such reports can play is that of a major electricity utility, which has
recently completed the transition from an annual environmental performance report to a Sustainable
Development Report (for 1995) that addressed the company's goals and performance relative to all
three components of sustainability: environmental, financial, and social integrity. The rationale
underlying the reporting is to provide employees and external stakeholders a frank, even handed
assessment of the company's achievements and shortcomings with respect to its initial progress
towards sustainability.

51.  In the future, business will need both to achieve and demonstrate continuous improvement.
Business must recognize that there is growing stakeholder awareness that business decisions are
skewed when environmental performance, costs, and liabilities are not integrated into the strategic
decision-making of companies. Increasingly, business will be required to demonstrate management
of environmental and social issues along with traditional financial performance to secure the social
license to operate.

52.  Future environmental reporting will need to integrate both financial and non financial
performance measures and serve the information needs of external stakeholders, internal management,
and front-line personnel; eventually, such information will be integrated into annual reports.

         B. Reporting on Responsible Care Achievements

53.  Since the early 1990s, when chemical companies were amongst the first to publish
environmental reports, many of the national chemical associations implementing Responsible Care
began to collect EHS data from their members to measure the impact on performance.  While the
amount of performance data varies between countries, positive trends are beginning to emerge
wherever Responsible Care is being implemented. Reporting at national association level also
provides a basis for benchmarking, an aspect not usually covered in corporate reports.

54.  Specific examples of the global chemical industry's achievements through Responsible Care
taken from national association reports include:

     (a)  The German chemical industry achieved a reduction in CO2-emissions of 25 percent
between 1990 and 1993, and has undertaken to reduce CO2-emissions by 40 percent by the year

     (b)  As a result of voluntary reduction efforts sponsored by the Japan Chemical Industry
Association (JCIA), the level of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) emissions at VCM/PVC  production
facilities decreased by almost 50 percent between 1990 and 1993. 
     (c)  In the United Kingdom, member companies of the Cement Industry Association have
reduced discharges of « Red List » substances by 89 percent since 1990. Members of the Dutch
chemical industry (VNCI) continue to make progress in emission reductions where a goal of reducing
emissions by 50 percent was achieved in 1994, more than five years ahead of schedule.
     (d)  Member companies of the CCPA have voluntarily reduced emissions of all substances
except CO2 by 50 percent since 1992 and have projected a further 50 percent reduction by 2000. 
     (e)  Finland's Kemianteollisuus Ry collects and publishes more than twenty performance
indicators.  Since 1988 lost time accidents have decreased by 50 percent while the number of member
company personnel participating in safety training courses has doubled.  
     (f)  Members of the Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association (PACIA) in Australia
have reduced the number of transportation incidents involving chemicals by more than 35 percent
since 1990.  Employee lost time injuries are down 30 percent since 1990 and workdays lost per
employee by 50 percent.
     (g)  Federchimica, the Italian chemical industry federation showed an average improvement
of 50 percent in overall EHS performance between 1989 and 1995. A survey, carried out on 42,000
employees at 57 companies, demonstrated a high awareness of environmental issues.

55.  Although far from comprehensive, these results and activities reflect a general trend within
associations which have adopted Responsible Care. Currently, more than half of the associations
implementing Responsible Care are collecting EHS performance data, and results are made widely
available, particularly to local communities. CEFIC is issuing a Guidance on EHS reporting to
facilitate a CEFIC report covering all European federations. Many associations are just beginning to
identify performance indicators for future use. The ICA fully expects EHS performance results in
these countries to mirror the progress being made in those countries where the data is already being

56.  The ICA will pursue the goal of ensuring the Responsible Care verification within its member
associations, to confirm their commitment to, and progress in, implementing  Responsible Care.
Moreover, ICA is extending Responsible Care to an ever-increasing number of chemical companies
around the world, and spreading its partnership ethic to customers, suppliers and allied industries.
Such partnerships will allow a fuller exercise of responsibility through a product's entire life cycle. 

             VII. Future challenges and conclusions
57.  There is a lively global debate today about how various sectors of society are, and should be,
changing. Business, through freer trade, is spreading the technologies, skills and processes required
for development and, given the right global frameworks, for more sustainable development. Economic
growth provides the conditions under which the protection of the environment can best be achieved.
Responsive and entrepreneurial businesses are required as the driving force for sustainable economic
development  and for providing the managerial, technical and financial resources to contribute to the
resolution of environmental challenges.

58.  Business acknowledges that many challenges remain. Industry must continue to improve
performance and increase its collection and dissemination of data demonstrating this progress as a
way of keeping stakeholders informed of its policies and practices. Business and industry will
continue to explore verification of adherence to voluntary initiatives. As other forms of auditing and
verification such as ISO-14001 and EMAS are adopted, business and industry will strive to integrate
their verification processes with these useful voluntary standards and programs.

59.  A particular challenge in pursuit of responsible entrepreneurship will be bringing SMEs into
the mainstream of good environment management, and using investment, trade and the market to
carry good practices, technologies and expertise to developing countries and countries with
economies in transition.  Partnerships with government and other stakeholders will be crucial to
support this effort in the next phase of Agenda 21 implementation.

60.  The ICC Business Charter, which conveys the spirit of responsible entrepreneurship, is a
good example of an industry-led voluntary initiative which encourages companies to go beyond
regulatory system limits. Voluntary systems, and other agreements with policy makers,
demonstrate that business strategies can indeed address the complex problems of environmental
aspects of products and processes. Voluntary approaches should, therefore, be used by policy
makers as they respond to business needs and market conditions complementing regulation.

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Date last posted: 8 December 1999 15:15:30
Comments and suggestions: DESA/DSD