UNEP has recently concluded a capacity-building project on Safer Production and Corporate Social Responsibility, with a particular focus on chemical safety along supply chains.
The ‘Responsible Production’ approach was developed to respond to a critical need for a simple, integrated approach to chemical hazard management that can be used by small and medium sized organizations. It combines the benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility, APELL and Safer Production and draws the best and most appropriate guidance from a wide range of sources into a single, easy to understand and apply framework. This framework is accompanied by tools to help companies improve their management practices and engage their business partners in improved safety practices, risk communication and reporting.
The approach was developed by UNEP and AccountAbility in cooperation with the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM). Local pilot programmes were implemented in Thailand and in Peru, for demonstrating the adequacy of the framework in the chemical and mining sectors.
UNEP is currently discussing with potential donors and local partners the possibility of up-scaling project results in South East Asia, Latin America, and other regions. Two regional dissemination and training events in the Africa and Asia Pacific regions are already confirmed and scheduled for June 2010. These events will aim at building capacity of the network of Cleaner Production Centers for inclusion of the Responsible Production approach and tools in their portfolio of support services for SMEs.