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150 Years of Progress Toward a Cleaner, Safer Future

American Chemistry Council 150 Years

More than 150 years ago, Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev developed the framework for the modern Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, leaving space for chemicals yet to be discovered. Mendeleev’s approach provided a common ground for chemists and industry to document their accomplishments, while leaving room for advancement. That same year, a group of chemical manufacturers came together to create the predecessor association of the American Chemistry Council.

Over the years, the periodic table was revised to account for new chemical discoveries. Similarly, over the past 150 years, the American Chemistry Council and our members have worked to innovate materials and processes which serve as the backbone for the products and technologies consumers enjoy today. And, as the science behind sustainability, it is the business of chemistry which will help create a healthier, safer and more sustainable world in the future.

Our vision for a safer and more sustainable future is put into action through Responsible Care®the U.S. chemical industry’s world-class environmental, health, safety and sustainability initiative. Through Responsible Care, companies work to continuously improve the safety of employees and facilities and enhance the environmental stewardship of  operations.

Responsible Care Our Commitment to Sustainability Celebrating 35 Years

This year, we celebrate the 35th anniversary of Responsible Care in the United States.  We are proud of the foundation this program provides for our industry to increase the contributions of chemistry to the world, while decreasing our environmental footprint.

Responsible Care companies demonstrate industry leadership and commit to continually driving the business of chemistry forward. They pledge to transparently report performance against environmental, health, safety and security metrics, including energy, emissions and water use, worker and facility safety, and more.

In fact, ACC members and Responsible Care Partners have a worker safety rate that is 5X safer than the U.S. manufacturing sector.1 Since 2017, our industry has reduced GHG intensity by 12%, NOx emissions by 39%, and SOx emissions by 18%.2 As part of their participation in Responsible Care, more than 250 companies undergo third-party audits, demonstrating accountability and commitment to progress.

As an industry, we recognize that the world has considerable challenges, and we are committed to working to identify solutions to those problems. The business of chemistry, and the people and products that are a part of it, will enable continued progress towards a sustainable future. Our industry will continue to innovate the materials that help build the modern world, while shaping a future for generations to come.

That’s what we do, and that’s what we plan to do for another 150 years.


1Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 Data
2Based on 2021 reporting data through Responsible Care®

About the Author

As the Managing Director for the Responsible Care Initiative at the American Chemistry Council, Tara is responsible for leading and managing the ACC Responsible Care program, the chemical industry's world class environmental, health and safety initiative. In close collaboration with the EVP and CEO, Tara provides strategic leadership to enhance the value of Responsible Care to ACC members and partner companies. She oversees management systems, certification, security, performance measures, research and code revisions related to the program. She provides leadership to member company work groups, and manages Responsible Care staff and consultants. In collaboration with ACC team members, she identifies ways to leverage and support member company sustainability and advocacy goals. She develops new strategies to achieve goals, performance, and reports progress to internal and external stakeholders (government agencies, customers, environmental staff and NGOs).

She also acts as the secretariat for the International Council of Chemical Associations Responsible Care Leadership Group, where she works to aid global implementation of Responsible Care and advocate for sound chemical management in developing countries.

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council’s mission is to advocate for the people, policy, and products of chemistry that make the United States the global leader in innovation and manufacturing. To achieve this, we: Champion science-based policy solutions across all levels of government; Drive continuous performance improvement to protect employees and communities through Responsible Care®; Foster the development of sustainability practices throughout ACC member companies; and Communicate authentically with communities about challenges and solutions for a safer, healthier and more sustainable way of life. Our vision is a world made better by chemistry, where people live happier, healthier, and more prosperous lives, safely and sustainably—for generations to come.

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