At Chemours we expect every individual employee—from executive leadership to frontline workers—to be accountable for their personal safety and to care for the safety and well-being of their co-workers, our communities, and the environment. We rely on our frontline leaders to drive our safety performance and culture. Environmental, health, and safety (EHS) professionals are embedded throughout our businesses and manufacturing sites to support our frontline leaders; our centers of excellence for workplace safety, process safety, and health services provide the tools, systems, and training to enable stronger performance.
EHS Management and Responsible Care®
The Chemours EHS management system guides all our actions, underpinning our Safety Obsession value and culture. It is aligned with the principles of Responsible Care®, a voluntary initiative of the global chemical industry to safely manage chemical products throughout each stage of their life cycle, and is designed to meet the Responsible Care® requirements. Our EHS management system is a single, comprehensive process that defines leadership practices and performance excellence for environmental, health, safety, and security management.
In 2019, we designed and implemented our global EHS center of excellence (COE) organization. This enterprise organization includes six distinct COE teams, each representing a different EHS competency area.
The COE teams are staffed with business and enterprise resources working together to drive EHS top-quartile performance and continuous improvement on our journey to zero incidents and injuries. They sponsor and provide direction to our cross-functional EHS enterprise networks—teams comprising global EHS, legal, logistics, regulatory experts, and other resources—to ensure consistency in how we implement our EHS management system across our operations.
Perpetually Strengthening Our Approach to Safety
To reinforce our principles and strengthen our EHS management system, we regularly assess our processes through management reviews, data analysis and trending, rigorous auditing, operational learning, and benchmarking EHS performance.
Management reviews: Chemours corporate and manufacturing site leaders review the EHS management system performance annually to ensure suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness.
Internal auditing programs: Chemours has a robust audit program that consists of first-, second-, and third-party audits. First-party audits are completed periodically by site resources to ensure adherence to local, regulatory, and corporate requirements. Second-party audits help us evaluate and rank our sites by risk to ensure they are audited by knowledgeable and experienced auditors at the correct intervals.
External auditing programs: Chemours believes third-party verification and transparent public reporting are essential elements of world-class EHS performance and are necessary for building public trust. We currently audit our EHS management system effectiveness using the RC14001 environmental, health, safety, and security technical specification and the ISO 14001 environmental standard. In 2019, Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance, Ltd., performed third-party RC14001 and ISO 14001 audits at seven of our locations, including our headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware. We achieved RC14001 certification at all 12 US chemical manufacturing sites and at our Wilmington, Delaware, headquarters, which is a requirement for American Chemistry Council (ACC) membership. Our Starke, Florida, mining site and six sites in Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific maintained their third-party verification for compliance with ISO 14001, and we are making progress in preparing our mining site and our international sites for RC14001 certification audits in 2021. A number of individual sites have achieved additional external certifications.
We benchmark our safety performance using chemical industry safety metrics reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and by the ACC Responsible Care® program. In 2019, seven of our manufacturing sites achieved zero injuries to employees and contractors. We awarded 10 manufacturing sites with the EHS Excellence Award and four joint ventures with the partners in safety awards.
Similarly, the ACC provides facility safety awards to individual member company facilities with outstanding safety performance. In 2019, 10 Chemours facilities were awarded the certificate of excellence (the highest-level award) and two were awarded the certificate of achievement. Also in 2019, Chemours maintained its member status with the Campbell Institute at the National Safety Council.