Box 61 Millennium Chemicals Commitment To Safety Health And Environment

Responsible CareĀ®, program developed by the American Chemistry Council, is one of the key drivers of Millennium's achievement of the vision to "be the most value-creative chemical company in the world."

Responsible Care reminds us that we have a moral obligation to protect our employees, our neighbors, and the environment. As a critical component of who we are and what we wish to be, Responsible Care is prominently included as its own section of our website.

Millennium Chemicals is committed to attaining Responsible Care excellence. As a global company, we have developed and implement our own global standard of excellence for Responsible Care so that all our operations - in five countries on four continents - have common performance goals and metrics for measuring progress.

Historically, the chemical industry has managed its relationship with the public and the community on a voluntary basis. In 1998, the EPA and the chemical industry launched a much-ballyhooed voluntary testing program for high production volume (HPV) chemicals. At the time, 43 percent of the chemicals produced in volumes of one million pounds or more per year had no toxicity data. Nine hundred chemical companies were "invited" to participate in the EPA voluntary testing program. Three years later, about half the companies had responded, but 25 percent of the chemicals identified for testing remained without any commitment from their manufacturers. Voluntary programs are difficult to implement and, by definition, impossible to enforce. But as company behavior becomes more transparent and communities increase pressure on their neighborhood chemical companies, compliance will become more important.

In 2002, the industry reviewed the performance of the Responsible Care program and decided to make endorsement of a new set of management principles mandatory for its members (90 percent of U.S. chemical manufacturing capacity). The objective was to realize greater business value from improved EH&S performance, higher product yield, enhanced operational efficiencies and better community and stakeholder relationships.

Carus Chemical, a manufacturer of chemicals to treat drinking water and waste water, invites local teachers to work in their chemistry laboratories during summer breaks as paid interns. The knowledge they gain is transferred to the classroom to show how science is useful and to upgrade teaching programs.

Today, the USDA is putting more emphasis on whether proposed bio-crops are safe for the environment and human health, a change that might delay or even block the commercialization of some crops genetically engineered to make drugs and industrial chemicals. But if these genetically engineered crops might harm people when mixed with crops intended for food, companies need to recognize that the interests of the community and human health need to come before the commercial progress of science. Chemical companies have the opportunity to take a leadership position with regard to human health and safety and their corporate social responsibilities.

Another area of community impact is the movement of toxic chemicals through areas of human population. Access to toxic and dangerous chemicals poses a threat under normal circumstances and a heightened threat under conditions of terrorism alert. In the District of Columbia passenger trains and freight trains share the same tracks and the presence of graffiti on rail tankers proves how accessible they are to human intervention. Responsible companies are increasing their inspection of tracks and monitoring hazardous material shipments to help protect against terrorist attack. The CEO of Eastman Chemical recently explained, "Each year we report the number of accidents, the amount of hazardous wastes we produce, and how efficiently we're using energy ... we add to that how much money we're spending on environmental protection." All of this and more go onto the Eastman web site. He concludes, "We don't publish this information so people will think we're wonderful or because we're trying to make ourselves feel good. We publish it because it makes good business sense. The communities where we operate are vitally interested in making sure we operate safely and without harm to the environment."

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