Responsible Production (RP), an approach designed by UNEP, focuses on the prevention of accidents associated with chemicals in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In a systematic five-step approach, accident risks are identified and assessed, and risk reduction measures are suggested and implemented. Stakeholders such as chemical suppliers, equipment manufacturers, insurance companies, and local authorities and facilities are involved in the entire process. Experience has shown that the way chemicals are handled presents a major problem in SMEs, and that risk reduction measures often help to reduce chemical consumption. This approach corresponds to the objectives of Chemical Leasing.
To reduce risks sustainably, it is essential to involve chemical suppliers in the process. This involvement is also in the interest of the chemical industry, since accidents with chemicals and the resulting impacts on human health and the environment tend to have an extremely negative effect on the industry’s image. Chemical industry associations and major international suppliers therefore support the close collaboration between users and suppliers, and this collaboration also corresponds to the Chemical Leasing model.
The documentation of results obtained in RP and Chemical Leasing projects should also be mutually supportive, as Chemical Leasing documentation may address improvements related to safety and RP documentation may address improvements that reduce consumption of chemicals. The Chemical Leasing sustainability criteria might also be used for RP in an adapted version.