Two decades of Responsible Care: Credible response or comfort blanket?

The chemical industry’s flagship Responsible Care programme - pieced together in response to its worst disaster, in Bhopal 20 years ago - continues to expand to new countries. But it is still failing to deliver public trust in the sector. Parallel global and European reviews aim to breathe new life into the initiative but are hitting fundamental obstacles. Critics point to the programme’s obvious flaws and dismiss it as a PR exercise lacking in substance. Yet Responsible Care’s supporters say it is achieving things that legislation alone could not.

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