RESPONSIBLE CARE® MANAGEMENT
SYSTEM CERTIFICATION SUPPORT
Linde North America, Inc.
In January 2008, EA was retained by Linde’s North American Business Unit to support the Stages I and II certification of its Headquarters and 16 operating sites to the American Chemistry Council Responsible Care® Management System (2005) standard. This effort was in response to an American Chemistry Council imposed deadline for member organizations to comply with third-party certification requirements. Unique challenges of this effort included the merger of the former BOC Gases and Linde into Linde Group, a $13 billion global leader in the compressed gas industry. The overall effort was critical to Linde’s continued growth and expansion in the packaged gas market. EA services included:
- Responsible Care® Management System Gap Assessment—EA staff facilitated a 2-day gap assessment of Linde’s integrated safety, security, health, environmental, and quality management system with security, health, environmental, and quality leadership. The outcome was an “as-is” assessment of current program conformance to the Responsible Care Management System standard to base transition planning.
- Responsible Care® Management System Action Planning—Based on the gap assessment, a detailed action plan to implement a Responsible Care® conformant management system was prepared outlining key tasks, roles and responsibilities, areas for leadership sponsorship, etc.
- Responsible Care® Steering Team support—As a member of the Linde Responsible Care® Management System Steering Team, facilitated Senior Leadership Steering Team directing Responsible Care® management system implementation. Provided 2 months of onsite headquarters’ level support interacting with Senior Leadership Team. Developed process maps of key operations and activities to illustrate relationship to Responsible Care® Guiding Principles, Codes of Practice, and Technical Specification. Defined evidentiary documents to support process.
- Communications Planning—Assisted Corporate Communications Department to develop a stakeholder communications strategy and plan in support of Responsible Care® requirements including development of Responsible Care® website information. Defined stakeholder categories, key message, types and frequency of communications, etc.
- Product Stewardship Risk Assessments—Assisted Product Stewardship Coordinator in completing initial Product Stewardship Risk Assessments in conformance with Responsible Care® requirements for seven packaged gas product lines. Supported multi-organizational team assessing hazard/risk and control along life cycle stages of the product, including design and development, supply, manufacture, storage, distribution, customer use, and disposal/recycling.
- Executive Coaching—EA staff provided one-on-one executive-level coaching on Responsible Care® requirements to Senior Leadership. Coaching emphasized linkage of existing Linde SHEQ programs to Responsible Care® Guiding Principles, Codes of Practice, and the 2005 Technical Specification requirements.
- Mock Audits—An experienced EA lead auditor conducted mock audits of the Responsible Care® management system using the third-party registrar’s Stage II assessment plan. Mock audits were conducted under simulated conditions to emphasize preparation of audit teams and ability to respond under intense questioning. EA evaluated each participant’s involvement and made recommendations to the Linde leadership team on the appropriate size and mix of the audit teams to ensure audit success.
A third-party Stage I Headquarters Audit was conducted by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance Limited in May 2008. After two intensive days, Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance Limited had no findings and only one suggested Area for Improvement recommending certification. External auditors were impressed with Linde’s preparation, knowledge of the processes, and presentation of evidentiary support. Linde achieved Stage II certification at 9 operating plants by December 2008 with no major or minor non-conformances. Effort involved operational assessments at plants in Washington, North Carolina, Ohio, Maine, New York, Indiana, and Georgia. EA is currently assisting with 2009-2010 certification at 7 additional plants, and transition planning for the remaining 60 plants.