Environmental Health & Safety

At Stepan, our operations are guided by a strong commitment to safety. We put health, safety and security first, recognizing that the people who enable our business are our top priority. We take the well-being of our employees, customers, visitors and communities in which we operate into consideration for everything decision we make. We continuously measure and evaluate operations while working with our employees to create a zero-incident safety culture. 

Read more about Stepan's commitment to safety.

Responsible Care®

Stepan Company is a member of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and a charter member of Responsible Care®. Responsible Care is a voluntary initiative within the global chemical industry and a commitment made by all ACC members. It was created by the chemical industry to promote safe handling of products from development in the research laboratory, through manufacture and distribution, to ultimate disposal, while involving the public in associated decision-making processes.

Responsible Care requires member companies to externally verify their Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Management Systems and to continually improve upon performance. This is accomplished by listening and responding to public concerns, assisting each other to achieve optimum performance, and reporting goals and progress to the public. Stepan conforms to the ACC Responsible Care Management System® (RCMS) for our U.S. sites.

We strive to be accountable to our stakeholders by reporting annually to ACC on the following metrics:

  • Community Outreach and Emergency Procedures
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) 5800 Incidents
  • Hazardous Air Pollutants
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Incidents
  • Process Safety Incidents
  • Product Stewardship 
  • Responsible Care Partnership Consideration
  • Security Code Reaffirmation
  • Greenhouse Gas and Energy Efficiency
  • Nitogen Oxide (NOx) and Sulphur Oxide (SOx) Emissions
  • Water Consumption

View ACC member companies’ Responsible Care Performance Results.  


Outside of the United States, Stepan sites are assessed and/or certified under comparable or equivalent Responsible Care programs:

  • China – ISO 14001
  • Colombia – Responsible Care Colombia
  • France – Responsible Care Union des Industries Chimiques
  • Germany – ISO 14001
  • Matamoros, Mexico – Chemical Manufacturers Association of Mexico (ANIQ) Responsible Care
  • Philippines - Responsible Care Chemical Industry Association of Philippines
  • Singapore – ISO 14001
  • United Kingdom – Chemical Industries Association Responsible Care

Product Stewardship

Stepan Company is a member of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), which represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC’s member companies, through ACC’s participation with the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA), are actively engaged with the Global Product Strategy (GPS). GPS, which is designed to meet United Nation's Strategic Approach to Chemicals Management, is an innovative program to improve product stewardship within the chemical industry and with suppliers and customers throughout the value chain. Stepan Company, along with other chemical manufactures engaged in GPS, are committed to make relevant product stewardship information on chemicals in commerce publicly available.

About Product Stewardship Summaries

Our product stewardship summaries are intended to give general information about the chemical or categories of chemicals addressed. They are not intended to provide an in-depth discussion of health and safety information. Additional information is available through the chemical’s applicable safety data sheet (SDS), which should be consulted before use of the chemical. The product stewardship summary does not supplant or replace required regulatory and/or legal communication documents.

Stepan Company has prioritized the chemicals we manufacture and are using this tiered approach to create our product stewardship summaries. Product stewardship summaries have been completed for those chemicals identified as being a high priority. To determine whether a chemical is classified as a high priority, several criteria were examined. Stepan Company first reviewed if the chemical was included in an area of high concern under national and/or international regulation. Examples of chemicals that fall under national and/or international regulation include those that are considered to be PBTs (Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic), CMRs (Carcinogens, Mutagens and Reproductive Toxins) and those restricted by other regulations or international conventions. Another factor used to determine high priority chemicals was the Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS Classification), including those that had the most severe classification for flammability or skin corrosion. Approximately five percent of Stepan Company's chemicals met the high priority standards.

Product stewardship summaries have been prepared for all high priority chemicals manufactured by Stepan Company. Product stewardship summaries have been added directly to Stepan Company's product bulletins, which can be found on each of Stepan’s product details pages.

Use’s Stepan’s Product Finder to find product bulletins, SDSs and detailed information on our products.

Safety Focus & Recognition

Stepan invests in behavior-based and task-based safety programs for our global workforce. The goal is to help employees establish habits and behaviors that promote ongoing safety awareness, thinking and responsiveness. Since 2010, Stepan Company has annually honored manufacturing sites that demonstrate excellence in employee safety, and prevention of spills, air releases, fires and property damage with the company’s President's Safety Award. This achievement requires leadership, teamwork and attention to prevention in activities by all employees across these successful sites.

Manufacturing sites in Elwood, Illinois; Winder, Georgia; and Anaheim, California, have been recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Voluntary Protection Program at the Star level. The OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) recognizes employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries. In VPP, management, labor, and OSHA work cooperatively and proactively to prevent fatalities, injuries, and illnesses through a system focused on: hazard prevention and control; worksite analysis; training; and management commitment and worker involvement. Approval in VPP is OSHA's official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health

Industry Safety Awards

  • UK Chemical Industry Award for Responsible Care Process Safety Leadership 2018 (1st place) and 2019 (2nd place) for Stepan Stalybridge, United Kingdom, facility
  • 2018 CN Safe Handling Award for Stepan Millsdale, Illinois, facility
  • Bureau of Fire Protection Recognition for Fire Safety and Earthquake Readiness presented to Stepan Philippines Quaternaries, Inc. facility in 2019
  • FM Global 2019 Significant Progress Award presented to Stepan Voreppe, France facility in Recognition of Ongoing Commitment to Property Loss Prevention

Stepan's Research & Development

Our ambition is to innovate with foresight and impact, bring science to sustainability and turn local insights into global solutions.

Accountability & Compliance

We work to demonstrate ethical, responsible and sustainable business practices across our value chain and at all levels of the company.

Third Party Partnerships

We aim to partner with third parties that align with our commitment to ethical and responsible business practices.

Performance with Integrity

Stepan works to ensure that the rights of our employees are respected and that we hold ourselves to the highest standards for business integrity.

Investing Toward Continuous Improvement

Compliance with external frameworks brings value to our customers, our employees and the communities in which we operate.

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