Linde North America has received certification of its Clear Lake, Texas, HyCO (hydrogen/carbon monoxide) plant under the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Responsible Care® program.

Jake Leavins, head of the Linde Houston HyCO cluster, said, “The Clear Lake team has worked hard to demonstrate Linde’s commitment to ACC’s Responsible Care program. Certification is a significant milestone, which exemplifies our focus on health, safety, security and the environmental as the top priority. It demonstrates Linde’s commitment to our employees, customers and the surrounding community that we are a leader in our industry. We are proud of our standards and continuous improvement mind set. The Clear Lake site is privileged to display the Responsible Care certification.”
Responsible Care is a globally recognised management system aimed at helping companies improve performance in areas such as safety, health, environment and security. Certification is mandatory for all ACC member companies, which must undergo headquarter and facility audits by an independent, accredited auditor to verify that they have a structure and system in place that manages and measures performance. Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) is Linde’s independent auditor.  
Since 2008, 22 Linde plants in North America have been certified under the program. The Clear Lake plant has been operating for 34 years and produces hydrogen and carbon monoxide for use in chemical manufacturing and oil refining. It produces 45 million cubic feet of hydrogen and 33 million cubic feet of carbon monoxide for customers in the Houston Ship Channel, Bayport, and Texas City areas. The plant employs 29 people.
Tim Wren, head of safety, health, environment and quality for Linde North America, said, “I congratulate the entire team at our Clear Lake plant, who worked very hard for this certification. While it was a painstaking process to meet all the criteria for this award, the experience is very rewarding. Working toward — and receiving — this certification falls right in line with Linde’s goals as a high performance organisation.”
The Responsible Care management system offers an integrated, structured approach for driving continuous improvement in seven key areas: community awareness and emergency response; security; distribution; employee health and safety; pollution prevention; process safety; and product stewardship.
Implementing the Responsible Care system is a multi-step process. Companies must first plan – identify, assess and evaluate potential hazards and risks associated with their products, processes and operations – and establish goals and objectives to address any significant hazards or risks. Next, they must do what they have planned, checking their progress along the way to measure performance and take necessary corrective actions. Communicating with employees and other stakeholders, including neighbors and customers, along the way also is essential.
The Linde Group is a world-leading gases and engineering company with around 51,000 employees in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2011 financial year, it generated revenue of €13.787 bn. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards long-term profitable growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment– in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. The Group is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.

Linde North America is a member of The Linde Group, a world-leading gases and engineering company. The ACC is an association of producers, manufacturers and suppliers of chemical products. Linde has been a member of the ACC since 1951.