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Responsible Distribution Canada (RDC) is a non-profit trade association for the distribution sector of the Canadian chemical industry.  As of January 2017, RDC represents 45 member companies across Canada, with 169 sites.

RDC’s member companies are committed to taking every practical precaution towards ensuring that products and services do not present an unacceptable level of risk to its employees, customers, the public or the environment.

RDC’s members adhere to a management program known as Responsible Distribution®, which ensures a continual reduction of incidents that may result in or threaten injury to people or damage to the environment.


To be the most recognized and trusted source for industry education and safe handling of chemicals & ingredients.


RDC is the voice of organizations in the chemical & ingredient supply chain, who champion health, safety & sustainability through Responsible Distribution.

Responsible Distribution Canada’s mission is supported by four pillars of strength: RD Leadership, Education, Advocacy & Member Services.


RDC (formerly CACD) was formed in 1986 through initiative of Herb Montgomery, RDC’s first executive director. Mr. Montgomery’s goals were unity in the industry, to make business better and to gain credibility by all publics and communities.

Resources were pooled by Canada Colors & Chemicals, Min-Chem/Lawrason’s, Anco, CIL, Dempsey and Stochem, who were committed from day one. The first meeting was held at CIL House with 13 companies in attendance. This group of 13 were joined by 9 others at the “first official” meeting, which totaled 22 member companies. The desire of this group was to define their own destiny, rather than government regulators managing the process. The by-laws for the association were drafted at the second meeting.

RDC (formerly CACD) was incorporated in 1987.

Responsible Distribution® was discussed early on, because of Aud Harlow’s (CACD’s second executive director) background in Responsible Care®. The original thought was RDC would follow CCPA’s distribution code, but it became apparent that it did not meet the criteria of chemical distributors.

The founders of RDC were proud that there was no dissension of membership opposite Responsible Distribution. Commitment to RD became a condition of membership in 1998.

In 1996 RDC adopted a mandatory manual verification by a third party auditor. Each member company had to implement a set of policies and procedures. This was known as Phase 1 – Manual Verification.

In 1998 the next phase of the implementation process was set in motion. The Member Company’s Manual was audited against its actions, by a third party independent auditor. In other words, the Company had to prove it does what it says. This process became known as Phase 2 On-Site Verification.

Not long after, RDC entered into an agreement with CIAC (formerly CCPA) , in which RD certified companies could use the Responsible Care trademarks and logos. One of the conditions of this agreement was that RDC had to begin recording and tracking incidents. In 1999, RDC initiated an annual reporting mechanism for Indices of Performance. This was a first for chemical distributors around the world. During these years relationships were built, fostered and strengthened with allied associations within Canada and globally. Canada had been the leader in RD and shared the knowledge with others. It was adopted in different models elsewhere.

Along with RD, the Indices of Performance results were distributed to other associations, who in turn engaged in the same process. As of 2004, approximately 10 countries are reporting their statistics worldwide. RDC’s past president Steven LePoole is leading the World programme.

In 2002, RDC held a strategic planning session. The future of the Association was discussed at length. The Leaders of the association realized that RD needed modifications to update it to today’s standards. In June 2004 the new RD Code of Practice was presented to the membership and adopted (unanimously) as the new standard. It enveloped quality standards, community awareness, risk analysis, customer and supplier stewardship and others. This new code was titled RD 21st Responsible Distribution in the 21st century.



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