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Looking Ahead: The 6th Cycle of Responsible Distribution

Looking Ahead: The 6th Cycle of Responsible Distribution

With the new year and a new three-year cycle of Responsible Distribution fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about what the changes and enhancements to Responsible Distribution will mean for NACD members and potential members. 

To get a better understanding of what the 6th cycle will bring, we went straight to the source, Terry Aubry Garrett – the director of quality for EMCO Chemical Distributors, Inc. – and the newest chairperson of NACD’s Responsible Distribution committee. 

For those who don’t know Terry, she’s been working in the chemical distribution industry for 20 years, managing technical services, operational services and working to help grow the industry. In those 20-years she’s held directorial positions in operations, quality, and regulatory affairs and most recently in 2012 became the corporate director of quality for all domestic and Canadian sites for EMCO. 

With EMCO being one of the first companies to participate in Responsible Distribution  back in 1991, Terry began her work with a copy of the Responsible Distribution Process (as it was called then) and the not-so-simple task of taking what was in place and modifying it and building from it to make the most efficient, profitable, and responsible business possible. From the beginning, she’s acted as “the equivalent of a dietitian, personal trainer and life coach” but rather than working with one person, she’s been shaping the future of a successful business. 

“If you have a good backbone, you can build off of it”

While that mantra applied to Terry’s early work in the Responsible Distribution space, it’s also helped shape her vision for the 6th cycle. The most crucial aspect of moving the program forward is building on the strong foundation that’s already in place. But that doesn’t mean it’s just going to be more of the same. For starters, the 6th cycle will have a renewed focus on interactive and engaging workshops to increase networking and interaction between code coordinators. The goal is to get different people to talk so we can all absorb different viewpoints and incorporate them into our work moving forward. As Terry puts it, “That’s where the magic happens.” 

The committee is also working to improve existing elements of the Code of Management Practice to give better definitions and examples of expectations. Programming around topics such as Management of Change, Risk Mitigation, Sustainability and Security have all been enhanced. A new element, planning and training for media inquiries, has been added to ensure that members are prepared for properly handling information requests and responding to incidents that impact our customers, communities and work force. 

2017 will also see the roll out of a new Responsible Distribution dashboard on the NACD website. The new portal will have updated functionality improving the user experience for all of our members. We have been testing the new dashboard internally and our hope is to have it live and open to members by the first of the year so stay tuned for more updates on this important change. 

“If you’re new to NACD, you’re at the beginning. It’s a marathon not a sprint. The benefits pay for themselves and Responsible Distribution becomes a point of pride.”   

New tools, new programs and new approaches are all important aspects of the next cycle of Responsible Distribution, but we know how important it is to provide our existing members and our new members with the resources to help them succeed. The resources NACD provides are especially important to new members who are just joining the Responsible Distribution program and have a long, but worthwhile, way to go. 

NACD provides dedicated staff resources, online resources, a mentorship program and in 2017 a new enhanced advisers program, all of which are fantastic tools. These are in addition to our ongoing Responsible Distribution workshops for potential new members as well as existing members. Our goal is to give you the tools to train you, to help you, to give you those interactions and continue to build the necessary building blocks that will help you be successful in implementing Responsible Distribution. 

For new members, you have to understand the time and the resources needed to make it to the finish line. This program is a commitment. It takes a lot of work to realize the benefits. It requires dedication to maintaining the standards and, as Terry explains, it requires support from senior leaders. “It requires fully vetted, ownership by executive management—that you are not going to just meet the legal requirements, which all businesses should be doing, but instead you are voluntarily imposing a higher set of standards that puts you in a peer group that works to improve the entire industry.” 

For companies that have been implementing Responsible Distribution for a while, the start of a new cycle brings a flurry of new opportunities. This isn’t just a chance to get into the program and start writing your standards but also a chance to make a process fresh again. It’s also a great opportunity to look at who you’re grooming for an advancing role in your business. It’s the perfect time to bring someone under the wing of a code coordinator and turn them into a great resource for your future business goals.