The Responsible NanoCode is intended to be a voluntary, principles-based Code, which is appropriate for adoption by organisations of all sizes involved in the research, development, manufacturing and retailing of products using nanotechnologies. It was developed through an inclusive process which engaged with multiple stakeholders, including SAFENANO. The NanoCode describes what was considered to be a consensus of what constitutes good practice and provides guidance on actions organisations can undertake to demonstrate responsible governance.
The NanoCode is focussed around Seven Principles that are central to the responsible development of nanotechnologies. Specifically, the NanoCode recommends that each organisation should:
- Ensure that responsibility for guiding and managing its involvement with nanotechnologies resides with the Board or governing body;
- Proactively engage with its stakeholders and be responsive to their views in its development or use of products using nanotechnologies;
- Identify and minimise sources of risk for workers handling products using nanotechnologies, at all stages in the production process or in industrial use, to ensure high standards of occupational health and safety;
- Carry out thorough risk assessments and minimise any potential public health, safety and environmental risks relating to its products using nanotechnologies;
- Consider and respond to any social and ethical implications and impacts in the development or sale of products using nanotechnologies;
- Adopt responsible practice in the sales and marketing of products using nanotechnologies;
- Engage with suppliers and/or business partners to encourage and stimulate their adoption of the Code and so assure its own ability to fulfil its Code commitments.
For each Principle, suggested ‘Indicators of Good Practice’ are outlined. Such principles are relevant for organisations involved throughout the lifecycle of nano-enabled products.