Each member company of CARI commits to the following guiding principles:
- Protecting people and the environment together with economic development: sustainable development.
- Ensuring all employees understand and are able to fulfill their safety and environmental responsibilities.
- Designing and operating operations based on the efficient use of energy, resources, and materials.
- Complying with all legal requirements that affect its operations and products.
- Refraining from making false or misleading statements about its products.
- Working actively, directly or through the association, with governments and the public to develop equitable and attainable standards.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and product stewardship are increasingly popular waste management strategies that use political means to hold producers liable for the costs of managing their products at the end of their life.
Canada officially adopted an EPR strategy in 2009, when the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) endorsed a Canada-Wide Action Plan for Extended Producer Responsibility. CARI, on behalf of its members, developed its own policy on EPR and product stewardship. CARI decided essentially to support stewardship, but only when it is necessary and always subject to the following five conditions:
- That the manufacturer and/or initial importer of the product be responsible for end-of-life management costs.
- That producers focus on designing products to minimize environmental impact and maximize material recovery.
- That any program be based on the private sector competitive process.
- That the costs of the program not be listed separately, but be internalized as with any other cost.
- That any collection system be developed with input from the recycling and waste industries.