Sustainable Chemistry

ISC3 – International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre

Sustainable Chemistry – Towards a Common Understanding

Sustainable Chemistry is an essential part of sustainable development based on the application of ecological principles in chemical production and by shaping product design, manufacturing, consumption of resources, health and safety at work, economic success and technical innovation based on clear sustainability criteria – in industrialized nations as well as in emerging and developing countries.

Along that path the chemical industry plays a crucial role. On the one hand, it consumes vast quantities of raw materials and energy and is the cause of pollution with hazardous substances. That is why the sound management of chemicals and waste is crucial. On the other hand, today the chemical sector already plays an important role in solving key societal problems by using and developing innovative materials and products. This offers broad opportunities for economic progress especially in developing and emerging countries – whilst protecting health and the environment. Therefore, a sustainability-oriented chemical industry can make a major contribution to achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN.

Towards a common understanding of sustainable chemistry

As a globally acting independent institution, the ISC3 aims to establish sustainable chemistry as a holistic approach addressing all dimensions of sustainable development; the ecological, the economic, and the social dimension. The ongoing international debate on sustainable chemistry and the sound management of chemicals highlights not only the challenges and opportunities of the emerging concept, the debate shows very clearly that the perspectives and expectations on sustainable chemistry differ widely between the different stakeholder groups. Developing a common understanding of sustainable chemistry therefore seems to be vital for the future of the new transformative concept. To reflect the different perspectives, expectations and criteria discussed in the context of sustainable chemistry, the ISC3 seeks to initiate a stakeholder dialogue process towards a common understanding of sustainable chemistry.

International dialogue on the emerging concept

To create a starting point for a stakeholder dialogue process, the ISC3 currently prepares a draft paper on the key aspects that should be taken into consideration for the development of a common understanding of sustainable chemistry. Based on this first draft paper a dialogue process will be initiated to reach out to the stakeholders worldwide. Furthermore, the 1st ISC3 Stakeholder Forum in March 2019 will provide an opportunity to discuss the draft paper and contribute to developing a common understanding of sustainable chemistry.

More information on the draft paper and the dialogue process will be available soon.

Maria Krautzberger’s view on the Sustainable Chemistry Concept: Find out more in the Interview with the President of the German Environment Agency (UBA).