Vision and Mission: Sustainable Chemistry
SusChem is the European Technology Platform for
Sustainable Chemistry. It
is a forum that brings together industry, academia, governmental policy groups
and the wider society.
SusChem’s mission is to
initiate and inspire European chemical and biochemical innovation to respond
effectively to society’s challenges by providing sustainable solutions.
SusChem’s vision is
for a competitive and innovative Europe where sustainable chemistry and
biotechnology together provide solutions for future generations.
SusChem’s priority areas, led by industries, include
and Energy Efficiency, Water, Raw Materials, Smart Cities, Enabling
Technologies and Education.
What is Sustainable Chemistry?
The Organisation for
Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) defines sustainable chemistry as:
"Sustainable chemistry … seeks to improve the efficiency with which
natural resources are used to meet human needs for chemical products and
services. Sustainable chemistry encompasses the design, manufacture and use of
efficient, effective, safe and more environmentally benign chemical products
Sustainable chemistry … stimulates innovation across all sectors to design and
discover new chemicals, production processes, and product stewardship practices
that will provide increased performance and increased value while meeting the
goals of protecting and enhancing human health and the environment.”
Essentially sustainable chemistry is about doing more with less: reducing the
environmental impact of processes and products, optimizing the use of finite
resources and minimizing waste.
Sustainable chemistry can ensure eco-efficiency in everything we do, both
individually and as a society. Sustainable chemistry also means protecting and
extending employment, expertise and quality of life. It provides a sustainable
basis for the innovation needed to stimulate a competitive, knowledge-based,
enterprise-led economy across Europe.
But solutions provided by sustainable chemistry must also be acceptable to society:
they must be trusted and designed according to what society wants and needs and
they must be economically sound.
In practice, it
means that SusChem projects and programmes should address clear societal needs, be environmentally sound and economically viable.
and competitiveness are strategic priorities for SusChem. Progress on
sustainability, competitiveness and environment protection are intimately
linked; chemical products and chemistry-driven technological advances provide
critical answers and ensure the sustainable development of modern societies.
The chemical industry, being a critical element of most value chains and
supplying its products to all sectors of the economy, is at the forefront of
the transition to a more sustainable development; the move towards increased
sustainability requires developments that entail the knowledge and competences
present in the European chemical sector and within its networks.
Chemistry for a sustainable future
SusChem's vision for the future and specifically for Europe2020 can be found here
Sustainable chemistry has a huge part to play in solving
society’s current and future challenges. These challenges include meeting
future energy needs, reducing our energy and water consumption and emissions,
favoring a circular economy (recycling, waste management, making best use of
essential raw materials or finding substitutes, helping our urban areas to be
better places to live.
These efforts are supported by enabling technologies,
falling in three main categories in the Chemical Industry: Industrial
Biotechnologies, Reaction and Process Design and Materials Technologies.
SusChem believes that sustainable chemistry can help inspire
the change of pace and mindset that is needed to make the vision of a
sustainable, smart and inclusive society a reality.
To read more about the possibilities for sustainable
chemistry take a look at Cefic's ‘Tomorrow Starts with Chemistry’ brochure.