European Technology Platform For SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY


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 Resource 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 and processes.

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.

Sustainability 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.