Sustainable chemistry: concept, actors and activities
(Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research GmbH – UFZ)
Max Söding (Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research GmbH – UFZ)
Vera Hickethier (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH - UFZ)
Paper short abstract:
The idea of 'Sustainable Chemistry' is not new, but has recently received new momentum. In May 2017, the German Environment Ministry and the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) launched the ISC3 - International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre to help 'shape transformation.' But how?
Paper long abstract:
Sustainable Chemistry is a broad concept that draws on and contributes to an even wider agenda of sustainable development. It depends on scientific research, but also goes far beyond science. The American Chemical Society (ACS) links it to Green Chemistry and describes it as a 'different way of thinking about how chemistry and chemical engineering can be done.' Most importantly, however, it is an emerging concept that frames an ongoing transformation process that affects society as a whole on a global scale. This paper explores the concept of Sustainable Chemistry in the context of existing regulatory frameworks and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Based on a document analysis, it outlines how different actors (political organisations, industry, NGOs, etc.) frame the transformation towards Sustainable Chemistry, and which actors or aspects are missing from the debate.
Meet our chemicals: ubiquitous presence, selective views