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.

Developing a common understanding: Dialogue Process 2019 - 2020

The ongoing international debate on sustainable chemistry shows that the expectations towards sustainable chemistry differ between the stakeholder groups. As an international collaborative centre, the ISC3 has therefore initiated a dialogue process to develop a common understanding.

The dialogue was initiated in 2019 based on the ISC3 Thought Starter “Towards a Common Understanding of Sustainable Chemistry”. The dialogue invited all stakeholders to voice opinions and share their expectations towards the emerging concept. Lively discussions took place during the first ISC3 Stakeholder Forum in June 2019. Furthermore, the Thought Starter was introduced to the SAICM stakeholders through an INF doc, which was submitted by the ISC3 to the OEWG in Montevideo, as well as at a workshop at the margins of the IP3 in Bangkok. 

The revised version of the paper “Key Characteristics of Sustainable Chemistry” was presented at the 2nd ISC3 Stakeholder Forum in November 2020. The paper can be downloaded below.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We are looking forward to learning about your ideas, expectations and questions! (contact©


Download the Dialogue Paper “Key Characteristics of Sustainable Chemistry”