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News | 2023-06-21
Panorama av en grön skog av lövträd med solen som kastar sina ljusstrålar genom lövverket.

New report summarises the opportunities and obstacles for a green chemical industry

Mistra SafeChem now publishes a report about the opportunities and obstacles for a green chemical industry. It represents a mid-term result in the programme’s work to present a vision and agenda for green chemistry in Sweden.

The report Opportunities and obstacles for a green chemical industry in Sweden summarises the results of initiatives taken to reach the vision to enable a safe, green and sustainable chemical industry, and ultimately reduce the exposure of humans and ecosystems to hazardous chemicals.

The target groups are both Mistra SafeChem programme partners as well as everyone interested in the transition to a safe, green and sustainable chemistry.

– The chemical industry is facing large challenges to reach climate neutrality, improved chemical safety and at the same time provide chemicals and materials needed for a future societal transformation towards sustainability. In this study we have made some initial studies focussed on opportunities and obstacles related to these challenges says John Munthe, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, one of the authors.

– Both opportunities and obstacles have been identified but more analyses and dialogues with stakeholders are needed to reach firm conclusions and support sustainable industrial development.

These are the main conclusions of the report:

    • The EU Chemical strategy for sustainability and associated industry initiatives and current and planned research initiatives provide a strong framework for coordinated action towards a vision of safe, sustainable and green chemistry.
    • Chemical value chains are complex and global and include all societal sectors. Mapping chemical production and use with the purpose of analysing risks and prioritising areas for action involves many actors. The chemical industry is a heterogeneous group of companies. They also have widely differing conditions in terms of markets, industrial infrastructure, and financial strength which all affect the possibility of introducing new green and sustainable production methods and products.
    • Research, innovation and investments are central to future development. There is a need for reliable and low-cost tools for the assessment of chemical hazards of both new and existing chemicals, and for assessing hazards and risks of chemicals and materials from a life cycle perspective. This is also important for the development of methods to operationalize the Safe and Sustainable by Design concept.