Chemistry: The Science Behind Sustainability
American Chemistry Council
For more than a century, chemistry has enabled solutions to some of the world’s most daunting challenges. Over time, our challenges have grown more complex as we seek to sustain the health and well-being of Earth’s growing population and its natural environment.
Today the chemical industry’s brightest scientists, engineers and researchers are developing solutions that will help people live longer, healthier lives and support a safe, clean and prosperous world where:
- The chemicals our industry makes are used and managed safely.
- We continually reduce the impact of our industry’s operations on the environment.
- A safe and abundant food supply nourishes the world’s population.
- Communities worldwide enjoy enhanced standards of living.
- Clean water is plentiful.
- Energy technologies enable cleaner, more efficient electricity and transportation.
- Science and technology reduce emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change.
- Land and water are unspoiled by pollution.
- Innovative materials, product design, reuse and recycling technologies allow us to conserve resources and capture the greatest value from each product.
The chemistry industry will help achieve these goals through science, innovation and collaboration.
Chemicals must be produced and used in ways that protect the health of people and the environment. We are committed to meeting this core expectation and are helping other manufacturers and businesses along the value chain to do the same.
And our commitment to sustainability goes beyond safe chemistry. We must also put the power of chemistry and our industry’s best minds to work, along with experts from the fields of energy, water, nutrition, health care, building and construction, transportation, recycling and waste management, environmental protection and sustainable development, to develop new and innovative ways that chemistry can contribute to a sustainable future.
As an industry, we will:
- Develop new ways to measure and promote the safe and sustainable use of chemicals.
- Commit to industry sustainability practices, hold ourselves accountable and exceed government regulations. Within a year, we will adopt new sustainability metrics to track our performance and allow others to measure our progress.
- Elevate the quality of life for people around the world through technologies that improve health and wellness, enable food security, increase access to clean water and provide comfortable shelter.
- Improve the availability, performance and cost-effectiveness of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies enabled by chemistry.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the manufacture and use of our products.
- Protect our environment by supporting efforts to reduce and manage waste so oceans and water sources are not polluted with mishandled plastic or other materials.
- Promote innovations in product design, product re-use, repurposing and recycling to extend the useful life and value of all products.
A sustainable future will require commitments from individuals, communities, governments, business and industry. The chemical industry is committed to being part of the solution.