Chemical Strategy for Sustainability
The Chemical Sustainability Strategy (CSS) launched by President Von der Leyen on October 14th 2020 is a central element of the Green Deal.
CSS offers an incredible opportunity for the European chemical industry to consider the Safe-and-Sustainable-by-Design (SSbD) approach as a tool to create new growth opportunities.
In order to protect citizens and the environment, CSS promotes innovation for safe and sustainable chemicals through:
  • banning the most harmful chemicals in consumer products, allowing their use only where essential
  • taking into account the cocktail effect of chemicals when assessing the risks of chemicals
  • phasing out the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the EU, unless their use is essential
  • promoting investment and innovative capacity for the production and use of safe and sustainable chemicals by design and throughout their life cycle
  • promoting EU resilience of supply and of critical chemicals
  • establishing a simpler "one substance one assessment" process for assessing the risk and hazard of chemicals
  • playing a leading role globally by supporting and promoting high standards and not exporting banned chemicals to the EU
SSbD towards a greener chemistry
Green Chemistry, defined by the European Environment Agency as “the design of chemical products and processes that reduce and eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances” is the backbone of the green transition strategy. It represents a global market that includes bio-based chemicals, renewable raw materials, green polymers and less toxic chemical formulations widely used in various pharmaceutical, food, textile, construction, rubber-plastic, transportation and other sectors.
The application of SSbD criteria to allow complete of green chemistry is closely linked to the need to use Life Cycle Assessment as a tool not only for measuring the environmental impact of greener products but above all, to encourage redesign. This implies the commitment of manufacturers to develop safer solutions thanks to the use of harmless or low-risk substances for humans and the environment as well as to avoid better recyclability and upcycling right from the conception phase.