Sustainability alive! Transforming the chemicals industry with conceptional approaches to assess chemicals along their lifecycle Chemikalien (FKZ: 3722 65 404 0)

Many of the chemicals used today have toxic or ecotoxic properties and can harm humans and the environment when released in the life cycle. Replacing particularly hazardous chemicals with sustainable ones that have no or few harmful effects is a goal of the global sustainable development agenda.

Companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, that use chemicals in their manufacturing processes are often overwhelmed by the task of assessing whether and which substances and mixtures are sustainable and which aren’t. It is therefore necessary to evaluate scientific findings on substance properties, environmental impacts such as effects on the climate, biodiversity or resource consumption as well as the recyclability of chemicals and products containing them, and to translate them into simple parameters and criteria for assessing the chemicals’ sustainability. Efforts are being made both – in the EU and at the global level – to develop corresponding assessment tools.

In this project, the methodology for sustainability assessment of chemicals (see Guide on the selection of sustainable chemicals and Access Tool "SubSelect" by the UBA) will be updated and complemented with parameters on hazard, exposure and the waste phase and brought in line with ongoing activities for similar assessment tools. The online tool to be developed will be tested on different products and in one industry sector. It will be made available in 6 languages.

The total duration of the project is 3 years (October 2022 to September 2025).


Antonia Reihlen

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