On ChemistryCan we show how the European chemical industry facilitates the transition to a more sustainable society

The chemical industry has an important part to play in maintaining our growth and prosperity, and in our transition to a sustainable society. Across industries – from health, hygiene, construction and mobility to agriculture and energy supply – chemicals are an essential ingredient, vital to a competitive business landscape.

The European chemical industry is strongly committed to the global framework consisting of the UN2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the Paris Climate Agreement. ChemistryCAN help make the UN Sustainable Development Goals a reality.

ChemistryCAN contribute to reaching these global goals by facilitating the transition to a resource efficient, low-carbon and circular economy while at the same time caring for people and planet.



Chemicals play a major role in the production of renewable energy and in enabling other sectors to reduce their carbon footprint



Chemicals turn by-products from one process into raw materials for another



Chemistry makes it possible to re-use our finite material and energy resources more efficiently



The chemical industry uses highly demanding operational management systems to minimise this risk of handling hazardous substances and prevent harm

Our members' innovation

Energy efficient “cool roofs” can reducing the need for air conditioning

Designing with energy efficiency in mind

Buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions in the…

Making renewable energy work

Salt-filled ponds accumulate and store solar energy for further use

Our society has learnt to generate energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar…

Recycling the unrecyclable

A new technology makes it possible to recycle complex multi-layer materials

The transition to a circular economy seeks to replace today’s linear “take-make-dispose” approach to resources….

Recycling food packaging into school desks

A new project improves child nutrition in South Africa and shows circular economy in action

Food packaging plays an important role in preventing food waste, keeping our food fresh longer…

Experts' views

    Bjorn Hansen, Head of Unit Chemicals, Biocides and Nanomaterial, DG Environment European Commission
    Bjorn Hansen, Executive Director, European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)

    “The switch to a true circular model is not a continuous process, it’s an abrupt shift. We shouldn’t base our whole strategy on assuming that we can make a smooth transition”…

    Dr. Nicola Kimm, Head of Sustainability, Environment, Health & Safety - Philips Lighting
    Dr. Nicola Kimm, Global Head of Sustainability, Philips Lighting

    “We are looking for ways to join forces to revolutionize the global shift toward the reuse and recycling of plastics and already designing products with recycling at end of life in mind.”

    Janez Potočnik, Co-Chair UNEP international Resource Panel
    Janez Potočnik, Co-Chair UNEP International Panel

    “We need the understanding that the way we produce and consume is not sustainable and that the transformation of the existing economic system is simply unavoidable.”

    Antonia Gawel, Head of the Circular Economy initiative at the World Economic Forum
    Antonia Gawel, Head of the Circular Economy initiative at World Economic Forum

    “Technology is an enabler that has supported some transformation already. But to scale the circular economy concept we need new policy approaches, and a closer look at potential financing models.”

ChemistryCAN realise breakthrough innovation

Chemicals have always been a catalyst. Think penicillin, potable drinking water through chlorine, packaging that extends food shelf life and countless other life-changing developments we now almost take for granted. So, what will it take to scale the next-generation of breakthroughs in chemistry – those that truly represent sustainable solutions on a global and transformational scale? Certain conditions are required to realise chemistry’s potential to support Europe becoming the global hub for implementing and scaling solutions to global challenges.

Here we look closely at two ideas – carbon productivity and e-mobility.

Where is the European chemical industry heading ?

The world we live in is in transition. With the adoption of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the signing of the Paris Agreement, the world has taken a new pathway in action on climate change and the environment.

The European chemical industry is fully committed to the Paris Agreement, and strongly believes that a thriving industry goes hand in hand with solutions to combat climate change, Cefic’s President Dr. Hariolf Kottmann and Cefic’s Director General Marco Mensink explain.