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

The chemical industry is one of the largest and most diversified industries in the world, and supplies virtually all sectors of the economy. Our unique position makes us a key player in helping other sectors become more energy- and resource-efficient.

Did you know that the chemical industry develops materials and technologies that can boost your home’s energy efficiency, make 100% recyclable products, build more efficient wind turbines and even help preserve wild fish in oceans, among other things? This is just a small sample of the technologies that we are working on.

On Chemistry Can we document our journey towards a low-carbon, resource efficient and circular future.

Our members' innovation

ChemistryCan make you faster

Creating comfortable and durable sports clothing

Usain Bolt and other world league runners make sprinting look so easy. Sure, Bolt is…

Designing sustainable packaging by increasing the use of renewable raw material

Exploring ways to make plastic from renewable resources

Reducing dependence on crude oil is an integral part of the transition towards a bioeconomy….

Advanced chemical additives boost the quality of recycled paper

A new generation of biodegradable additives helps tackle paper waste

Even though digitalisation is increasing, the use of paper is still an important part of…

Creating smart homes

Smart solutions help save on energy bills and protect the environment

Considering that traditional buildings account for a whopping 40% of all energy consumption, and around…

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.”



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

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.