ChemistryCAN conserve resources


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

Reducing carbon and applying circular thinking will take us only part of the way to our vision for a sustainable Europe. We need to increase resource productivity and decouple growth from resource consumption. Chemicals can be resource- and energy- intensive to produce, yet we can overcome constraints through product and operational innovations, turning by-products from one process into raw  materials for another.

Growing demands on the world’s natural resources underline the critical importance of resource productivity; that is doing more with less. We work on performance efficiency in our own manufacturing – our footprint. And by using molecules in the most efficient way and by designing products with durability, material re-use and recovery in mind, chemistry can help minimise the use of finite resources – our handprint.

Chemical products can help our customers use resources more efficiently. The industry is innovating to improve raw material efficiency, developing products that use less materials while delivering the same or superior performance. We are also innovating in ways that help support recycling of materials and recycling opportunities in the value chain.

When developing and manufacturing our products, we rely on efficient processes. This pays off for both the industry and the environment; we achieve higher product yields in our plants, use fewer resources and reduce both emissions and waste. For these reasons the chemical industry also invests in a range of different approaches to improve resource efficiency in its own operations.

Case studies

Preserving wild fish stocks

New process enables production of fish oil from natural marine algae

Every year around one million metric tons of fish oil is produced worldwide and its…

Use residual heat to warm households

Residual heat from Shell’s refinery in Rotterdam will heat some 16,000 households in the city

Residual heat generated in oil refineries can be captured and used as a valuable source…

Making chemical plants more resource efficient

Chemical parks make it easier to recover industrial by-products and waste

Using by-products as raw materials for new production processes has become a successful strategy for…

Exploring potential for by-product exchange

Industrial clusters enable more efficient use of by-products and waste

Using by-products and waste streams as raw materials for new production processes has become a…

Leaving no waste discharge

Citric acid processing creates valuable by-products for various uses

Citric acid is the most widely used organic acid with applications in food, beverage, pharmaceuticals…

Interlinking production to build high-efficiency plants

Industrial symbiosis helps cut carbon emissions and reduce waste

Industrial symbiosis is an efficient way for the energy and material-intensive facilities to spare resources…