Chemistry: The Science Behind Sustainability

Through the science of chemistry, earth’s basic building blocks – like carbon, hydrogen and oxygen – are transformed into materials that have helped revolutionize society.

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Innovations in chemistry are helping to improve lives and protect the environment in a number of ways – by enabling clean drinking water, a safe and adequate food supply, medical breakthroughs like vaccines and pasteurization, clean energy technologies, materials to build a resilient infrastructure, fuel-efficient transportation options and more.

Chemistry has improved the lives of millions around the world – but we know we have more that we need to do.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) recently unveiled a set of industry-wide Sustainability Principles, which articulate our contributions to sustainability and our commitment to advancing safe, innovative, effective chemical products, materials and technologies that are essential to a sustainable future.
These principles illuminate our industry’s commitment to:

  • Develop new ways to measure and promote the safe and sustainable use of chemicals.
  • Provide information on the impacts of chemicals based on best available science.
  • Address the environmental impacts of our products and processes and achieve measurable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants in the manufacture and distribution of our products.
  • Protect our environment by supporting efforts to reduce and manage waste so oceans and water sources are not polluted with mishandled plastic or other materials.
  • Promote innovations in product design, product re-use, repurposing and recycling to extend the useful life and value of all products.
  • Go beyond regulatory requirements to manage, measure and report our progress through Responsible Care®, our mandatory environmental, health, safety and security performance initiative.
  • Achieve ambitious goals so that 100 percent of all plastics packaging is reused, recycled or recovered by 2040.

These principles are more than just words on paper. They reflect the real-world technology developments and molecular discoveries that scientists at our member companies are advancing every day. Developments that will transform carbon dioxide into a raw material for flexible foam, or turn algae into a source of clean, renewable, low-carbon energy, or that create  flexible, strong orthopedic implants to help seniors stay active, longer – all made possible by chemistry.

As the world’s challenges continue to grow more complex, as we seek to sustain the health and well-being of Earth’s growing population and our natural environment, the men and women of the chemistry industry are continuing to work today to meet the needs of tomorrow.

Learn more: www.ScienceBehindSustainability.org

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