100 Ways: The Chemistry of Sustainable Development [VIDEO]

ICCA’s “100 Ways” video hub features more than 100 examples from nearly 40 organizations illustrating some of the many ways industry is helping to advance the UN’s sustainable development agenda.

At the June 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, known as Rio+20, Member States launched a process to develop a set of universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to better target and monitor progress across all three dimensions of sustainable development – social, environmental and economic. The SDGs are intended to build upon the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and converge with the post-2015 development agenda.

ICCA members believe a sustainable future begins with the chemical industry’s own environmental footprint and extends to the innovations we develop to help solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.

ICCM4 offers industry a unique opportunity to raise the curtain on the role chemistry can play in tackling the world’s biggest challenges. Our goal is to catalyze government action toward creating the conditions needed to accelerate and intensify deployment of innovative products and technologies that can make a difference in six key sustainable development categories.

Health & Wellbeing

image2Advances in chemistry play an instrumental role in increasing agricultural production to feed a growing world population. Chemical products protect plants from pest infestation, increase crop production through the use of high-yield seeds and slow soil erosion.

Chemistry is also essential to safe drinking water. Advances in chemistry include disinfectants that kill germs and prevent disease, polymer membrane filters that remove impurities, and materials for pipes that protect water, from its source to the tap.

Finally, medical breakthroughs and innovative technologies made possible by chemistry provide deeper understanding of the causes of, and better treatments for, infectious diseases, enabling people to live longer and healthier lives.

Energy & Environment

image3A sustainable, green economy demands a new energy future. It requires making more and better use of renewable resources, dramatic changes to consumption patterns and developing innovative technologies that maximize scarce, non-renewable resources to vastly improve energy efficiency around the world.

The chemical industry is lowering energy consumption by increasing energy efficiency in our homes, offices, factories and vehicles, and by light-weighting materials in products and packaging.

Chemical innovations also enable the breakthrough of sustainable technologies in energy generation, storage, recovery and alternative fuels, providing end-user products for a low-carbon society.

Sustainable Cities

image4Chemistry is key to developing new technologies and materials for sustainable construction and urban mobility.

We’re creating lithium ion batteries that will power the next generation of electric cars, advanced biofuels, more cost-effective materials for solar panels, and materials and production techniques for creating advanced wind energy technologies.

Chemistry is also transforming how we use energy and enabling technologies that increase energy efficiency in homes, offices, factories and vehicles—everything from lightweight auto parts, to energy-efficient windows, doors, lighting and insulation, to lightweight packaging.

Sustainable Economies

image5The global chemical industry is a $4 trillion enterprise that affects virtually every sector of the economy. Our businesses are driving innovation in virtually every nation and in six continents around the world. More than 95% of manufactured goods are touched by chemistry.

That’s why the safe production and management of chemicals is crucial to economic growth and enhancing quality of life for people around the world. Innovation provides business opportunities and a sustainable foundation for new growth in developing regions.

By helping to enhance product stewardship activities around the world, we continue to create capacity for innovation and economic growth in the countries that need them most.

Product Safety & Stewardship

image6The global chemistry industry is committed to continually improving sustainability through the safe management of chemicals throughout their lifecycle.

Sound chemicals management is best achieved through a combination of transparent, cost-effective, science-based regulations and voluntary initiatives. Promoting safe management and use of the essential products of chemistry is a shared responsibility of manufacturers, government and those who sell or use chemical products.

Through the Global Product Strategy, ICCA and its members provide technical support for associations and companies that are actively working to build their risk management processes and harmonize them with international standards.

Learning & Education

image7Quality education brings numerous benefits to communities – from greater economic growth, to improved public health, to more stable societies.

The global chemical industry supports equitable quality education and education for sustainable development (ESD), in addition to promoting life-long learning opportunities for people around the world.

That’s why, working in partnership with government and non-government organizations across the globe, ICCA members are committed to designing educational programs that are socially, culturally and economically relevant to the countries in which they are implemented.

It’s just one of the many ways in which we are working to raise living standards and increase health and happiness around the world.