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How to reduce the chemical industry’s environmental impact?


As the environmental challenges become a priority for everyone, the chemical industry is equally concerned by this challenge. In fact, there are innovative solutions that have been developed to significantly reduce the environmental impact of chemicals in many sectors. These include: Construction & Materials, Hygiene & Protection, Health, Beauty & Nutrition and Industry.

This article explains the challenges of the chemical industry and the solutions to meet them efficiently.

Chemical industry issues and challenges

Increased greenhouse gas emissions

Nowadays, the chemical industry is confronted with many challenges, including global warming and air pollution. The chemical industry is implementing solutions to reduce the amount of waste produced by the industry, in addition to studying new, more environmentally friendly production methods. This development method is called “overcycling” or “upcycling”. What is the objective? Use the products intended for disposal by the industry in formulations, in order to valorize them and find a maximum of added value.

For example, the kiwi is highly valued for its fruit, which is characterized by its tangy taste and high vitamin C content. But the kiwi leaves are frequently discarded and not used. However, they also provide many benefits. They have antioxidant properties and are used in cosmetic formulations to help fight cell aging.

Fossil resources depletion

The world faces a depletion of fossil resources (coal, gas, oil) and the chemical industry is no exception. The chemical industry is therefore developing solutions to compensate for this global depletion. Many stakeholders are taking a more environmentally friendly approach with more responsible alternatives such as bio-based solutions. What is the objective? Use of biomass raw materials in formulations (with biological materials such as algae, plants or trees) that substitute the use of fossil resources.

The development of biobased solutions is constantly increasing, especially in products for the construction & materials, hygiene & protection and industrial markets. They are integrated in a circular economy, which allows to reduce the environmental impact and offer an excellent product quality.

Green chemical industry aims to reduce the environmental impact of the sector

Increased greenhouse gases, fossil resource depletion… The chemical industry has a role to play in environmental concerns, both in the synthesis of molecules and their final use.

These considerations are driving both industry and consumers, who are increasingly conscious about the necessity to move towards a sustainable future. The development of a sustainable chemical industry, known as “green chemical“, has become a matter of course. Green chemicals are intended to limit the ecological impact of chemical processes, both by reducing waste materials and using biobased products.

We aim to achieve better production, while consuming and discharging considerably less.

In fact, it is necessary for the industry to research and develop new technical and technological solutions that are capable of meeting the challenges posed by the twelve core principles of green chemicals.

The R&D initiatives of French companies in the sector are supported by the Research Tax Credit (RTC), which entitles them to recover up to 30% of the expenses incurred.

As you know, the chemical industry is a key sector for the French economy and, in a broader sense, for the world economy. Otherwise, the populations would not have access to the products they consume on a daily basis, such as cosmetics and cleaning products. However, the industry must innovate to develop more environmentally friendly products and processes to meet its responsibilities in terms of environmental protection.