The Chemical Industry and UN Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health & Well-Being
I am happy to launch Resinate’s 2019 blog series, where each month we will focus on a different UN Sustainable Development Goal and the chemical industry’s impact. If you are not familiar with the goals, Pyxera Global has an excellent infographic that provides a nice summary.
The chemical industry is essential to sustainable development, and green chemistry is its path forward. Human health and well-being is a prime example of the impact green chemistry innovations can have. The EPA gives several human health benefits of green chemistry including cleaner air and water, increased safety for workers in the chemical industry, safer consumer products of all types, and safer food.
Goal 3 includes several targets, with target 3.9 stating, “By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination.” This target is right in line with several of the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry (including design less hazardous chemical syntheses; design safer chemicals and products; use safer solvents and reaction conditions; design products to degrade after used; analyze in real time to prevent pollution, and minimize the potential for accidents.)
Chemical industry leaders like Covestro are already recognizing the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals. Covestro has a goal to align their R&D project portfolio with them- and appears to be well on its way to achieving it. As an example, they have products for the medical industry that are improving human health, like the biocompatible polycarbonate resin, MAKROLON®. The company also works to prevent air, water and soil pollution by partnering along the value chain to create processes to strengthen a circular economy. In 2017, they established a central coordinating office for the circular economy.
Steelcase, a furniture manufacturer, uses a materials chemistry practice to assess materials in their supply chain and understand their potential impacts on human and environmental health. To date, they have assessed over 1,600 materials. This allows them to identify materials of concern, eliminate them, and work with their supply chain to develop sustainable alternatives.
At Resinate, our number one goal is always safety. This is why we have invested to create a strong safety culture that encourages and empowers employees to identify and eliminate hazards before they cause harm. We also consistently seek to use and create safer materials; as well as develop partnerships across the entire value chain that allow us to prevent waste and pollution by creating a circular economy.
90% of manufactured goods are in some way linked to the chemical industry.1 It is our collective responsibility to ensure that as industry and the population continue to grow, it does so in a sustainable way that improves the lives and well-being of all.
1. An Agenda to Mainstream Green Chemistry, Strategies for Innovation, Research and Adoption by the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council