Today in Berlin, the Federal Environment Ministry and the Federal Environment Agency launched the new International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre (ISC3) located in the UN-city of Bonn. 200 experts came together to discuss sustainable and innovative chemicals policy at the opening of the international conference Mainstreaming Sustainable Chemistry - Launch of ISC3.
Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks presented the foundation charter to Friedrich Barth, the new Managing Director of ISC3, and Dr Christoph Beier, Vice-Chair of the GIZ Management Board. The ISC3 will be the driving force enabling emerging economies and developing countries to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Minister Hendricks said: "I am very proud that we have established the ISC3 together. Starting today, we will be able to make substantial contributions to national and international chemicals policy from the UN-city of Bonn. Most importantly, good research at the ISC3 will lend momentum to products and technology that are relevant for the economy and viable for the future. This is another building block for sustainable development made in Germany that will be recognised across the globe."
UBA President Maria Krautzberger added: "We need sustainable chemistry for a clean and safe environment. Sustainable chemistry applies the precautionary principle. Wherever possible, it looks for and uses safe alternatives to hazardous substances, and it promotes innovative processes and recycling concepts. We are delighted that the launch of ISC3 will enable UBA to step up its work in this area."
Friedrich Barth commented: "In the associated Network ISCnet, we can make use of our collective expertise to contribute to achieving the goals of the Sustainable Development Agenda and to actively shaping the handling of chemicals in a sustainable way."
The 20 employees of the ISC3 will also cooperate closely with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The aim of the ISC3 is to help make sustainable development a fundamental strategy of policies and in industry. The federal budget has earmarked 1.7 million euros in 2017 and from 2018 onwards 2.4 million euros annually for the support of the Collaborative Centre.
Sustainable chemistry means considering the complete cycle of chemicals use, including disposal. For example, lighter wind turbine blades are an advancement because they make energy generation more efficient. But can they be recycled? And how can we ensure that all companies of the supply and disposal chain are informed about the substances the blades contain and the correct handling? These are some of the questions sustainable chemistry is asking.