The Chemicals Industry is diverse and complex, and as such interacts with a wide number of SDGs. So, it has an important role to play to help achieve these Sustainable Development Goals. From the food and water we eat and drink to how the energy and infrastructure sectors operate around the world.
Here we will be presenting a few ways in which the Chemicals Industry can make an impact on these SDGs by tackling specific issues in different sectors to help strive towards the SDGs.
Chemicals can help the Clean Water and Sanitation SDG in multiple ways. They could help improve the urban water treatment capabilities and increase the resilience on water pipe systems through specialised coatings. As water becomes a scarcer resource, the Chemicals industry can work on more effective water purification/desalination methods to achieve the goal of safe and affordable drinking water around the world. Producing chemicals that help with the removal of heavy metals in water and help companies minimize their water usage.
Chemistry is definitely one of the major driving factors to help meet the Affordable and Clean Energy SDG. One great example is helping to increase the proportion of renewable energy or innovative energy technologies, these may include photovoltaics, batteries, super capacitors and more. The chemicals industry can also improve the manufacturing efficiency of companies to help them use less energy. Even just trying to improve the currently energy efficiency of existing technologies through the use of chemicals can help advance this SDG.
Chemical products can help the Responsible Consumption and Production SDG by improving the efficiency of production processes in multiple different industries. In addition, chemicals can help with the transition to a more circular economy by assisting in the recycling of certain unrecyclable products. Biobased chemicals can help provide an alternative to conventional petroleum derived products by using renewable feedstocks such as non-food by-products of agriculture. Catalytic enzymes could help accelerate the transformation of plant water into useful materials.
Chemical research will play an important role in the mitigation and adaptation to current climate change issues. Chemical companies can provide assistance in energy efficiency, reducing the footprint of their products and the development of innovative solutions to avoid downstream emissions. With a push towards a low-carbon economy, chemicals could play a role in moving towards a circular and low-carbon environment by finding ways to reduce CO2 emissions from waste, biomass, transportation, electricity production and more. Chemical companies can work together to build resilience and adaptive capacity for many sectors.