The Chemicals Industry & Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals have been created to promote prosperity while protecting the planet no matter where you come from. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.
The Chemicals Industry & Sustainable Development Goals

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.

The Chemicals Industry has the potential to contribute to sustainable and healthy food supplies. With advances in extending the shelf life of food by working on new forms of packaging and the maintenance of the foods quality. These advances in chemistry could also be used to produce higher yield seeds with better fertilization methods to increase the amount of food that is produced on farms around the world. Fortification of our food is not a new advancement and has been worked on before, but with the Chemicals Industry it is possible to produce even more nutritious food to combat malnutrition in specific areas around the world.

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.


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