Chemical Leasing Toolkit

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Green and Sustainable Chemistry

Green Chemistry

Green Chemistry has been an emerging area of sustainable design since its introduction in the 1990s. It is a concept that seeks to reduce and eliminate hazardous chemical substances through the improved design of chemical products and processes (source). The 12 Principles of Green Chemistry provide a framework for green chemistry and help to define green chemicals, processes, or products. These principles are accompanied by the 12 Principles of Green Engineering. Implementing these sets of principles will enable the chemical industry to become more sustainable from an economic, ecological, and social perspective (source).

Chemical Leasing addresses several of these principles, such as waste prevention and the use of less hazardous chemicals due to process optimisation and the coupled reduction in chemical quantities. The integration of Innovative Business Models such as Chemical Leasing into green chemistry projects can provide  a powerful solution to overcome barriers of further promoting the green chemistry concept among stakeholders.

Sustainable Chemistry

Sustainable Chemistry contributes to the improvement of resource efficiency and risk minimisation in the chemical industry and aims at an environmentally friendly production and use of chemicals including, for example, the prevention of pollution and waste, the inclusion of the entire life cycle of a product, or the enhancement of a product’s recyclability and durability. This “encompasses the design, manufacture and use of efficient, effective, safe and more environmentally sound chemical products and processes” (source). Thus, sustainable chemistry is essential for long-term sustainable development. It respects the need to improve the quality of human life within the carrying capacity of the world.

Chemical Leasing is a beneficial business model for companies, enabling them to engage in sustainable chemistry and to improve resource and energy efficiency, reduce waste, decrease risks caused by hazardous chemicals and lessen the negative environmental impact. In addition, Chemical Leasing increases the competitiveness and profitability of the business partners.

Chemical Leasing can serve as an instrument for moving towards Sustainable Chemistry. The 10-year record of successful Chemical Leasing case studies worldwide provides an excellent basis for including Chemical Leasing more prominently into the concept of Sustainable Chemistry.

It shall be highlighted that Chemical Leasing provides the business case to pursue green/ sustainable chemistry and that there are noticeable overlaps to the three Conventions of Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm: the Green/ Sustainable Chemistry concepts could provide the narrative for implementing the conventions at the operational level and for bringing the life cycle approach of the Conventions into the mindset of business.