Our journey to sustainability


The European chemical industry as “the industry of industries” is a key player in enabling sustainable development in an environmental, economic and societal context. Cefic supports the role of the chemical industry as solution provider for a society in transition.

In March 2012 Cefic developed a Sustainable Development Vision. This vision illustrates how the European chemical industry can ensure that by 2050 over 9 billion people live well, within the planetary boundaries. It builds on the Responsible Care® programme – the industry’s ethical commitment to improving safe production, handling and use of chemicals across the supply chains – by addressing health challenges, economic prosperity and societal progress.

In 2016 Cefic adopted its Sustainability Charter. The Charter puts the vision of the chemical industry into operation, defining the pathway to sustainability. It provides a framework for action and dialogue on current and future challenges and includes a roadmap which contributes to the UN2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.

With this ambition in mind, Cefic and its members focus action and foster innovation in four key areas that are critical for progressing in sustainable development:

  • Enable a low carbon economy
  • Drive resource efficiency across global value chains
  • Promote the adoption of circular economy principles
  • Care for people and planet
Cefic journey to sustainability

Discover how the chemical industry is implementing these actions

Cefic’s Sustainability Progress Report update captures initiatives taken by Cefic and its members as part of the chemical industry’s overall commitment to sustainable development. Listed below are some of the examples driven by Cefic. Examples initiated by the industry are picked up on our ChemistyCan website.

Low carbon economy

Resource Efficiency

Circular Economy

Care for people and planet

Solvent safety

Euro Chlor 20 years of sustainability focus

Networking for Sustainability Assessment

WindEurope collaboration on recyclability of rotorblades of windturbines

Responsible Care rejuvenated

Assessing the safety of plastic additives

Ensuring sound management of chemicals at global scale

Safety and Quality for Sustainability

Collectively reducing plastic waste

MMAtwo’ project: circularity through recycling

Moving towards climate neutrality with European Commission initiatives

SusChem drives new technologies

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development sectoral SDG Roadmap

ChemistryCan.com: Innovative Solutions from the Industry

PHOENIX project

The CHESAR tool

“Low carbon energy and feedstock for the European chemical industry” study

The RE-Source Platform

Series of Green and Sustainable Chemistry Bootcamps with John Warner

Implementation of REACH