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Federal Minister Elisabeth Köstinger: Green Chemistry Conference is an impetus for future EU chemicals policy

Published 08 Nov 14:48

UNIDO Global Award presented at the Green Chemistry Conference in Vienna

The Green Chemistry Conference was held in the Austria Center Vienna on 5 and 6 November 2018 under the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. ‘Green chemistry’ refers to the environmentally friendly production of chemicals, in other terms, production that uses as little energy and as few resources as possible. Renewable raw materials and smart synthesis routes and processes are the cornerstone of a chemical industry of the future. The substitution of harmful substances with alternatives that have a favourable toxicological profile is also regarded as a mainstay of this discipline. Scientists joined representatives of companies and of international and European institutions at the conference in Vienna to address this issue. In addition to approaches from laboratories and possible interfaces to the EU chemicals policy, start‑ups from Austria and abroad presented their ideas, which demonstrate that green chemistry will be an essential part of the future from both an economic and an environmental point of view.

“Including the Green Chemistry Conference, we have held a total of three international conferences on the EU chemicals policy during our Presidency and have achieved a great deal as a result. As part of a circular economy, the EU chemicals policy must focus on resource efficiency”

said Federal Minister Elisabeth Köstinger at the conference.

UNIDO Global Chemical Leasing Award presented in Vienna

The Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism has developed a ‘chemical leasing’ business model to promote a switch from the purchase of chemicals to the purchase of chemical services. Companies do not simply buy chemicals; instead, they lease them, together with their correct and efficient use and disposal. Payment is made on the basis of the chemical service provided. As a result, the economic interest of chemical manufacturers is reversed – the more efficiently the products are used, the higher the profit. This business model has been presented at a number of international conferences and in a raft of publications over the past few years. First awarded in 2009, the Chemical Leasing Award was established by the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and has now been awarded for the fourth time.

“Chemical leasing is sustainability in action – a successful concept ‘made in Austria’. As the projects showcased by the Global Chemical Leasing Award demonstrate so impressively, the model is now being implemented in dozens of industries worldwide, reducing the use of chemicals – some of which are extremely hazardous – by thousands of tonnes and at the same time increasing added value for all business partners”,

said Sustainability Minister Elisabeth Köstinger. The international panel of judges reviewed 90 entries from 20 countries. The prize‑winners came from Uganda (beverage industry), Croatia (textile cleaning), Colombia (metal processing), Sri Lanka (wastewater treatment), Ukraine (university course), and China (public support).

More information about this event can be found on the event page.

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Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism
Michael Strasser
Spokesperson for the Federal Minister
+43 1 71100 606716