Chemistry for a sustainable life
The Goal of Sustainable Development in Chemistry
The chemical industry is one of the world's most successful, competitive and essential business sectors. It employs millions of people, directly and indirectly, and has estimated annual sales of over US$ 1.7 trillion. Its products play a major role in many aspects of life by bringing improvements to areas such as health, agriculture, clothing, construction, transport and leisure.
The sector features major international companies operating throughout the world. Their plants are substantial and competitive while their products and processes are at the cutting edge of innovation.
Regarding sustainable development, it is very important that :
- Chemical operations do not put workers at risk nor endanger the environment. This includes emissions to air and water and discharges to land.
- Innovation plays a key role in:
° developing low-cost products accessible to billions of individuals
° proposing new products and processes which protect the environment
China, which first focused on basic chemistry, agrochemicals and fine chemicals to fulfill its primary needs, has now become the world's 4th largest chemicals manufacturer. The country has entered into a new phase with its recent membership in the WTO. Faced with fierce competition from overseas, the country now must modernize its production facilities which are still too small, too dispersed, and consequently not competitive enough to meet the challenges of tomorrow. However, worldwide industry leaders see China's growth potential and are making considerable investments, bringing state of the art technologies, modern equipment and marketing strategies to the country.