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Nuno Bacharel
Nuno Bacharel

Hi YourFormula community,

A promised, I´m writing to you from Basel in Switzerland. No, I didn´t come here to eat chocolates or to see the beautiful Christmas markets. As you may know, I´m attending  Ecochem – the Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Event.

The event started with a plenary opening session featuring Hubert Mandery, Cefic Director General, who  pointed out the challenges that the chemical Industry is facing: “In less than 40 years from now, two  billion more people will be living on the planet, most likely aspiring to have a first-world consumption  lifestyle.  Providing nine billion people with food, water, energy, shelter, health care, mobility and consumer goods will be a huge challenge”. In addition, he stated that “more growth with less resource consumption is only possible with progress in chemistry”, concluding with

“the best of chemistry is yet to come.”


During the three day event, different discussions on sustainability, innovation and growth are taking place.

I had the chance to attend a stream session about sustainable solutions for consumer products, where representatives from Nike, Coca-Cola, Ecover, Dupont and Avantium sat  at the same table to discuss the big challenges of sustainable chemistry.

For this panel, the major challenges are around the supply chain, consumers and innovation.


 1. Supply Chain


For  Dr. Klaus Stadler from Coca-Cola, one key challenge is to “build a supply chain that is aware of the importance of using sustainable products” and implement the use of them along the whole process of production.

About the supply chain, Tom Domen, Innovation Manager at Ecover says that “companies need to engage really hard in the supply chain and they need to push the suppliers to think about the materials that they use.”

In fact, there are a lot of opportunities in the supply chain, but the big part of the job is for the companies to put all different solutions together and opt for the most “sustainable supply chain.”


2. Consumers


Jonh Frazier, from Nike pointed out  that consumers are not always aware of the “efforts that companies are making  to get more sustainable products on the market”.

The representatives from the different industries agreed  that frequently consumers, due to the lack of information, think that the new sustainable products or materials have less quality and are less efficient.

Despite f this, “companies are making  considerable investments on research and Innovation to bring innovative solutions and sustainable products to the market.”


 3. Innovation


Innovation was mentioned as the big challenge on sustainable chemistry, as it is through innovation that companies can “create exciting products”. The challenge that these companies are facing today is that before bringing a new product to the market, they need to be sure that the innovation is actually making the product more green and efficient at the same time. Due to the fast evolution of the market, this can be complex.

So these are the first thoughts on sustainable chemistry!


In your opinion, what can sustainable chemistry do for brands, consumers and the world?

 What do end users need from the chemical Industry?

What are the big challenges?


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