A new major initiative has been launched representing “the international ecosystem for accelerating the transition to Safe-and-Sustainable-by-design materials, products and processes”, also known as the IRISS project. Cefic joins this consortium, led by IVL, the Swedish Environmental Research Institute, to build a global network of experts and stakeholders who will develop roadmaps to conduct research and innovation, as well as demonstrate existing needs in policy areas. Six value chains are at the heart of the work, including textiles, construction, electronics, energy, automotive and packaging.
“These six value chains represented in the project will provide a clear picture of the industry’s ongoing and future transformation. Efforts are required from an early stage of design and manufacturing to ensure that materials are sustainable for people and the environment, as well as to increase recycling and use resources in a more efficient way”,says Emma Strömberg, researcher and project coordinator at IVL.
The EU is investing more than €3.5 million into the IRISS project which will support companies, both with knowledge and research, towards building guiding principles for life cycle thinking in material and product design. The consortium consists of European research institutes, trade associations, companies, authorities, and universities, as well as National Technology Platforms within SusChem, the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry.
“Circularity, climate neutrality, functionality, and safety are four important building blocks that must all be included when designing new materials and products. By taking action and making improvements already at the design stage, we can reduce resource consumption and climate emissions and at the same time design products and materials that can be more easily circulated and recycled. This is a prerequisite for us to achieve the goals that have been set in the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,”added Emma Strömberg.
“The chemical industry has already incorporated sustainability criteria into their innovation steering processes, having the Safe and Sustainable-by-Design approach as a guiding principle. We look forward to working with the different partners of the IRISS project to promote the wide transition to Safe and Sustainable-by-Design materials, products, and services”,said Daniel Witthaut, Cefic’s Executive Director Innovation.
Cefic will lead the work package “Value Chains and SSbD Ecosystem”, aiming to ensure that specific industry experience and key data from relevant value chains will be considered and integrated in IRISS’ output. These include construction, textiles, automotive, packaging (for instance plastics, paper/carton), energy and electronics.
Stay tuned for more information and upcoming iniatives.