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This week I was attending the EcoChem Conference at Basel in Switzerland. Major purpose of this event was to support creating a new vision for the future of a sustainability driven chemical industry. The conference provided an excellent mix of interesting perspectives from strategy and financing sustainability projects all the way down to process technology and innovation, looking in particular at biotechnology and biobased chemicals or polymers. For me personally it was a bit like a journey back to my old times in catalyst development and polymer technology.

However, in many presentations and discussions the following aspects regarding the role of sustainability in chemicals became evident:

1) Sustainability projects must be financially viable, in other words there must be a business case for sustainability activities to support not only ecological and social but also economical value creation.

2) Securing availability of sustainable energy and raw materials to mitigate risks is and will remain a critical success factor.

3) There is a strong need for reliable Lifecycle Analysis (LCA) Data and content provisioning, based on common standards.

4) Managing an exponentially increasing amount of global, regional and local regulations will remain a major challenge.

5) The impact of sustainability projects and activities must be measurable.

6) There is still a gap in the chemical industry in terms of communicating the benefits of sustainability related activities to consumers and communities.

What do you think? Are you in agreement with those statements and can SAP help to address these issues?

Please share your opinion with us.

Stefan Guertzgen

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