Sustainable chemistry

Sustainable chemistry is crucial in the move toward a circular economy and a climate-neutral society. BlueChem underlines the belief in sustainable chemistry as the key industry of the 21st century and the pacesetter of a circular economy. Moreover, chemistry provides crucial innovations and products for successfully addressing the climate challenge.

Door start-ups en groeibedrijven te helpen versnellen, hun producten vlotter op de markt te brengen en zo snel mogelijk hun volledig commercieel potentieel te bereiken, speelt BlueChem een essentiële rol in de overgang naar een duurzame toekomst.

Sustainable chemistry is one of the five key sectors that the Flemish Government is highlighting in its economic vision of the future.

BlueChem concentrate specifically on innovation in sustainable chemistry. The projects at BlueChem focus on four themes that correspond to the strategic goals of CATALISTI, the spearhead cluster for chemistry and plastics.

  • the effective use of waste and side flows
  • process optimisation
  • the development of renewable chemicals
  • the development of sustainable products

More specifically, it concerns the conversion of waste and CO2 into reusable chemicals, industrial applications for bio-based materials such as sugar beets or wood waste, making products more reusable and recyclable within a circular economy, and reinventing production processes to produce more with less energy, fewer raw materials and less waste.

In short, it is chemistry as the source of solutions for a better, cleaner and more sustainable future while respecting everyone’s quality of life.

Chemistry is the source for development toward a better, cleaner and more sustainable future with respect for everyone's quality of life.

BlueChem must provide the impetus for leading innovations with which Flemish chemistry sets an example for the rest of the world in aiming towards a more sustainable society and a circular economy. This reinforces the international appeal of the Flemish chemical sector, which can lead to new investments. BlueChem is thus an additional asset to anchor the chemical industry in Flanders in the long term and prepare it for the future.

With 60,000 direct and 150,000 indirect jobs, the chemical and life sciences sector is one of the most important branches of industry in Flanders. It accounts for a third of the added value, a third of all exports and almost half of all industrial expenditure on research and development in Flanders.

The chemical industry is the driving force behind the port of Antwerp and the Flemish economy.

In terms of per capita turnover, Flanders is actually the world champion in chemistry and plastics. Eight of the ten largest chemical companies in the world have a production site in the Flemish region.

Read more about the contribution of chemistry to the Sustainable Development Goals in the sector’s sustainability report: