OPCW Convenes International Experts to Develop Strategy for Greener, Safer, and More Sustainable Chemistry

Scientists and chemistry professionals, and including IUPAC representatives, met online on 4 and 5 August 2020 for a meeting on Green and Sustainable Chemistry for Safety and Security organised by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The meeting focused on discussing recent developments in green and sustainable chemistry and how these can relate to the objectives of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Participants also proposed projects to be considered by the OPCW.

The OPCW’s Director of the International Cooperation and Assistance Division, Ms Kayoko Gotoh, noted the important role that the OPCW plays in assisting its Member States to enhance the chemical safety and security of their national chemical industries. Introducing the OPCW’s work on green and sustainable chemistry, Ms Gotoh added: “Over the past decades, green and sustainable chemistry has gained in popularity in the scientific and academic community. It continues to be of growing interest, including in the chemical industry, as a framework for minimising the risk of harmful by-products and promoting sustainability.”

The meeting gathered eighteen professionals from thirteen Member States, comprising scientists, technologists and members of professional chemical societies and associations, as well as representatives of international organisations, including the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), and IUPAC.

Seventeen speakers made presentations in the following subject areas: Chemistry Going Safe, Green and Sustainable; The Industry Perspective; Educating Chemists for a Green and Sustainable Future; The Voice of Americas; and Organizations Moving Green and Sustainable Chemistry Forward. Two discussion sessions followed on concrete actions for the OPCW moving forward.

Mark Cesa, former IUPAC president, spoke about sustainability and capacity building programs at IUPAC. His overview mentioned IUPAC’s strategic plan and its areas of scientific emphasis, the Safety Training Program (STP) of COCI, the e-learning modules on scientific ethics developed by CCE, the terms of the recently established Interdivisional committee on Green Chemistry for Sustainable Development (ICGCSD), the Top Ten Emerging Chemical Technologies, and relevant projects in the Analytical Chemistry Division, the Chemistry and the Environment Division, and the Chemistry and Human Health Division. Prof. Hemda Garelick (Div VI), Prof. Anna Makarova (COCI), and Dr. Fabian Benzo Moreira (STP coordinator) provided specific input include in that presentation. Prof. Makarova also spoke, and there were talks about the OPCW Advisory Board on Education and Outreach, on which IUPAC has permanent observer status, and about the Hague Ethical Guidelines, which IUPAC has endorsed.

Participants, all together representing Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, China, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Italy, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, South Africa and the United States of America, also seized the opportunity to discuss cooperation opportunities and ways in which the OPCW can best support its Member States to develop sustainable chemical industries.


For more information and background, see OPCW https://www.opcw.org/media-centre/news/2020/08/opcw-convenes-international-experts-develop-strategy-greener-safer-and

See also most recent IUPAC project 2018-022-3-020Building Broader and Deeper Links Between OPCW and IUPAC

last update 12 Nov 2020

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