Project Details Development of four Environmental Chemistry and Sustainability symposia for the ‘Chemistry for Sustainability’ thematic programme in 48th World Chemistry Congress, Montreal, 2021

Project No.: 
Start Date: 
12 April 2021
End Date: 
31 March 2022


The project’s aim is to coordinate and organize symposia on Environmental Chemistry and Sustainability to be included in the ‘Chemistry and Sustainability’ thematic programme in the 51st IUPAC General Assembly & 48th World Chemistry Congress 2021 in Montreal, and organize the Division VI Chemistry of the Environment Award competition.
The half-day symposia are:
• The Environmental Impact of Fires
• Emerging Technologies and Conservation Practice for Sustainable Agriculture and Public Health
• Sustainable Polymers
The symposia will enable scientific and professional exchange related to themes and topics associated with the work and expertise of Division VI membership.


The symposia ‘Environmental Chemistry and Sustainability’ aims to highlight how chemistry play a significant role in underpinning environmental innovations to address sustainability and help to achieve many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The symposia include topics which are relevant to the work and expertise located in the IUPAC Chemistry and the Environment Division (Div VI), but also the Polymer Division (Div IV), while emphasizing rising concerns over plastics pollution.

Div VI sponsors a number of active related projects and can bring expertise from project team leaders and members representing several of these projects from a variety of countries. It is therefore proposed that the Division coordinates and organizes a series of symposia to be in included under the congress thematic program of: 6. Sustainability: ‘Environmental Chemistry and Sustainability: ’

Symposium 1A Healthy Intake: Environmental Pollutants in Air, Water, Food and their Removal

In the urban environment, humans are exposed to a variety of different toxic elements and compounds, including both legacy contaminants, as well as contaminants of emerging concern. This exposome may cause negative long-term health impacts, even when no specific recommended limit for an environmental concentration has been exceeded, due to either “cocktail-effects” resulting from simultaneous exposure to many contaminants or a lack of established limits for contaminants of emerging concern. In this context, this symposium invites contributions that are focused on the physicochemistry of (inorganic and organic) chemicals in the air, water or food or their roles as vectors of contaminant uptake. Laboratory, field or modeling studies are solicited with emphasis on urban environments, agriculture and the chemistry of cold environments. The development of new analytical techniques that could be used to measure environmental pollutants in these three matrices are also welcome.

Symposium 2 – The environmental impact of fires

In the last years, increase in frequency, intensity and duration of drought episodes associated to climate change have increased ecosystem vulnerability to fire. As a result, devastating wildfires have developed in different areas of the World causing tremendous damages to human life, property and natural resources. This Symposium addresses the effects of fire on different environmental ecosystems as well as chemical technologies to reduce wildfire severity and for environmental restoration.

Symposium 3 – Emerging technologies and conservation practices for sustainable agriculture and public health

Agriculture as a global industry is undergoing rapid transformations with many new and disruptive technologies, spanning multiple scientific disciplines from chemistry, to plant biotechnology, to remote sensing, and data science. This symposium focuses on emerging technologies to improve the sustainability of crop production and to improve public health as well as advances in air, soil, water, and biodiversity conservation practices.

Symposium 4 – Sustainable Polymers

Polymeric materials have benefitted human society dramatically since the macromolecular hypothesis was proposed by Hermann Staudinger a central ago (June 1920). Since then, over 8 billion tonnes of plastics have been produced. Sustainable polymer is one of the important future directions of polymer science and a rapidly growing area in the industry. Many innovations and new development will spring up in the next decade, for solving the key environmental challenges of plastics. This conference provides opportunities for delegates from different areas to exchange new ideas on sustainable polymers to mitigate the environmental impact of plastics, towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


See update on the Congress website

April 2022 update – The 48th IUPAC World Chemistry Congress and the Canadian Chemistry Conference took place virtually on 15-20 August 2021. Oral presentations were uploaded in advance to be viewed on-demand; they were complemented by live discussion sessions with the speakers during the conference. The IUPAC Chemistry and the Environment Division (Division VI), also supported by the Polymer Division (Division IV), organized four symposia on Environmental Chemistry and Sustainability in the ‘Chemistry and Sustainability’ thematic programme. The symposia provided forums to share advanced knowledge on environmental chemistry, the connectivity between environmental chemistry and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and improved technologies for safeguarding different environmental compartments and human health. For example, the next generations of sustainable polymers, the identification and impact of pollutants in the atmospheric, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems caused by fires, and the innovation of sustainable applications in crop and livestock agricultural production.

The symposia took place over three days (16, 19-20 August), during which a number of high-profile international speakers presented on four special sessions:

– Sustainable polymers

– The environmental impact of fires

– Emerging technologies and conservation practices for sustainable agriculture and public health

– A Healthy Intake: environmental pollutants in air, water, food and their removal

All four symposia were well-attended and well-received, raising awareness of the important topics associated with the symposia.

See full report: Purchase, Diane, Farenhorst, Annemieke, Garelick, Hemda, Kandile, Nadia G., Luscombe, Christine, McConnell, Laura, Mertoglu, Bulent, Miller, Bradley, Sakellariadou, Fani, Terzano, Roberto and Wu, Weiping. “Environmental Chemistry and Sustainability ” Chemistry International, vol. 44, no. 2, 2022, pp. 45-48.

project completed

Page last update 19 April 2022