Trucost News / 06 May 2015

New US report shows growing market potential for safer chemicals

Study is first to build comprehensive picture of financial costs and benefits.

A new US report finds significant market growth potential for safer, less toxic chemicals. The report from Trucost, an independent research firm, builds a strong case for the growing market potential for safer chemicals based on an in depth examination of economic research, market trends, and interviews with business across the value chain. The research was commissioned by the Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (CG3) and the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC).

The report entitled, Making the Business & Economic Case for Safer Chemistry, evaluates the potential business and economic value of safer chemistry. This includes reducing the use and generation of hazardous substances, reducing the human health and environmental impacts of processes and products, and creating safer products. The research included interviews with 17 industry experts, as well as a review of literature and available data on the business and economic opportunities achievable through safer chemistry and the business and economic value at risk from not adopting safer chemistry.

Among the findings in the report are:

  • The market for safer chemicals is estimated to have 24 times the growth of conventional chemicals market worldwide, from 2011 to 2020.
  • A growing market demand for safer ingredients across various products, including personal care, cleaning products, baby products, apparel and footwear, healthcare, electronics, building materials and furnishings
  • Potential financial costs of conventional chemistry, including regulatory fines, loss of access to markets, and social costs of accidents and incidents are driving the market for safer alternatives.
  • Job growth in safer goods and services is well ahead of conventional chemical industry.

“Trucost’s research clearly demonstrates the business benefits of safer chemicals. By translating the risks and opportunities of green chemistry into economic terms, the results will help companies move from awareness to action,” said Richard Mattison, chief executive of Trucost. “It also helps communicate the benefits of more sustainable products and business models to policymakers, investors and other stakeholders.”

“Trucost’s analysis demonstrates the important value to both the economy and health in investing in research, development and scaling of innovative green chemistry solutions, said Dr. Joel Tickner, Director of the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council. “Given increasing market, policy, and consumer drivers, the report points out the essential roles of enhanced value chain collaboration and the need for better metrics in accelerating safer chemistry.”

“This report demonstrates what many in the industry have believed: that safer chemicals are the future, not just for safety and health, but for business itself,” said David Levine, CEO of ASBC.“The data in this report are important for the industry, but also policymakers. When we can look at the aggregate economics on the upside of market and job growth, investment in innovation opportunities along with the downside cost of hazardous chemical compliance, lawsuits and remediation, we should all be guided by the evidence to move towards safer chemicals production and use. The conclusions in this report are striking.”

Further information

Download Making the Business & Economic Case for Safer Chemistry

Media contacts

ASBC: Bob Keener, (617) 610-6766, bkeener@asbcouncil.org

GC3: Joel Tickner, 978-790-7353, joel_tickner@uml.edu

Trucost: James Richens, +44 (0)20 7160 9804, james.richens@trucost.com

About the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council

The Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3) is a cross sectoral, business-to-business network of companies and other organizations working collaboratively to accelerate research in and adoption of green chemistry across sectors and supply chains.