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In October last year, the European Commission released its highly anticipated chemicals strategy for sustainability. It forms part of the European Green Deal, which was announced at the end of 2019, and it lays out more than 50 wide-ranging actions that will have a direct impact on industry and are listed for completion by 2024. 

The impact of the new strategy cannot be overstated – it is the biggest shake-up to European chemicals policy since the introduction of REACH in 2007 and it will have a huge impact on industry for years to come.

European chemicals strategy for sustainability
Bas Eickhout © European Union 2020
Industrial chemicals

Hear from Echa’s Executive Director Bjorn Hansen

The new chemicals strategy will play an important role in the European Green Deal – a set of policy initiatives by the European Commission with the overarching aim of making the EU's economy sustainable.

At our virtual conference, Key Regulatory Updates: Europe, Asia and the Americas, Bjorn Hansen, executive director at Echa, spoke about the role that chemicals will play within the Green Deal, and some of the main challenges facing Echa and industry in reaching the objectives set out in it.

Here is a short clip from the event – to view his full presentation, sign up to free membership of Chemical Watch. 


Chemical Watch coverage of the strategy

Since the strategy’s release in October 2020, we have reported from a wide range of perspectives:

European Commission to reopen cosmetics Regulation under chemicals strategy
Council of Ministers presses European Commission to take more action on PFASs, EDCs

25 March 2021

The European Commission will revise the cosmetics Regulation to implement the targets of the EU chemicals strategy and aims to release a legislative proposal by the end of 2022, an official has confirmed.

23 March 2021

The EU Council of Ministers has called on the European Commission to take further action on specific chemicals such as endocrine disruptors and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) under the bloc’s new chemicals strategy.

Commission outlines key tasks for chemical strategy roundtable group
Essential use: options open for future of REACH authorisation

The European Commission will consider the whole "palette of options" for authorisation alongside future ‘essential use’ criteria for deciding chemical controls, a senior official has said, amid questions about whether the focus on essentiality may spell the end of one of the key pillars of REACH.

The European Commission has laid out the specific tasks its much anticipated high-level roundtable group will undertake to support the EU executive in realising the objectives of the chemicals strategy for sustainability.

24 February 2021

11 March 2021

Essential use: EU trade bodies say case-by-case approach should be the rule

28 January 2021

Several EU trade bodies have dismissed an option – floated by the European Commission – for authorities to take regulatory decisions on hazardous chemicals based on pre-defined 'essential use' criteria only.

US new chemicals, Echa funding problems, H&M Group on safe and sustainable by design

01 April 2021

This edition of the Chemical Watch news podcast sees North America managing editor Terry Hyland, Europe editor Luke Buxton and business editor Leigh Stringer join news editor Charlotte Niemiec to discuss the latest developments in chemicals management across the globe.

Special Chemical Watch podcast: EU chemicals strategy for sustainability

22 October 2020

In this special edition of the podcast, editorial director Geraint Roberts talks to Cristina de Avila, head of unit, sustainable chemicals at DG Environment, Sylvie Lemoine, Cefic executive director of product stewardship and Tatiana Santos of the European Environmental Bureau. about the strategy's implications.

Listen on Chemical Watch  |  Spotify  |  Apple Podcasts

Listen on Chemical Watch  |  Spotify  |  Apple Podcasts

Find out more from the Chemical Watch Podcast

Recent episodes of the Chemical Watch Podcast explore the strategy in more detail. You can listen via your favourite podcasting app or via the Chemical Watch platform – whatever suits you best.

Chemical Watch Podcast

What it means for you, your business and your products

  • Environment ministers from ten countries sent an exclusive op-ed to Chemical Watch before the strategy was released, urging the European Commission to present an “ambitious” chemicals strategy. Read more 

  • At our Key Regulatory Updates conference, which took place on the day the strategy was published,  delegates heard our speakers’ initial reactions, including thoughts from Echa executive director Bjorn Hansen. View Bjorn’s presentation 

  • Shortly after the publication of the new strategy, we ran an exclusive interview with EU environment commissioner, Virginijus Sinkevičius, who spoke to us about the goals of the strategy. Read more

Below you’ll find more examples of our recent coverage. If you’re not already a Chemical Watch member, sign up to free membership to get a taster of what you can expect.

Chemical Watch is uniquely positioned to help you make sense of the strategy and understand the implications of the many actions included within it. We have direct connections to European commissioners, European members of parliament and the European Chemicals Agency (Echa), as well as industry representatives and other stakeholders. In addition, our own experts have an in-depth understanding of European and global chemicals legislation. 

Here are just a few examples of what you can expect from Chemical Watch:

Global Outlook 2021: What to expect from the EU chemicals strategy this year

16 February 2021

Several of the aims of the EU chemicals strategy for sustainability are set to be completed by the end of 2021, including a proposal to introduce new hazard classes under CLP, says Europe reporter Kathryn Carlson.

Guest Column: Bjorn Hansen – Echa's priorities for the year ahead

10 February 2021

Activities that directly relate to identifying and managing the risks of chemicals of concern will be the agency’s top priority for 2021, says executive director Bjorn Hansen.