An outdoor view of the Nairoba UNEP headquarter with delegates walking through a path paved with flag poles


United Nations Environment Programme

International Workshop series in Cooperation with UNEP

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. ISC3 has carried out various activities with UNEP to bring sustainable chemistry forward in the spirit of sustainable development.

UNEP’s role in international chemicals management

UNEP plays a leading role in the development and implementation of international chemicals and waste related agreements. The international organisation supports advancing sound chemicals and waste management by catalysing and coordinating international action, by assisting countries in raising the priority given to the topics, and by providing clearinghouse services for relevant scientific and technical knowledge. Activities are implemented at the global, regional and national levels through partnerships with intergovernmental organizations, national and local governments, industry, and civil society organizations.[1]

Sustainable Chemistry activities

Since the beginning the ISC3, together with UNEP and other stakeholders, flanked the dialogue and cooperation on Sustainable Chemistry among stakeholders. In-depth discussions are helping us to understand trends, risks, and opportunities relevant for Sustainable Chemistry innovation.

In the past we supported the development of the Global Chemicals Outlook II and therefore together with UNEP we organised a series of regional expert workshops (Nairobi, 07.-08.03; Frankfurt, 26.-27.03; Panama City, 12.-13.04; Bangkok, 25.-26.04).

The workshops brought together diverse stakeholders from different regions, including innovators and entrepreneurs, policy makers, representatives from civil society and academia. The participants identified and examined regional megatrends and industry sector trends that may create risks and opportunities for chemicals management and Sustainable Chemistry innovation. 

The encounters provided a unique opportunity for experts from different sectors to voice expectations, contribute ideas, and be part of the worldwide dialogue on sustainable chemistry innovation from the very beginning.[2]

Publications to bring Sustainable Chemistry to life

The ISC3 has contributed (as part of the expert group) to two major publications within the field of Green and Sustainable Chemistry. The Framework Manual on Green Chemistry and Sustainable Chemistry has been developed pursuant to the mandate received from the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in 2019 through Resolution 4/8. Its main purpose is to facilitate a better understanding and provide guidance to countries and stakeholders relevant for advancing green and sustainable chemistry.

 The cover of tbe Green and Sustainable Chemistry Framework Manual

About the Framework Manual on Green Chemistry and Sustainable Chemistry

The manual introduces facets of Green and Sustainable Chemistry, with the intention to foster learning, reflection and scale up action based on a common global understanding of the concept. It unpacks various topics relevant for Green and Sustainable Chemistry, while at the same time innovation and research framework are offered to stimulate stakeholder action at different levels.

The topics unveiled in the manual have been identified following a review of the Green and Sustainable Chemistry literature, the 2019 UNEP report on best practices in sustainable chemistry, and the second edition of the Global Chemicals Outlook II.
To assist in the consultation process, the original expert group from the Framework Manual was expanded to include specialists in chemistry education and learning from industry, academia, and government. The manual is in the final stages of development and will be available in 2022.[3]

Mutual event activities

At our first Global Sustainable Chemistry Week and the Stakeholder Forum, UNEP hosted two events to present their work green and Sustainable Chemistry.
First, a plenary presentation of the Framework Manual was held to act as a “launch” for the development of the report. In a second session the outline for the UNEP specialized manual on green and sustainable chemistry education was presented, followed by a multi-stakeholder panel discussion. The panelists highlighted actions related to green and sustainable chemistry learning and commented on how UNEP’s education manual and ten objectives and guiding considerations could be used to support further action.

Find additional information on activities under the UNEP website. In-depth information on the second mutual publication, can be found on Global Chemicals Outlook II.[4]


[1] Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste,

[2] Green and Sustainable Chemistry – overview of UNEP outreach activities, consultations, workshops,

[3] Green and Sustainable Chemistry: Framework Manual (2021),

[4] Green and Sustainable Chemistry – overview of UNEP outreach activities, consultations, workshops,