UNIDO: Achieving Sustainable Development Goals through Chemical Leasing

Published: June 8, 2018; 12:00 · (Vindobona)

In 2004, with the support of the Government of Austria, UNIDO launched its Global Chemical Leasing Programme, promoting a business model that marks a paradigm shift from increasing the sales volume of chemicals toward a value-added approach. The fourth Global Chemical Leasing award ceremony will take place on 6 November 2018 in Vienna, Austria. It will be part of the Green Chemistry Conference 2018 within the Trio Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) programme, "Smart and Sustainable Europe", held during Austria's EU Presidency.

Fourth Global Chemical Leasing award - call for entries / Picture: © UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization

The conventional business model assumes that the more you sell, the more you earn. However, in the Chemical Leasing model the supplier does not sell quantities. The supplier sells the function of the chemical. This is the service rendered by the chemical or the purpose for which the chemical is applied.

For example, the function of the chemical could be to clean or degrease metal parts, or to protect a surface. Payment is then made according to functional units, that is, the number of pieces cleaned or the extent of area coated.

Companies and individuals are invited to submit applications for the award in three categories:  case studies (for companies), research, and special innovation. The call for applications is open until 15 August 2018. More information can be found here.

The award intends to showcase commitments to innovative management principles and to provide practical insights for industry, policymakers and academia. The award will acknowledge best practices and inspire companies and individuals around the globe to apply the Chemical Leasing business concept by reducing the inefficient use and over-consumption of chemicals and developing strong business partnerships along the entire supply chain.

Chemical Leasing is part of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)'s inclusive and sustainable industrial development strategy, and encourages the international community to commit to sound chemicals management, innovative business models and resource efficiency.

The 2018 award is jointly sponsored and supported by UNIDO, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism (BMNT), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), and the German Environment Agency (UBA).

Chemical Leasing is a 'smart' circular economy business model hat intends to shift the focus from increasing the sales volume of chemicals towards an innovative and functional-based approach, leading to a more efficient use of chemicals, thereby providing environmental and economic benefits. Chemical Leasing fosters green and sustainable chemistry and contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).