Advance Sustainability and the Environment

ACS Policy Priority

Science can lead to better understanding of new solutions to many of society’s problems including environmental and health issues. In order to achieve this, the best science should be available to, and used by, government officials when making decisions. To achieve confidence in government decisions that depend upon science and technology, science must be considered in an open and responsible manner. ACS supports efforts to

  • Encourage environmental decisions that promote sustainable resource usage and waste prevention in an economically viable chemical enterprise.
  • Foster the development and adoption of green products and processes by industry, academia, and government.
  • Assure appropriate, balanced use of voluntary and regulatory measures in achieving environmental, health, safety, and security goals and promote the responsible use of science in environmental management.
  • Encourage appropriate global harmonization of environmental, health, and safety initiatives to promote science and technology around the globe.
Statement Position
Chemical Risk Assessment and Regulatory Decision Making Supports risk assessments based on sound science and protective of human health and environment. Supports the commercial chemical enterprise providing the information necessary to conduct risk assessments while protecting confidential business information. Encourages green chemistry and engineering to support sustainability goals
Climate Reviews the science and recommends action on reducing greenhouse gases as well as climate change adaptation strategies. Encourages continued research and funding into the effects of climate change, while also emphasizing the importance of educating the public on the issue.
Critical Materials Encourages comprehensive research and workforce development to ensure the sustainable development of domestic supplies.  Urges investment in research and development efforts and funding for recovery and recycling of critical materials.  Promotes updating U.S. funding mechanisms to support interagency collaboration and outreach.
Hydraulic Fracturing Recommends conducting research on fracking and: its impacts from a life-cycle perspective, its uses compared to replacement resources, methane emissions at fracking sites, causes and extent of groundwater contamination, less hazardous fracking fluids, and characterization of and methods for treating and disposing of liquid returns from fracking.
Regulation of Laboratory Waste Supports reform of regulations that are intended for large-scale chemical manufacturing so that they are better suited for application to laboratories.
Sustainability of the Chemistry Enterprise Defines the concept of sustainability in the context of the chemical enterprise. Supports government incentives for sustainable technologies.
Water Treatment and Conservation
Supports US government action that develops water-use guidelines and initiatives; encourages advancements in water reduction, treatment, and reuse technologies; protects groundwater resources; and prevents discharge of toxic substances into ground and surface waters.