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Sustainability Starts with Chemistry

ACC's 2024 Sustainability Report

Jenny Heumann Godes
Green Chemical Facility
Reduction of SOx emissions since 2017 by Responsible Care companies
Reduction of NOx emissions since 2017 by Responsible Care companies
Decrease in Greenhouse Gas Intensity from Responsible Care companies since 2017
Billion plus invested in research and development by chemical companies in 2022
Reduction of Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAPs) emissions by Responsible Care companies from 2010 to 2021
Reduction in energy efficiency intensity from Responsible Care companies from 2017 to 2022

Perspective from Chris Jahn, President and CEO, American Chemistry Council

Chris Jahn, President & Chief Executive Officer, American Chemistry Council

I’m proud to announce the American Chemistry Council is launching its 2024 Sustainability Report. A lot of industries talk about their commitment to sustainability. But the chemical industry is driving progress and making a difference. 

We have spent years developing and advancing sustainable solutions to address myriad global challenges, from climate change to enabling clean air and water to waste reduction and more. And our actions provide a roadmap for sustainability that other industries can follow.

Think about it – chemistry innovations are found in just about every product manufactured in the United States and around the world. Companies and industries need the chemical industry to provide them with real-world sustainable solutions. And we do – ACC members work side-by-side with customers to deliver solutions that improve people’s lives.

One of many sustainability challenges with a chemistry solution is climate change. The chemical industry is taking action to mitigate the impacts of their products and operations and invest in nascent and growing technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Decrease in Greenhouse Gas Intensity from Responsible Care companies since 2017

ACC members have made progress in reducing GHG emissions intensity by more than 8% from 2017 to 2022. While this is vital, more can be done. We will continue to innovate solutions to adapt to our changing environment.

The fact is, you can’t fight climate change without chemistry. Chemistry creates renewable energy solutions like solar panels and wind turbines, durable high-performance building materials, lightweight vehicle parts, EV infrastructure, advanced battery storage, high-tech electrical products, composite materials; the list goes on. These are the products that will build our future, and you need chemistry for every one of them. And we also need the right policies and the right infrastructure in place to make this possible.

To enable sustainability progress, we must be able to grow our manufacturing processes to continue to make crucial chemical products and technologies here in the United States. Unfortunately, right now our industry is wrestling with a massive increase in regulations. This is handicapping our industry’s ability to create products that support national priorities and contribute to broader sustainability goals. 

Administration and Congressional leaders say they support domestic manufacture of products and technologies like semiconductors, electric cars, clean energy and innovative construction materials. Yet, without appropriate oversight and sound science to drive regulation, critical chemistries will suffer, along with the sustainability innovations, jobs and economic opportunities that rely on them. 

American success relies on American chemistry. We need federal, state and local governments to advance smart, science-based regulations that support, rather than hinder, innovation in the United States. We need rapid investment in infrastructure development, use of diverse energy sources and a modernized permitting process to enable U.S. manufacturing growth.

ACC and its members want to work with the Administration, regulators and Congress – to empower chemistry and the sustainable solutions it provides. Our success – and the success of sustainability innovation – depends on it.

To sum it up, the U.S. chemical manufacturing industry is open for business. And we urge all of you – our customers, our value chain stakeholders, and our leaders – to join us, to enable the innovations and advancements that improve our world and the lives of people living in it. 

Chris Jahn Signature


Chris Jahn
President & CEO
American Chemistry Council 

Perspective from Mitch Toomey, Vice President, Sustainability & Responsible Care®, American Chemistry Council

Mitchell Toomey

Early this year, the World Economic Forum (WEF) declared 2024 the year sustainability develops a credible business case. WEF states that companies are clear on the return on investment (ROI), and a significant proportion of companies will increase sustainability investments in 2024. 

It shouldn’t be surprising that these findings reflect actions that chemical companies have been taking for years. For ACC member companies, sustainability is not just about protecting human health and the environment. It is a key component of their strategy for business resilience and financial success.

  • ACC members recognize that what’s good for the environment is also good for the bottom line. By slashing energy consumption, curbing emissions, and streamlining operations to conserve water and reduce waste, companies can drive efficiency, boost profitability and enhance global competitiveness.
  • Sustainability is also a powerful driver of customer satisfaction. Increasingly, our customers are asking for products with specific sustainability performance requirements, and ACC members deliver. Frankly, it’s difficult to stay in business if you can’t adapt to shifting customer demands, and the scientists and researchers at ACC member companies are innovating every day to develop advanced materials and steer their product portfolios toward greater sustainability outcomes.

And the business case for sustainability goes beyond manufacturing efficiencies and customer specifications. New regulatory frameworks and disclosure requirements, both voluntary and mandatory, are leading companies to report climate and sustainability performance, both those with financial impacts as well as environmental and social impacts. 

We know what needs to be done and we know what to measure. In fact, ACC member companies have been meticulously measuring and publicly reporting their greenhouse gas emissions for decades, through Responsible Care®. We are proud to share our results.

Beyond reporting our performance, our products themselves are crucial to advancing climate and sustainability priorities. ACC members supply vital inputs that drive sustainability in a variety of sectors, including transportation, construction, consumer packaged goods and other energy-intensive areas. Think of lightweight vehicle components, building insulation, packaging to keep food fresher for longer – all made possible by chemistry.

As Chris Jahn noted, these vital products are being threatened by misguided regulations. ACC supports responsible regulation that puts science first and promotes innovation. Policies that encourage climate, energy and sustainability innovation, while also maintaining U.S. competitiveness and the license for our businesses to operate, will be what drives sustainability long term. 

Chemical companies are solutions providers. When customers step up and ask for products and technologies that will help them meet their carbon management needs, we respond.  As the world’s needs will continue to grow, chemistry products and innovations will continue to meet these needs. 

When Chemistry Creates, America Competes. ACC and its members are proud to be advancing responsible, sustainable manufacturing to create the products and processes crucial not only to their business success, but also to building a more sustainable future.


Mitch Toomey Signature

Mitch Toomey
Vice President, Sustainability & Responsible Care®
American Chemistry Council

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