Green & Sustainable Chemistry Challenge

Deadline has been passed


  1. We believe that chemistry plays a critical role in developing a sustainable future. Chemists have a special responsibility to develop those new products, resources and processes to make that happen. The Elsevier Foundation-ISC3 Green & Sustainable Chemistry Challenge seeks to stimulate innovative chemistry research that helps the environment and low-resource communities in emerging and developing countries.


The winners will be announced at the 2020 Green & Sustainable Chemistry Conference in Germany. The Challenge is articulated in two tracks:

Please note: participants will be able to submit either to the Scientific Prizes or the Entrepreneurial Prize. 

The Elsevier Foundation-ISC3 Green & Sustainable Chemistry Challenge is jointly run by the Elsevier Foundation, Elsevier’s chemistry journals team and ISC3. The Challenge is open to individuals and non-profit organizations whose projects use green and sustainable chemistry solutions to tackle some of the developing world’s greatest sustainability challenges whether in water, sanitation or energy. Read more about Elsevier and green chemistry.


Projects will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

  • The proposal clearly describes the urgency of the problem. Provide a description of the project background and include a description of the broader context and highlight how the project links to the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • The project utilizes innovative green and sustainable chemistry approach. Specifically, the project:
    • Reduces or eliminates the use or generation of one or more hazardous substances or materials
    • Provides a more sustainable use of resources (e.g., bio-, minerals, metals but also water, energy), or products, or more sustainable manufacturing/ application of chemical products
    • Increases longevity, increases reuse or recyclability of chemicals/products e.g. by proper design or manner of application etc.,
    • Designs a new business model related to green and sustainable chemistry and circular economy.
    • Complies with at least two of the 12 principles of green chemistry (if synthesis of products is involved, comply with at least 3 principles). Specify which ones.
  • The project is replicable, scalable, sustainable (make sure to specify why), and sets a benchmark for innovation – new ideas or concepts in development will be given preference over more advanced projects.
  • The proposal highlights the novelty of your approach and gives a short literature overview of what has been done before, both by you and others (“background”).
  • The project is applicable in and suitable for developing countries. Describe the project’s social impact on local communities, including gender equality either in design or implementation.
  • Include an implementation plan of the project. Please note that if the project has been developed in a high-income country, contextually appropriate knowledge transfer to the lower income country is needed to be demonstrated, for instance through a developing country implementation or research partner. If the idea presented is already patented it will not be eligible. Patents resulting from the work in case of executing the awarded project will be possible anyway