Sustainable development is now accepted as a necessary goal for achieving societal, economic and environmental objectives. Within this chemistry has a vital role to play. The chemical industry is successful but traditionally success has come at a heavy cost to the environment. The challenge for chemists and others is to develop new products, processes and services that achieve societal, economic and environmental benefits. This requires an approach that reduces the materials and energy intensity of chemical processes and products; minimises the dispersion of harmful chemicals in the environment; maximises the use of renewable resources and extends the durability and recyclability of products in a way that increases industrial competitiveness as well as improve its tarnished image.