SWEDISH SUMMARY: Igår deltog jag i två spännande konferenser. Dels en konferens kallad ”Hållbar läkemedelsanvändning – nu och i framtiden” som anordnades av landstingens nätverk Läkemedel och miljö, dels MiljöRapportens konferens Chemicals Management Summit 2014 – the future of Green Chemsitry.
Yesterday I participated in two interesting seminars. I joined the morning session of ”Sustainable Use of Pharmaceuticals – today and in the future” (arranged by the Swedish County Councils’ Network on Pharmaceuticals in the Environment), and the afternoon session of ”Chemicals Management Summit 2014 – the future of Green Chemistry” (arranged by MiljöRapporten).
After an introduction by the County Council network leaders, Therese Olsen and Johanna Borgendahl, we had the opportunity to listen to several very interesting presentations. Jerker Forsell from the Minsitry of Environment presented the Swedish governmental objectives regarding pharmaceuticals as a part of the overall chemical environmental objective ”A Non-Toxic Environment”. In addition to the objectives he also described some of the ongoing processes in the area, e.g.:
- UNDP and WHO Green Procurement in the Health Sector
- the SAICM discussions on incorporating pharmaceuitcals
- EU Commission’s work on developing a PiE Strategy
After Jerker, we listened to Alicja Andersson from Swedish MPA who among other things presented their governmental commission to evaluate potential consequences of the environmental objectives described by Jerker. After Alicja we met Charlotte Köhler Lindahl from SIWI, who presented the cluster group on Water and Pharmaceuticals that met two weeks ago (see blog post from April 25).
Concluding the morning session were two presentations from healthcare: One regarding treatment of hospital waste water in Copenhagen (by Ulf Nielsen) and one presenting the experiences from a County Council study trip to India to survey manufacturing releases to the environemnt (presented by Viveca Reimers). Two very interesting presentations – both of them deserves a lot of attention. For more info regarding the Danish work I refer to Ulf N via his e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), and regarding the study trip to India I refer to hållbarupphandling.se
In the afternoon I had the privilege to open the discussions with Swedish politicians regarding their view on chemicals in general, and actions needed in the coming years to secure a sustainable development. In my opening remarks I stressed issues such as understanding the difference between hazard and risk, and the need for society to move from a very negative attitude to chemicals – chemicals is not the same thing as something toxic… In the debate afterwards (with Roger Tiefensee, Åsa Westlund, Jens Holm, Linda Wemmert, and Åsa Romson) they agreeed on a lot of the different topics being raised. To be honest, it was quite difficult to identify some real differences in the opinions of the different politicians, although they represented different parties. The good thing with everyone being in agreement is that we have joint longterm objectives, the potential downside with everyone being in agreement is that the issue of chemicals and the environment falls of the agenda…