Meeting the needs

for sustainability

knoell Sustainability Header

Are you looking for a partner with whom you can master any current or future challenges related to sustainability in the industry? We accompany you from the very beginning and ensure that your substances and products comply with the latest developments in the individual regulatory areas.

Think globally, act locally.   Contact us

Our current solutions portfolio is divided into several core areas:

knoell strategies for sustainability

Strategic Substance / Product Portfolio

The service ‘Strategic Substance / Product Portfolio’ describes the evaluation of your portfolio regarding the sustainability point of view. Special focus here is on the current hot topics like Perfluoroalkyl (PFA) chemicals and micro plastic. Critical substances / substance groups and potential candidates for substitution in future or substances on NGO lists will be identified based on the hazard profile and use. Upcoming developments in hazard classification will be directly considered in the analysis. Furthermore, a global perspective can be included, taking into account regulatory requirements and assessments in other countries where the product/substance is marketed.

Watchdog Service

In the EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability the aspect “one substance – one assessment” plays an important role. It is anticipated to better connect and align the different chemical regulations within the EU. With this approach the commission seeks to link the different regulations to ensure a harmonised classification and the targeted phase-out of critical substances in Europe. Restrictions or prohibition of substance usage in one sector could automatically result in a phase-out of the substance in a different sector.

This service aims to support you with a so called Watchdog service informing you if any regulatory action is ongoing on a substance of your product portfolio. Our main competence is the continuous comparision of your portfolio with recent regulatory developments. You will benefit from the global alignment of the knoell business lines and the resulting better information transfer.

Sustainable Chemicals by Design

Sustainable Chemicals by design means the recycling and use of chemicals in a way that maximises their benefits to society while avoiding harm to planet and people. The approach addresses sustainability already in the development phase of new chemicals or products. This topic is one of the key aspects within the Sustainable Chemicals Strategy by the European Commission (EC).

The overall aim of this approach is to avoid the replacement of one hazardous substance by another hazardous substance, which will be phased out some time later. The so called regrettable substitution. It is known that specific substance properties could lead to specific hazardous effects.

We support you with our core expertise in the regulatory evaluation during the development process and the registration of new sustainable chemicals.


Consumer reputation is one important driver for sustainability in the industry. The purchasing behaviour has changed in the recent years towards sustainable and environmental friendly products. Marketing is a crucial factor. But there is a fine line between sustainable products and greenwashing. In this context the eco-labels are becoming more and more of relevance.

We support you throughout the labelling registration for the most common global labels.

Life Cycle Assessment

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool to evaluate the environmental performance of products. LCA focuses on the entire life cycle of a product: from the extraction of resources and processing of raw material, through the manufacture, distribution, and use of the product, to the final processing of the disposed product.

The focus and scope of a LCA may vary depending on your needs. Most common approaches are the cradle to grave or the cradle to gate approach. The cradle to grave approach covers the impacts along the supply chain from manufacturing till disposal. Whereas cradle to gate addresses only the emissions and resource consumption during the production till the placing of the final product on the market.

The concept of the environmental footprint includes two different approaches, the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and the Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF).

The PEF describes a multi-criteria method for life cycle-based modelling and evaluation of the environmental impacts of products and services through occurring material and energy flows as well as the associated emissions and waste flows.  The PEFCRs provide specific guidance on how to calculate the environmental impacts of products and to create consistent rules for the calculation of the environmental performance of products belonging to the same category.

The OEF is a LCA based method to quantify the environmental impacts of organisations: this includes companies, public administrative entities and other bodies. The OEF method builds on existing approaches and international standards. Overall, it follows the same approach as the PEF. The reference objects builds the Organisation Environmental Footprint sector rules (OEFSR) and the normalised performance against a reference system.

Water footprint is one of the key impacts to be addressed. It measures the water consumption of a single product during the life-cycle or for an entire company. For the water footprint it is distinguished between the green water footprint, the blue water footprint and the grey water footprint.

The green water footprint is water from precipitation, which evaporates, transpires or is incorporated by plants. This footprint is particularly relevant for agriculture.

The blue water footprint describes the water consumption from surface or groundwater. A blue water footprint can be established for industry, agriculture and domestic water use.

The grey water footprint assesses the amount of fresh water required to assimilate pollutants to meet specific water quality standards.

The carbon footprint combines the GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emissions directly or indirectly related to a product, organisation or event. Carbon dioxide sets the baseline for the assessment with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 1. Other GHG like methane, nitrous oxide or fluorinated carbons have multiple higher GWP than CO2.The impact of the GHG is expressed in carbon dioxide equivalent.

The carbon footprint is the most highly regarded point in terms of reputation with regard to sustainability and climate change. This point plays an overriding role for the EU and for many companies. More and more companies follow the principles of the Commission and are planning to be clima neutral in the next decades. In order to achieve the ambitous goals, an assessment of the actual situation and a continuous target-performance comparision will be required.

The third important footprint to be assessed during a LCA is the tox footprint. This footprint aims the assessment of potential impacts (direct and indirect) of substances on aquatic freshwater and humans. It is primarily used to compare toxicity effects between products / substances. Such a tox footprint could be used for the argumentation in a comparative assessment, authorisation or to defend CfS.


Demands for recyclable and post-consumer recycled content consumer packaging have increased recently due to regulatory and retailer goals. The authorisation procedures for recycled processes vary by region, and require complex technical dossiers prior to approval. In addition, new Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regulations form a patchwork of requirements for packaging that can differ from country to country.

We can support you through recycling process authorisations for food contact materials and provide guidance on recyclability regulations that impact packaging around the globe.

Impact Assessment - Biodiversity and Ecosystem

The Sustainable Development Goal 15 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is devoted to “protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably managed forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”. The use of agricultural chemicals, which are released into the environment and intend to reduce biodiversity on agriculturally used land for the benefit of the grown crop, has an impact on biodiversity and ecosystems. The EU data requirements for pesticide active substance approval state that “The potential impact of the active substance on biodiversity and the ecosystem, including potential indirect effects via alteration of the food web, shall be considered”. Although there is no specific guideline or agreed approach available to address this data requirement, EU authorities have requested respective assessments in the recent past and more frequent requests are expected in future.