NICKEFFECT aims to develop novel ferromagnetic Ni-based coating materials to replace the scarce and costly Platinum and ensure high efficiency in key applications.

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Guidelines for a Greener Future: Assessing Safety and Sustainability by Design

Guidelines for a Greener Future: Assessing Safety and Sustainability by Design

In the evolving landscape of development for new chemicals and materials, the principles of safety and sustainability have become paramount. Innovations need to be driven not only by the requirement for an effective function of new products, but also towards minimizing the harm to both human health and the environment. This is evidenced by a gradual shift from the traditional considerations of “Safe by Design” and “Sustainable by Design” towards a new, holistic approach: the concept of “Safe and Sustainable by Design” (SSbD).


SSbD aims to integrate safety and sustainability concerns from the inception of a new chemical or material, and, in an iterative approach, along the innovation pathway towards commercialization. To ensure the adoption of safety and sustainability criteria, and the implementation of the SSbD approach in a standardized manner, the European Commission and Joint Research Center have developed an SSbD framework, offering detailed guidance on the methodology and appropriate tools for safety and sustainability assessments.


The framework aims to steer the innovation process towards a green and more sustainable industrial transition, to substitute or minimize the production and use of substances of concern, not only following but in fact reaching beyond existing and upcoming regulatory obligations, and to minimize the impact on human health and the environment during the entire lifecycle of new chemicals and materials. SSbD assessment can be performed either on newly developed chemicals and materials, or on existing ones, to improve their safety and sustainability.


In NICKEFFECT, the SSbD framework will be applied to novel Nickel-based coatings, and a comparative score for steps 1-4 will be calculated between novel and conventional Platinum-based coatings. The framework will be applied along the scales of development investigated in the project, i.e., from laboratory to pilot scale, and will take into consideration the entire lifecycle of the developed coatings, i.e., from raw materials until the end of life (e.g., recycling and disposal). This approach will therefore ensure that the most safe and sustainable of all alternative formulations considered will be brought closer to practical implementation at a commercial scale.