In 2004, UNIDO and the Austrian Governement joined hands to promote and take advantage of an innovative business model for the sound management of chemicals – Chemical Leasing. Germany and Switzerland, respectively in 2006 and 2010, joined the programme and contributed to its further development.

Chemical Leasing is continuing to revolutionize the way we do business with chemicals, and address the urgent need to reduce the impact of chemicals production and consumption on the environment, water and human health. - LI Yong, Director General, UNIDO.

UNIDO’s Global Chemical Leasing Programme was established to support enterprises in their efforts to enhance resource efficient and cleaner production, handle chemicals safely and establish sustainable business practices. It is based on comprehensive research that closes a substantial gap in knowledge of sound chemicals management. The initiative is fully in line with UNIDO’s mandate to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization at the global level and contributes to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 9 and all the other goals adopted by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Chemical Leasing aims to contribute to the implementation of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management and to address the environmental, economic and social challenges facing the world.

Today, UNIDO and partners, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism (BMNT), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the German Environment Agency (UBA), the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)  continue to promote and support the up-scale of Chemical Leasing across industrial sectors at a global level. 

Chemical Leasing is an example of best practices in industry. It can be used as a tool to redefine and reorganize business in line with circular-economy principles. It appeals to business partners in terms of benefits, competitiveness and added value. To help industry and also policy professionals to become more knowledgeable about the Chemical Leasing business model and its effective and efficient use in practice, UNIDO team has also developed the Chemical Leasing Toolkit