Safe and sustainable by design (2024)

Give us feedback on the framework

The second feedback collection is open from 15 May until 30 August 2024.

If you are a user of the framework, please provide your feedback.

Provide feedback

For questions regarding the reporting template please contact: JRC-SSBDSafe and sustainable by design (1)ec [dot] europa [dot] eu (JRC-SSBD[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)

Support for the user

To help users apply the SSbD framework in practice:

  1. The JRC has published a Methodological Guidance that provides practical suggestions on the most commonly encountered issues when applying the framework
  2. the Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals (PARC) hasdeveloped a toolbox that provides an overview of existing tools for each step of the framework

The Commission Recommendation in a nutshell

The 'safe and sustainable by design' (SSbD framework) is a voluntary approach to guide the innovation process for chemicals and materials, announced on 8 December 2022 in a Commission Recommendation.

It aims to

  • steer the innovation process towards the green and sustainable industrial transition
  • substitute or minimise the production and use of substances of concern, in line with, and beyond existing and upcoming regulatory obligations
  • minimise the impact on health, climate and the environment during sourcing, production, use and end-of-life of chemicals, materials and products

The framework is composed of a (re-)design phase and an assessment phase that are applied iteratively as data becomes available.

The (re-)design phase consists of the application of guiding principles to steer the development process. The goal, the scope and the system boundaries – which will frame the assessment of the chemical or material – are defined in this phase.

The assessment phase comprises of 4 steps: hazard, workers exposure during production, exposure during use and life-cycle assessment. The assessment can be carried out either on newly developed chemicals and/or materials, or on existing chemicals and/or materials to improve their safety and sustainability performance during production, use and/or end-of-life.

Sign up to the SSbD stakeholder community

Safe and sustainable by design (2)

Presentation11 May 2023

Safe and sustainable by design chemicals and materials

A European assessment framework. This Commission recommendation promotes research and innovation for safer and more sustainable chemicals and materials.


(332.89 KB - HTML)


Test the framework

We are encouraging the engagement of relevant and willing stakeholders to support the progress of SSbD and adapt their innovation processes.The EU has started to implement SSbD under the Horizon Europe framework programme, but intends to continuously improve the methods, tools and data availability for ‘safe and sustainable by design’ chemicals and materials, as well as to refine the framework and make it applicable to a wide variety of substances.

The testing phase will allow us to establish a joint scientific reference base for safety and sustainability assessments that are necessary for innovation processes. It will also support the development of a fifth step on socioeconomic assessment. The engagement of the stakeholder community, and in particular the industry, is therefore crucial.

Who should participate?

The Recommendation is addressed to EU countries, industry, research and technology organisations (RTOs) and academia with each stakeholder group giving feedback on different actions.

Expected actions by EU countries

  • promote the framework in national research and innovationprogrammes
  • increase the availability of findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable (FAIR) data for safe and sustainable by designassessment
  • support the improvement of assessment methods, models and tools
  • support the development of educational curricula on skills related to safety and sustainability of chemicals and materials

Expected actions by industry, academia and RTOs

  • use the framework when developing chemicals and materials
  • make available FAIR data for safe and sustainable by designassessment
  • support the improvement of assessment methods, models and tools
  • support the development of professional training and educational curricula on skills related to safety and sustainability of chemicals and materials

What is in there for me?

You can have your say by being part of the development of a common understanding of what safe and sustainable chemicals and materials are and how to assess them.

You will benefit from regulatory preparedness by applying 'safe and sustainable by design' in your innovation process and bring SSbD to practice by promoting the framework as a common baseline and ensure that other initiatives build on it.

You can support the design and assessment of digital tools assessing safety and sustainability early in the innovation process and increase transparency of SSbD strategies to support sustainable finance and consumer awareness.


  1. May - June 2023

    Feedback collection

  2. Winter 2023

    Workshop on collected feedback

  3. Spring 2024

    Guidance report v1

  4. May - August 2024

    Feedback collection

  5. Autumn 2024

    Workshop on collected feedback

  6. Winter 2024

    Guidance report v2

  7. 2025

    Revision of framework


Guidance note15 May 2024

Safe and Sustainable by Design chemicals and materials - Methodological Guidance

Reports of cases12 June 2023

Safe and Sustainable by Design chemicals and materials - Application of the SSbD framework to case studies

General publications8 December 2022

Commission recommendation - establishing a European assessment framework for safe and sustainable by design

Report12 July 2022

Joint Research Centre Report: Framework for the definition of criteria and evaluation procedure for chemicals and materials

Report11 March 2022

Joint Research Centre Report: Review of safety and sustainability dimensions, aspects, methods, indicators and tools



Safe and sustainable by design (3)
  • Training and workshops

2nd SSbD Boot Camp

  • Tuesday 22 October 2024, 13:30 - Friday 25 October 2024, 14:30 (CEST)
  • Thessaloniki, Greece
Safe and sustainable by design (4)
  • Training and workshops

4th Stakeholder workshop on "Safe and sustainable by design"

  • Wednesday 6 December 2023, 09:00 - Thursday 7 December 2023, 17:30 (CET)
  • Brussels, Belgium
Safe and sustainable by design (5)
  • Training and workshops

Safe and sustainable by design Boot Camp

  • Wednesday 25 October 2023, 14:30 - Friday 27 October 2023, 14:30 (CEST)
  • Ispra, Italy
Safe and sustainable by design (2024)


What is the safe and sustainable by design concept? ›

Cefic and its members define Safe and Sustainable-by-Design (SSbD) as an iterative process guiding innovation and market placement of solutions that are safe, and offer environmental, societal, and/or economical value.

What are the 3 principles strategies in sustainable design? ›

Sustainable design principles aim to: Optimize site potential. Minimize non-renewable energy consumption and waste. Use environmentally preferable products.

What is an example of a sustainable design product? ›

Green message

There are examples of eco-design in all kinds of consumer goods, such as biodegradable furniture, recycled tableware, edible coffee cups and bamboo sunglasses or toothbrushes, as well as clothes and shoes made with plastic recovered from the ocean and ecological gold jewellery.

What is the sustainable approach in design? ›

Sustainable design is the approach to creating products and services that have considered the environmental, social, and economic impacts from the initial phase through to the end of life.

What does "safe by design" mean? ›

Safe-by-Design means taking into account as much as possible in the design phase the safety of substances, materials, products and processes for human health and the environment.

What is the main purpose of sustainable design? ›

Sustainable design seeks to reduce negative impacts on the environment, the health and well-being of building occupants, thereby improving building performance. The basic objectives of sustainability are to reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources, minimize waste, and create healthy, productive environments.

What is a real world example of sustainable design? ›

Vertical Forest

The residential building consists of a plant-based facade that, unlike others built with materials such as steel or glass, does not reflect the sun's rays but filters them by creating a welcoming humidity-regulated internal microclimate without harmful effects on the environment.

What does sustainable design look like? ›

A truly sustainable design is optimized for reuse. A physical product might use recycled materials, be manufactured in a plant that doesn't use fossil fuels, or follow incremental modular design principles to become more sustainable. After the product is created, it should be useful for a long time.

What does a sustainable product look like? ›

Clothing made with eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton or bamboo. Furniture made with recycled or reclaimed wood. Electronics made with recycled materials and energy efficient components. Renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power.

How to make product design more sustainable? ›

Use non-toxic, sustainably produced, or recycled materials which have a lower environmental impact than traditional materials. Use manufacturing processes and produce products which are more energy efficient than traditional processes and end products.

What is the sustainable product design theory? ›

The primary goal of sustainable product design is to have a positive impact on people, the planet, and profits. To achieve this, sustainable product design has to incorporate three potential impact areas: Environmental impact. Social impact.

What is sustainable design thinking? ›

Sustainable Materials: Design thinking encourages the use of environmentally friendly materials, such as recycled plastics, renewable resources, and biodegradable alternatives.

What are the concepts of safe design? ›

Safe design happens throughout the entire process: Pre-design – identify the problem/need and risk context. Concept development – gather information and find hazards. Design options – generate multiple solutions and analyse and evaluate risks.

What is the SAFe model sustainability? ›

Sustainability assessment by fuzzy evaluation (SAFE) is a model for the numerical assessment of sustainability. SAFE, uses fuzzy logic reasoning and basic indicators of environmental integrity, economic efficiency and social welfare, and derives measures of human, ecological, and overall sustainability.

What is sustainable building design concept? ›

A sustainable building is designed and operated to use and reuse materials in the most productive and sustainable way across its entire life cycle, and is adaptable for reuse during its life cycle.

What are the three components of sustainable design? ›

The three components of sustainable design are reduce, reuse and recycle. Reduce: Sustainable designs reduce the amount of new material and energy consumption required for production.


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