ZeroPM will be the pathfinding project enabling the ambitions of the Chemicals Strategy of zero pollution of persistent and mobile substances to become an on-the-ground reality. ZeroPM is a research project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme that will run from October 2021 – October 2026. ZeroPM will interlink and synergize three strategies to protect the environment and human health from persistent, mobile substances: Prevent, Prioritize and Remove.
To Prevent pollution of persistent and mobile (PM) substances, ZeroPM will activate the momentum of the EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability Towards a Toxic Free Environment (also referred to as the Chemicals Strategy) to support its implementation through the development of scientific, policy and market tools for the substitution and mitigation of prioritized, non-essential persistent and mobile substances to safer and sustainable alternatives. ZeroPM will:
- Provide safer chemical alternatives to non-essential uses of persistent and mobile substances
- Stimulate and support policy changes to more effectively tackle persistent and mobile substances
- Assist a market transition away from harmful persistent and mobile substances
To choose the persistent and mobile substances for which this is most urgent, ZeroPM will Prioritize persistent and mobile substances and substance groups through the development and application of robust screening and prioritization tools. These tools will identify all persistent and mobile substances on the global chemical market, taking into consideration their production, use, presence in the circular economy, exposure, hazards and risks. ZeroPM will:
- Prioritize persistent and mobile substances and substance groups on the global chemical market for prevention and removal
- Characterise and quantify impacts of persistent and mobile substances on human health and the environment
To Remove, ZeroPM will focus on geographically impacted areas and prioritized groups of PM substances, and develop next generation remediation methods to remove persistent and mobile substances from water resources, drinking water and sludge-derived products. ZeroPM will:
- Demonstrate how and if legacy persistent and mobile substance pollution can be remediated
The complex relationship between the necessity of prevention, prioritization and removal approaches to reduce persistent and mobile substance pollution will be addressed in ZeroPM via the establishment of an evidence-based multilevel framework. The framework will guide policy, technological and market incentives to minimize use, emissions and pollution of entire groups of persistent and mobile substances. Two potential negative outcomes that can arise when not taking a systemic approach to chemical pollution are regrettable substitution (substituting one problematic chemical for another) and regrettable remediation (investing in remediation efforts more that cause more damage than the substance itself).
ZeroPMs’ multidisciplinary team has expertise within physical, life, social and behavioural sciences, policy and communication. Together with stakeholders, ZeroPM will develop, explore and critically evaluate strategies to Prevent, Prioritize and Remove persistent and mobile substances from the environment.
ZeroPM’s overall objective is: To establish an evidence-based multilevel framework for minimising use, emissions and pollution from persistent and mobile substances to protect European water resources and avoid risks to humans.
Project Management (WP1)
WP1 is devoted to project management and coordination. This WP will ensure: an efficient collaboration among partners within the consortium and with parties outside the consortium including the Commission; that project objectives are fulfilled on time and within budget; that high-quality standards are met; and that the expected project impact is achieved.
The objectives are to
- Oversee and ensure effective coordination, planning, implementation and realization of activities.
- Manage financial and administrative activities including reporting, organization and facilitation of consortium meetings and contractual agreements.
- Uphold open communication with the Commission and within the project.
The project is lead by the Project Coordinator Sarah Hale, and it involves all beneficiaries of ZeroPM. For more information, see Who is ZeroPM?
There are 8 central work packages in ZeroPM, which are all interconnected. WP1 will be monitoring and in contact with all of these work packages, as presented below.