Ghent University has a longstanding chemical tradition with research activities present in three different faculties, namely the Faculty of Sciences, the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering and the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture. The Center for Sustainable Chemistry is an umbrella organization fully supported by these three faculties and wants to respond to the implementation of SusChem as the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry at the European level. The implementation of the innovation cluster policy at the Flemish level also resulted in the recent foundation of Catalisti as the spearhead cluster on Chemistry and Plastics.

The definition used for sustainable chemistry is the one of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Sustainable chemistry is basically doing more with less: reducing the environmental impact of products and processes, optimising or rather completely avoiding the use of limited raw materials and minimising waste.

The Center for Sustainable Chemistry has a strong focus on research infrastructure and services with industrial relevance. The Ghent region provides a unique industrial pilot infrastructure. The 2 principal pilots are the Bio Base Europe pilot plant and the Ghent University pilot for (steam) cracking. Further to that, a particularly wide range of unique analytical and other instruments and expertise is available for industrial collaborations and services.