This year, the “Oscars on best policies” will highlight exemplary laws and policies that protect people and the environment from hazardous chemicals.

Hamburg, Geneva, Paris, Nairobi. 4 March 2020  – This year, the world renowned Future Policy Award, also known as the “Oscars on best policies”,  will celebrate the world’s best laws, policies, and legal frameworks that regulate or ban the use of hazardous chemicals that threaten the environment and human health. Each year, the World Future Council, in collaboration with UN agencies, highlights exemplary policies in one field where innovation and action are particularly urgent. 

Around 40,000-60,000 chemicals are in use worldwide, some of which cause irreversible harm to humans and the environment; many of these are particularly problematic chemicals that end up in our food chain and the environment. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated the burden of disease from exposure to selected chemicals at 1.6 million lives in 2016, and many more cases of illness. Children are especially vulnerable, and can be affected already before birth with long-lasting effects. 

“The global chemicals industry is projected to double by 2030. Strengthening the sound management of chemicals and waste is urgently required, in view of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The Future Policy Award will honour best practice examples in this regard,” said  the German Federal Minister of the Environment, Svenja Schulze.

“Adverse effects of chemicals can impact present and future generations. Therefore, we must find effective ways to manage hazardous chemicals throughout their lifecycle to protect humans and the environment,” said the President of the German Environment Agency, Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner. 

“Children in the global South are particularly exposed to dangerous chemicals. But also in Western countries, environmental toxins find their way into the human organism and our environment, where they can cause lasting damage, especially to our youngest,” says Alexandra Wandel, Executive Director of the World Future Council Foundation.

“Chemicals are an important part of our lives, but they can harm our health and our environment. Countries should work together in developing better policies for managing chemicals more efficiently and effectively,” said Masamichi Kono, Deputy Secretary General of the OECD. 

“Workers are among those most exposed to hazardous chemicals and waste in various sectors around the world and it is our duty to reaffirm the right to a safe and health working environment for all working people,” said Guy Ryder, ILO Director General.

With the Call for Nominations, we seek comprehensive policies, laws and legal frameworks that protect human health, specifically the health of children, and the environment. We are particularly interested in the regimentation of chemicals in products including plastic, highly toxic pesticides, and lead in paint. We also warmly welcome nominations for the protection of children and youth from dangerous work and exposure to toxic chemicals.

The Future Policy Award will be awarded in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as well as the German Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the German Environment Agency (UBA), the Michael Otto Foundation and the Jua Foundation. The award ceremony will take place during the 5th International Conference on the Management of Chemicals in October 2020 in Bonn.

Media Contact

Miriam Petersen
Media and Communications Manager
World Future Council
Dorotheenstr. 15, 22301 Hamburg, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)1781018019

About the World Future Council

The World Future Council (WFC) consists of up to 50 eminent global changemakers from governments, parliaments, civil society, academia, the arts, and business who have already successfully created change. We work to pass on a healthy planet and fair societies to our children and grandchildren. To achieve this, we focus on identifying and spreading effective, future just policy solutions and promote their implementation worldwide. Jakob von Uexkull, the Founder of the Alternative Nobel Prize, launched the World Future Council in 2007. We are an independent, non-profit organization under German law and finance our activities from donations. For information visit

About the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

UNEP is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. 

UNEP administers the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). SAICM is a multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral policy framework to promote chemical safety and health around the world under the roof of the United Nations Environment Programme, convening actors to work together on chemicals issues and catalyzing actions across sectors. 

About the International Labour Organisation

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the United Nations agency for the world of work. It sets international labour standards, promotes rights at work and encourages decent employment opportunities, the enhancement of social protection and the strengthening of dialogue on work-related issues. The ILO was founded in 1919, in the wake of a destructive war, to pursue a vision based on the premise that universal, lasting peace can be established only if it is based on social justice. The only tripartite U.N. agency, the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.

About the OECD

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation that works to build better policies for better lives. Our goal is to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being for all. We draw on almost 60 years of experience and insights to better prepare the world of tomorrow. Together with governments, policy makers and citizens, we work on establishing evidence-based international standards and finding solutions to a range of social, economic and environmental challenges. From improving economic performance and creating jobs to fostering strong education and fighting international tax evasion, we provide a unique forum and knowledge hub for data and analysis, exchange of experiences, best-practice sharing, and advice on public policies and international standard-setting

This project is financially supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the German Environment Agency. The publisher is responsible for the content of this publication.

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