Compliance with legislation

People →  Ensuring regulatory compliance Given that companies in the chemicals, plastics and life sciences industry are operating in a heavily regulated environment, essenscia organises various training sessions in different areas of expertise. Some specific training sessions are also addressed to public authorities. In 2020, essenscia provided at least 10,800 training hours to 2,155 employees of 593 companies. Due to the […]

Product Stewardship

People →  Advocacy for a risk-based and science-based approach to product safety Product stewardship is about manufacturers and downstream users – companies or individual employees who use chemicals – committing to minimize the environmental, health and safety impacts of their products throughout the product life cycle, using a risk- and science-based approach. Actions range from […]

Life-long learning

People →  Investing in people, investing in the future Programmes aimed at upgrading employees’ skills are crucial to enhance the sector’s human capital and contribute to employee satisfaction. Continuous vocational training facilitates the continued employability of an ageing workforce, and is vital for the success of a highly innovative and skills-based sector such as the […]


Prosperity →  More than €5 billion of taxes go into the state budget The chemicals and life sciences sector makes a significant contribution to the federal, regional and local public finances through the taxes it pays. To give a balanced picture of the sector’s contribution, benefits from subsidies and tax incentives are also taken into […]

Number of researchers

Prosperity →  A quarter of Belgium’s private sector researcher population The share of researchers in the sector indicates the innovativeness of the sector and ensures the anchoring of the chemicals, plastics and life sciences industry in the Belgian economy.  The sector is R&D intensive with more than 11,000 people, or more than 1 person out […]


Prosperity →  Securing the future through innovation The sector is a leader in research and development. Patents are an essential means of protecting inventions that pave the way for new products and processes. In 2020, 2,390 Belgian patent applications were lodged with the European Patent Office (EPO) – i.e. 205 per million inhabitants – maintaining […]

R&D expenses

Prosperity →  Largest private investor in R&D ​ R&D spending is a key indicator of how innovative an industry is, driving the technological advances that are vital for a sustainable future. R&D spending in the chemicals, plastics and life sciences industry totalled nearly €4.8 billion in 2019. This is twice as much as a decade […]


Prosperity →  A key investor in Belgium The sector invested an average of €2 billion a year from 2010 to 2020, both in green field projects and in the expansion and modernisation of existing production capacities to improve industrial efficiency and environmental performance.   The chemicals and life sciences industry is a very capital-intensive sector and […]


Prosperity →  A sustainable financial performance A healthy financial situation is crucial for a sustainable industry. In the chemicals and life sciences industry, the return on shareholders’ investment has amounted to an average of 6,9% over the last 10 years. This ratio is structurally higher than the risk-free return on long-term government bonds. Profitability can […]

Trade balance

Prosperity →  Number one exporter for more than 10 years The Belgian chemicals and life sciences industry’s trade balance underlines the importance of its international operations. In 2020, Belgium’s chemicals and life sciences sector exported 131 billion euro of products – more than one-third of total Belgian exports. Representing over 80% of its production in […]