The goal is zero pollution

The research project is called ZeroPM, short for: Zero pollution of Persistent, Mobile substances (PM substances). These substances are a potential threat to water quality. They do not (bio)degrade and sorption is ineffective for removing such substances from water.

In addition, they can travel huge distances with water and reach pristine environments. This worldwide problem has triggered new policy and monitoring actions and the European Green Deal and Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability towards a Toxic Free Environment contains dedicated initiatives for chemical and water regulations for PM substances.

"As many of these PM substances are also toxic, it is particularly critical to find suitable and lasting solutions to prevent and remove these substances from our environment," says Dr. Hale.

She explains that ZeroPM will develop next generation prevention, prioritization and remediation techniques, turning the goals in the Chemicals Strategy in to a reality.

Exemplary multidisciplinary team

ZeroPM has 15 partners and the project unites leading researchers, regulators and green chemistry innovation experts. "These experts have been instrumental in advancing the science, awareness and regulation of PM substances. My colleagues and I at NGI are really looking forward to starting the project and working with these experts across Europe", says Dr. Hale.

The project is planned to start in October 2021 and will run over five years.

"We are very honored that the European Commission has awarded us such a large grant for this project. I can guarantee that everyone involved will be working hard to achieve the goals of the project," says Dr. Hale.

Details about the project

ZeroPM will interlink and synergize prevention, prioritization and removal strategies to protect the environment and human health from persistent, mobile (PM) substances. To do this, ZeroPM will establish an evidence-based multilevel framework to guide policy, technological and market incentives to minimize use, emissions and pollution of entire groups of PM substances.

ZeroPM will deliver policy improvements, an increase in business opportunities and competitiveness, an improved livelihood for EU citizens and beyond state-of-the-art methods, to prevent regrettable substitution and regrettable remediation of PM substance groups. ZeroPM will be the pathfinding project enabling the ambitions of the Chemical Strategy to become an on-the-ground reality, supporting the movement towards a zero pollution, toxic-free environment.


  • Project leader: Norwegian Geotechnical Institute
  • Stockholm University, Sweden
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • DVGW-Technologiezentrum Wasser (German Water Center), Germany
  • Milieu Law and Policy Consulting, Belgium
  • ChemSec, Sweden
  • German Environment Agency, Germany
  • ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  • The University of the Aegean, Greece
  • TG Environmental Research, UK
  • Chalmers, Sweden
  • Norwegian Institute for Water Research, Norway
  • University of Vienna, Austria
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine, Germany

Norges Geotekniske Institutt (NGI) er et internasjonalt ledende senter for forskning og rådgivning innen ingeniørrelaterte geofag. Vi utvikler optimale løsninger for samfunnet og tilbyr ekspertise om jord, berg og snø og deres påvirkning på miljøet, konstruksjoner og anlegg. Vi arbeider i følgende markeder: Offshore energi - Bygg, anlegg og samferdsel - Naturfare - Miljøteknologi. NGI er en privat næringsdrivende stiftelse med kontor og laboratorier i Oslo, avdelingskontor i Trondheim og datterselskap i Houston, Texas USA og Perth, Western Australia. NGI ble stiftet i 1953.