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

The Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) is a leading international centre for research and consulting within the geosciences. NGI develops optimum solutions for society, and offers expertise on the behaviour of soil, rock and snow and their interaction with the natural and built environment. NGI works within the markets Offshore energy; Building, construction and transportation; Natural hazards, and Environmental Engineering. NGI is a private foundation with office and laboratory in Oslo, branch office in Trondheim, and daughter companies in Houston, Texas, USA, and Perth, Western Australia. NGI was established in 1953.