This page contains material taken from A. J. Hunt, The Importance of Elemental Sustainability and Critical Element Recovery for the Pharmaceutical Industry, in Green and Sustainable Medicinal Chemistry: Methods, Tools and Strategies for the 21st Century Pharmaceutical Industry, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2016, ch. 5, pp. 54-62.
It is copyright to the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and is reproduced here with their express permission. If you wish to reproduce it elsewhere you must obtain similar permission from the RSC.
Elements are considered to be “critical” if they have significant supply risk issues and if restricted, could harm a company’s business or a nation’s economy. The chemical industry, including the pharmaceutical industry, is dependent upon petroleum feedstocks to supply a significant proportion of its starting materials. However, in addition to this, metals, and many other elements that are declining in stocks, are also widely employed, in particular the use of platinum group metals catalysts, which will have a significant effect on the industry in the future. The concept of elemental sustainability, a concept whereby each element within the periodic table is guaranteed for use by both current and future generations, is therefore becoming increasingly important. 
By the end of this module you should:
and be able to: