NICNAS risk assessments are conducted within an agreed framework for the environmentally sound management of chemicals, consistent with the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) and its principles and policies that is aligned with the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) Agenda 21 (Rio Declaration) Chapter 19, Environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals. Details of how ESD principles and practices are applied to NICNAS risk assessments practice are found at Appendix 07.

The NICNAS LRCC reforms implemented in 2005-06 include strategies that encourage the introduction of less-hazardous chemicals that pose lower risk to the environment. Promotion of innovative new technologies through direct financial incentives to industry to introduce safer chemicals that pose a lower regulatory risk will result in a more sustainable overall regulatory framework as well as a more sustainable chemical industry in Australia .