Advancing Green Chemistry Education
The goal of the Advancing Green Chemistry Education Project group is to embed green chemistry in academic and professional education across supply chains in order to build a field of professionals with a strong understanding of the nexus between chemistry, product design, and sustainability.
During the upcoming year the group will collect, develop, and test training curriculum for business professionals across job categories on green chemistry and safer alternatives. This will consist of 2-3 “tier I” training webinars on introductory green chemistry topics and one “tier II” in-depth one day training using case examples.
A small planning committee has been assembled to collect existing curriculum and develop a strategy for developing a series of Tier I and Tier II training modules. GC3 members interested in participating in the planning committee should contact Saskia VanBergen to participate.
The training planning committee will meet at least monthly to review existing curriculum and develop new training modules. Quarterly project group calls will be held to update GC3 members on project progress as well as seek input on training materials, curriculum and implementation.
Engaging Retailers in the Adoption of Safer Products
The mission of this group is to promote safer chemicals, materials and products across retail supply chains. The group is currently convening a Retailer Leadership Council (RLC) composed of a select group of retail leaders who are pro-actively working to: understand what chemicals are in their products, engage their suppliers in improving chemicals management, find safer alternatives to chemicals of concern, develop and implement chemicals policies, and educate their customers. Members of the RLC will have significant decision-making responsibility related to supply chains or product formulation at their firms (are generally at the Vice President level). The RLC will work together to identify at least one project annually to support the Council mission and will reach out to engage and inform other retailers. At least initially, this group will be limited to the selected group of retail leaders.
The GC3 will also continue to work with its Retail Project group to implement some of the other ideas that were generated at the Second National Summit for Retailers and in discussions afterwards, such as: creating a pilot project with retailers to try out some of the available tools for improving chemicals management; conducting research on incentives for merchants to identify and purchase safer products; implementing training for retailers in collaboration with RILA or another organization; and updating the GC3 Retailer Portal to include new tools that have been developed.
Facilitating Chemical Data Flow Along Supply Chains
The Chemical Data-CBI project group is working to develop a roadmap for considering the contexts in which CBI chemical data might be required as part of supply-chain transactions, the types of information that could be sought, and the availability/adequacy of approaches for meeting the requirements and concerns of both parties to a transaction involving sharing of chemical information.
So far this year the project group has participated in several webinars/discussions to illuminate strategies companies currently use, or are developing, for ensuring both flow of critical chemical hazard information during supply chain transactions and protection of essential CBI. Going forward, the project group will be developing key lessons from these discussions, further clarifying issues raised by participants on issues such as trade secrets, timing for CBI protection, and the varying transparency contexts of different sectors. During the project group’s next call (date forthcoming) the project group will also discuss the timing and scope of a report for the project group. GC3 members interested in participating in this group should contact Bob Kerr to participate.
Mainstreaming Green Chemistry
In the years since the EPA initiated its Green Chemistry program and the publication of Paul Anastas’ and John Warner’s seminal book Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice that defined and presented twelve principles of green chemistry, much has happened to catalyze a field of chemistry that combines molecular development with sustainability. But while Green Chemistry is now a more common, supported, and understood practice, it still remains a marginal consideration in chemicals research, education, and product design.
The GC3 is convening a project group, under the leadership of Bob Israel of Valspar, to provide advice and input on the development of An Agenda for Mainstreaming Green Chemistry. The project group will consist of a small number of representatives from business, government, academia, and non-profit organizations to explore ways to make Green Chemistry the norm for chemistry. It will be engaging GC3 membership as well as other stakeholders in its process; the schedule and method for this will be developed over the summer. The resulting Agenda will be an overarching framework for mainstreaming green chemistry that includes key partnerships, policy needs, research, education, and investments. A draft of the Agenda will be completed by the end of 2013.
If any GC3 members have suggestions for resources that can help inform this process, or thoughts about what should be done to do move green chemistry more into the mainstream of chemistry, please contact Amy Perlmutter.
Promoting Green Chemistry Innovation
The GC3 is launching a new project group to learn about models of innovation and determine how they can be exploited both in our own organizations and collectively to bring new, safer chemicals and materials to market and encourage their adoption.
For the 2013/2014 project year, we will delve into models of “open-innovation,” where R&D extends beyond the boundaries of the enterprise, pulling in outside ideas and leveraging internal ideas outside the organizations. Examples include crowdsourcing; competitions/prizes; co-development with customers, suppliers, and university-based researchers; venturing; in-licensing; and out-licensing.
Through a series of webinars we will examine models that are not currently being employed to advance green chemistry and those that are, such as in-licensing at GreenCentre Canada and the American Chemical Society/Green Chemistry Institute/Pharmaceutical Roundtable’s university R&D grants program. We will look at programs at individual companies, universities, and in organizations that sponsor open innovation programs and host web platforms.
We will discuss whether there are opportunities for the GC3 as an organization to start a new green chemistry-focused open innovation initiative and write a GC3 report summarizing the landscape of relevant open innovation models and their relevancy to, and potential for, advancing green chemistry innovation. For more information or to join the project group, contact Monica Becker.