The vast majority of chemistry students receive little or no education in how chemical design may affect health or sustainability. Similarly, most industrial chemists, designers, and business managers have received little training in green chemistry, toxicology, lifecycle evaluation, or sustainability. For green chemistry to thrive, there is a need for professionals who are well-educated in green chemistry concepts, including green chemical design, toxicology, lifecycle evaluation, and environmental policy. The lack of such education can present a barrier to advancing green chemistry within firms and supply chains, especially when price and performance may take precedent over environmental impacts. Companies increasingly want to chemists, engineers, designers and business managers who have sustainability knowledge.
For the coming year, the group will develop and test green chemistry and safer alternatives training curriculum that can be offered to GC3 members and other companies. The group has outlined the training needs of different job categories as well as the components of a tiered training program. The training consists of two parts: High level topics, such as an overview of green chemistry (Tier 1) that can be offered via webinar. Tier 2 trainings will bring together multiple job functions to enhance understanding and communication of green chemistry and safer alternatives within a company, and externally along a supply chain. The trainings will be developed in partnership with GC3 companies and states implementing green chemistry programs and will be centered around case study models that demonstrate green chemistry in practice. The group has established a training planning committee that is currently collecting green chemistry case studies and curriculum that can serve as the basis for the training. This committee will develop the curriculum for 2-3 “tier I” training webinars on introductory green chemistry topics and one “tier II” in-depth, one day training using case examples
October 22, 2013
Helen Holder, Corporate Material Selection Manage, Hewlett-Packard Co.
Andy Shafer, Executive VP Sales and Market Development, Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc.
Tse-Sung Wu, Program Manager, Environment, Health and Safety Department, Genentech
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The group developed the GC3 Policy Statement on Green Chemistry in Higher Education, an industry "policy statement" in support of green chemistry education at the university level and in continuing education. The position statement has been signed by 19 GC3 companies, along with 11 GC3 partner organizations. The statement includes commitments to: (1) support green chemistry education and research in higher education across disciplines, within the firm and through the supply chain; (2) hire new professional staff with training in green chemistry and sustainability all other aspects equal; and (3) embed green chemistry in product development and sourcing. The policy statement provides synergies with Beyond Benign's university commitment for green chemistry education.
The GC3 would like to expand the list of signatories, using the statement as a tool to conduct outreach with policy makers, university administrators, and research agencies to reiterate the GC3 support for chemists and other professionals trained in green chemistry and safer alternatives. The Michigan Green Chemistry Program is developing a checklist to benchmark company implementation of the commitments in the policy statement. This checklist will be piloted on a small set of GC3 and other companies that have signed the statement.
For more information or to join the project group, contact Saskia VanBergen.
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