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Mainstreaming Green Chemistry

Background

It has been twenty years since the EPA initiated its Green Chemistry program and fifteen years since 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, catalyzing a field of chemistry that combines molecular development with sustainability. The recognition of the importance of Green Chemistry in addressing chemical and sustainability challenges has been growing over the past two decades, with notable accomplishments. 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. Starting in the summer of 2013, An Agenda for Mainstreaming Green Chemistry will bring together a small working group of representatives from business, government, academia, and the NGO sectors to explore ways to make Green Chemistry the norm for chemistry.  It will also engage a broader range of stakeholders in its process.  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.

Current Project

This year, we will engage a small working group with representation from the business, government, not-for-profit, and academic sectors to develop An Agenda for Mainstreaming Green Chemistry, which will include the following:

  • Make the economic, public health, and political case for greater investment in Green Chemistry
  • Map the ecosystem that is currently influencing or preventing Green Chemistry development and adoption
  • Understand what roles industry, academia, government, and NGOs are playing and what greater role they could play in moving Green Chemistry forward
  • Understand how the actions of any one of these four sectors can spur or hinder innovation among the other sectors and how productive relationships can be strengthened and developed
  • Identify key barriers that are holding Green Chemistry back and possible ways to overcome them
  • Identify key leverage points that are working to move Green Chemistry forward and how to build on them; look at additional places where intervention in the system could spur more innovation
  • Identify a range of policy options for education, research, investment, regulation, and innovation that would help significantly advance Green Chemistry adoption
  • Create a vision of what Green Chemistry as the norm would look like and how we get there

Research will be conducted on other action plans, drivers of innovation in sustainable technologies, investment strategies, existing literature about health and environmental externalities of chemical pollution and costs to business of chemicals compliance.

The working group will also solicit input from a broader audience of stakeholders though surveys, conference calls, and/or webinars. 

The resulting agenda will be an overarching framework for mainstreaming green chemistry that includes key partnerships, policy needs, research, education, and investments.

Read about the GC3 Mainstreaming project in Greenbiz.com.

For more information or to join the project group, contact Amy Perlmutter.

Upcoming call information, call notes, and working documents are available to members
in the
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