They fully acknowledge that the idea has yet to garner the recognition or public investment that renewable energy and green building have earned. As a result, 10 businesses and organizations from the Green Chemistry Commerce CouncilÂ (GC3) have banded together to mainstream the form of chemistry thatÂ combines molecular development with sustainability.
â€œBringing green chemistry into the mainstream means making it standard practice throughout the economy so that all chemistry is, by default, green chemistry,â€ reads a blog on GreenBiz.com co-written by Amy Perlmutter, leader of the Councilâ€™s mainstreaming project.
The group will look to advance green chemistry in theÂ retail,Â higher educationÂ andÂ supply chainÂ sectors. The final roadmap for the promotion of green chemistryâ€”to be presented in Mayâ€”will include insights from chemical feedstock producers, manufacturers, brands and retailers at GC3 member companies regarding how theyÂ develop and implement green chemistry, and what has helped or hurt that process.
Perlmutter and Monica Becker, a sustainability consultant, define green chemistry as â€œthe design, manufacture and application of chemical products that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances.â€ They pointed out two examples of green chemistryâ€”SegetisÂ created a solvent with waste wood trimmings and corn stalks used in SeventhÂ Generation and Method cleaning products for a performance that was unprecedented in the industry. CargillÂ won a 2013 Presidential Green Chemistry AwardÂ for developing a transformer fluid withÂ vegetable oilÂ that lacks the toxicity of Â mineral oil-based fluids and is less flammable and hasÂ a lower carbon footprint.
With the the help of the Green Chemistry Checklist, developed by the Dow Chemical Company, the Ecology Center and other members of the Michigan Green Chemistry Roundtable, theÂ women say companies who espouse green chemistry as a standard will:
Â Green chemistry products and processes are a primary goal of the organization Â
â€¢ Regularly track progress toward green chemistry goals, including greening product linesÂ
â€¢ Embed green chemistry design criteria in product design guidelines each stage of development so designs are green from the â€œground upâ€
â€¢ IncludeÂ green chemistry criteria in relevant sourcing protocols, specifications and contracts
â€¢ Screen chemical ingredients for green chemistry attributes on a regular basis
â€¢ Devote research and development dollars to green chemistry innovation
â€¢ Commercialize products with green chemistry advantages instead of existing chemicals or products
â€¢ Support and train employees with green chemistry higher education programs
Seventh Generation, Timberland, Valspar and the other organizations will lead the charge, but all 80 members of the Council will take part.