IN THIS SECTION
GREEN CHEMISTRY MOVING FORWARD IN MICHIGAN!
In a landmark act, Governor Jennifer Granholm signed the nation's first Green Chemistry Executive Directive in October 2006. The Directive elevated Michigan as a leader among states working to advance cutting edge efforts in the design of safer, cleaner chemicals and materials that are "benign by design."
The Executive Directive is non-regulatory and would require the state to set up a program to advance research and implementation of green chemistry in Michigan. The Directive has garnered widespread support from green chemists, and environmental and public health activists. Michigan is one of the first states to initiate a program like this.
Green Chemistry offers Michigan enormous opportunities:
- To protect public health and the natural resources of our state;
- To save money by reducing the need for costly environmental litigation and clean-ups;
- To save money by lowering the costs of healthcare and lost work time due
to illnesses caused by toxic chemicals;
- To significantly enhance economic growth with new, sustainable businesses.
The Executive Directive requires the state to set up a program to advance research and implementation of Green Chemistry in Michigan. The Directive has garnered widespread support from green chemists, and environmental and public health activists. Michigan is one of the first states to initiate a program like this.
Read Michigan's Green Chemistry Executive Directive.
The Executive Directive gave rise to a Roundtable made up of experts representing business, academia, and public environmental interest groups. The Roundtable developed an Annual Awards Program to encourage businesses and institutions to advance economic development and public health risk reduction in Michigan through innovation in Green Chemistry.
Read brief synopses of the winning work in 2009.
Green Chemistry is an innovative scientific movement aimed at replacing toxic chemicals with safe materials. It provides an overarching set of principles for chemists and others to develop products, processes and services that curb pollution, waste, and energy consumption.
Although Green Chemistry has been around for over a decade, as fuel prices rise, it is generating more interest from industries in search of sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based products and work processes that use a lot of energy.
Green Chemistry was officially launched in 1998, when the Green Chemistry Institute of the American Chemical Society published the “Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry.” These principles outline methods for designing energy-efficient processes for creating non-polluting products.
While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not have exact data, it estimates that industries that participated in the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge have saved millions of dollars in resources, waste and cleanup expenses. These companies have also eliminated what is estimated to be billions of pounds of toxic waste and saved billions of gallons of water each year, while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gases.
Although Green Chemistry is now widely heralded as essential both for public health and business competitiveness, academic institutions and businesses still have not widely adopted these practices.
Green Chemistry Presidential Awards
Download the Green Chemistry Presidential Awards fact sheet (pdf).
"This I Believe" essay on Green Chemistry
Read the essay for NPR's "This I Believe," (pdf) by Green Chemistry co-founder, John Warner.
Clean Production Action
Clean Production Action promotes the use of products that are safer and cleaner across their life cycle for consumers, workers and communities. See their excellent fact sheets:
Green Chemistry Network
The Green Chemistry and the Consumer project is aimed at delivering knowledge and understanding of Green Chemistry to consumers and retailers. The project provides excellent resources and newsletters on how Green Chemistry is being used in the manufacture of safer products.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The EPA Green Chemistry site includes links to basic information on Green Chemistry, projects & programs, grants & fellowships, international activities, and tools & literature.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ)
The Michigan Green Chemistry Program was created by Executive Directive, No. 2006-6, which also established a Green Chemistry Roundtable within the State of Michigan. Its goal is to promote green chemistry for sustainable economic development and protection of public health.
University of California
The principles of chemicals policy outlined in the following report, "Green Chemistry: Cornerstone to a Sustainable California," Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, 2008, highlight the need for a modern, comprehensive solution to pressing health, environmental and economic problems associated with California’s management of chemicals and products.
California Green Chemistry Report
California should take the lead in establishing a comprehensive policy for chemical production and use or face a growing set of health and environmental problems and risk being left behind by the global economy, according to a new paper. The paper was commissioned by the Cal. Senate Environmental Quality Committee and the Cal. Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials. The focus of that report is on the need for Green Chemistry to ensure California's continued economic competitiveness. An announcement about the report is available here.
Green Chemistry Institute
The Green Chemistry Institute is a project of the American Chemical Society and offers resources to academic programs, electronic tools, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, private sector, employment, and publications.
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Chemicals Policy Initiative on Green Chemistry of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production has a good web site on the growing international movement for Green Chemistry.
"Framing a Safe Chemicals Future: Towards Safe Chemicals, Products, and Services," is an overview of steps being taken toward Green Chemistry around the world. This 12-page pdf document includes the 12 principles of Green Chemistry.
List of organizations and agencies working on Green Chemistry in the U.S. and other countries.
"Chemicals, products, and regulatory failure: A prescription for greener chemistry and better public health," is an article by Dr. David Wallinga from the January 2008 edition of Minnesota Physician.