Green and sustainable chemistry: an industry in need of a story

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

Industry leaders weigh in on the future of green and sustainable chemistry and how to tell the public about it

Green chemistry. Sustainable chemistry.

These terms have penetrated rhetoric about the future of an industry that has catalyzed product innovation and changed our planet for well over a century. With increasing frequency, “green and sustainable chemistry” is the topic of journal articles, patents and conferences, and leading chemical companies are dedicating teams to investigate, implement and manage practices based on ensuing discussions.

Yet the existence of green and sustainable chemistry is not widely known to the public. Consumers rarely associate “green” and “sustainable” with the chemical industry. Organizations promoting green and sustainable chemistry attract only a fraction of the attention of other technologies, like those associated with e-vehicles and clean energy.

Beyond helping chemical companies re-evaluate and remediate existing products and processes to embody green chemistry principles, Elsevier cultivates leadership to bring green and sustainable chemistry into mainstream markets. In that vein, the Elsevier Executive Roundtable at this year’s Green & Sustainable Chemistry Conference in Berlin examined the disparity in perception between the scientific community and the public. Five industry leaders described their organizations’ takes on “green” and “sustainable” and shared insights on how to convey a story about their value, from supplier to end users.