Against a beautiful Lake Champlain backdrop, GC3 conference sessions covered a wealth of topics aimed at “mainstreaming green chemistry.” Essentially, green chemistry involves redesign of chemical products and processes to specifically reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances. It spans the entire life cycle of a chemical – including design, manufacture, use and disposal. At each step along the way, there are opportunities to make chemicals safer and less harmful.
My conference presentation focused on government funding, helping attendees understand federal, state and local support available for renewable chemistry – and what to think about if you are seeking government funding. As I said at the conference, there is an enormous amount of government funding available. And, it is so gratifying as a consultant to work with clients to find government support to bring safer, less toxic chemical products to market.
One of the most exciting aspects of the conference was the diversity in the room. Business leaders, government experts, academic researchers, and environmental and health advocates all came together for an energizing four days to talk about how to integrate green chemistry into product supply chains. Ninety percent of manufactured goods are in some way linked to the chemical industry. Yet, despite its many environmental, public health, business, and economic benefits, green chemistry still represents only a small part of the chemical industry. It was very exciting to be part of a robust conversation about how to change that!