Green Chemistry is a revolutionary approach to the way that products are made; it is a science that aims to reduce or eliminate the use and/or generation of hazardous substances in the design phase of materials development. It requires an inventive and interdisciplinary view of material and product design. Green Chemistry follows the principle that it is better to consider waste prevention options during the design and development phase than to dispose or treat waste after a process or material has been developed
For a technology to be considered Green Chemistry, it must accomplish three things:
- It must be more environmentally benign than existing alternatives.
- It must be more economically viable than existing alternatives.
- It must be functionally equivalent to or outperform existing alternatives.
Green Chemistry presents industries with incredible opportunity for growth and competitive advantage. This is because there is currently a significant shortage of green technologies: we estimate that only 10% of current technologies are environmentally benign; another 25% could be made benign relatively easily. The remaining 65% have yet to be invented! Green Chemistry also creates cost savings: when hazardous materials are removed from materials and processes, all hazard-related costs are also removed, such as those associated with handling, transportation, disposal, and compliance.
Through Green Chemistry, environmentally benign alternatives to current materials and technologies can be systematically introduced across all types of manufacturing to promote a more environmentally and economically sustainable future.