Universities Commit to Graduate Majors in Green Chemistry

Much is being made of the shortage of skilled people to fill positions in science, math and engineering, and 13 colleges are coming together to make sure some of those skills are green.

In an effort to transform chemistry education in the US, they have signed a “Green Chemistry Commitment” promising to graduate chemistry majors proficient in the theory and practice of developing environmentally responsible chemicals.

University of California/ Berkeley, University of Minnesota and  Northeastern University are among those that signed on, saying that an emphasis on green chemistry gives chemical companies a competitive advantage.

“Supporting green chemistry education gives chemical companies a competitive advantage by providing a quicker time to market by reducing the environmental impact of manufacturing, reducing worker injury by minimizing exposure to toxic chemicals, processes, and waste; and increasing efficiency and productivity of new employees who are better prepared after graduating from academic programs,” says organizer Beyond Benign.

By placing more focus on environmental impacts at the earliest stage of innovation and invention, hazardous materials are removed from processes, all hazard-related costs are removed as well, significantly reducing hazardous materials handling, transportation, disposal and compliance concerns. Environmentally benign technologies have been proven to be economically superior and function as well or better than more toxic traditional options, they say.

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