Green Chemistry Defined

Green Chemistry is the utilization of a set of principles that reduces or eliminates the use or generation of hazardous substances in the design, manufacture and application of chemical products.

Green chemistry is a revolutionary philosophy that seeks to unite government, academic and industrial communities by placing more emphasis on tending to environmental impacts at the earliest stage of innovation and invention. This approach requires an open and interdisciplinary view of materials design, applying the principle that it is better to not generate waste in the first place, rather than disposing or treating it afterward. Environmentally benign alternatives to current materials and technologies must be systematically introduced across all types of manufacturing.

Currently, environmentally benign alternative technologies have proven to be economically superior and function as well or better than more toxic traditional options. When hazardous materials are cut from processes, all hazard-related costs are cut as well, significantly reducing hazardous materials handling, transportation, disposal and compliance concerns.

Given a choice between traditional options and green solutions, business leaders choose responsibly. Unfortunately there is a significant shortage of more responsible green alternatives. Scientists and non-scientists alike can begin to address this technological gap by recognizing the interconnectivity between the construction of materials and environmental protection. There is tremendous untapped opportunity for ingenuity and reward at the chemical design stage; this is the central concern of Green Chemistry.

—www.greenchemistry.uml.edu/html/generalinfo/understand.htm