One of the new elements of the GC&E Conference this year was a morning dedicated to Interactive Discussions—a different session format aimed to engage participants in discussions and actively explore new approaches and tools. Feedback from participants was positive and these sessions offered a welcome change and a great opportunity to meet and talk to new people.
We will be recapping the session in two parts. Part II will be published in the August issue of The Nexus.
Building Green Businesses
The Building Green Businesses interactive session engaged participants in exploring strategies to translate green chemistry technologies into commercial applications. Participants developed a business model canvas addressing a green chemistry challenge in the textile sector. This approach required attendees to work in teams to consider a number of factors, including customer segments, value proposition, and key partners, in developing business models. Organizer Marty Mulvihill of Safer Made shared information on funding sources, talking with investors, and building a start-up team.
Implementation Strategies for Green Chemistry in Products – What are the Barriers, Opportunities, and Key Elements for Making Sustainable Consumer Goods?
In this session led by John Frazier, Bob Buck and Scott Echols, participants were lead through a series of thought-provoking questions and engaged in conversations to identify barriers to implementing green chemistry and then brainstorm potential solutions. The top five barriers identified were 1) long development/scale time, 2) regulatory requirements, 3) cost/investment, 4) clear communication with supply chain, and 5) economy of scale vs. existing chemicals.
High-level routes to overcome these barriers included:
Predictive modeling to identify greener alternatives
Communicate clear expectations across regulators, brands, suppliers
Multi-disciplinary approach to green chemistry needs
Recognize green chemistry as innovation
Minimizing Ecotoxicity and Persistence in Chemicals and Materials
Is it possible to develop a “safe” diazo dye? The Minimizing Ecotoxicity interactive session allowed participants to examine the acute and chronic ecotoxicity of chemical and material safety by using predictive models. During the session, the attendees were asked to select three candidate compounds to propose a safer aromatic amine alternative based on ecotoxicity and biodegradation data. By studying a list of Primary Aromatic Amines (PAAs), the acute and chronic ecotoxicity data associated with them, in addition to predicted data on biodegradation, the attendees were able to create a list and report out their safer selection. After participants identified their “safer” compounds, they learned about the different methods of ecotoxicity data collection and how it’s used in an integrated approach to identify chemicals safer to other species.