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Message from the Director

Valued Contributor III
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Contributed by David Constable, Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute®

In less than a month we’ll be in Portland, OR, for the 20th Annual GC&E Conference and I hope many of you have made plans to attend.  We are very grateful to our Organizing Committee, Session Chairs, keynote speakers and many others who have contributed in so many ways to making this conference the success it will be.  Between Monday morning’s student workshop and the end of the green chemistry education roadmap on Saturday afternoon, there will be non-stop activity.  Whether you’re from industry, academia, or government, there’s something of interest for you during the week; something to learn, something to take back home with you, something that inspires you.  I hope to see you there!

Earlier this month I was privileged to be a part of a LAUNCH Big Think for chemistry.  In case you’ve missed me mentioning LAUNCH previously, I would encourage you to have a look at what they do.  Our LAUNCH colleagues have been focused on making an impact in the development of more sustainable materials, and work to connect entrepreneurs with resources that will help move businesses forward through commercialization of innovative, sustainable products.  We share a common vision that sustainable and green chemistry needs to be implemented throughout the supply chain of products, and chemicals are in pretty much every supply chain.  So it’s a daunting systems-level problem.   I am grateful that they are convening some great thinkers to try to focus greater awareness on this issue, and that over time these efforts will lead to pivotal solutions across multiple supply chains.

I was also involved in workshop that is part of a multi-year effort spearheaded by the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute to assist businesses with alternative assessments.  I’m pleased to see that the effort is progressing.   There were three teams focusing on integrating exposure considerations into the hazard assessment, what to do about data gaps, and multi-criteria decision making methodologies.  For anyone who is responsible for product development, specifications of buildings, or component manufacture, there is a bewildering array of decisions to be made to ensure that whatever is being built or brought to market is made as safe as possible for humans and the environment.  This is a tall order for anyone who has tried to do it, but I’m pleased to see that more tools are being developed to assist.  Our ability to avoid regrettable substitutions in products we make will, over time, improve, and that’s a good thing.

As always, please do let me know what you think.


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