Robert Rich

Please help to identify goals of how chemists, chemistry, and ACS can address the world's sustainability challenges

Discussion created by Robert Rich on Dec 22, 2009

In 2009, the ACS Sustainability Stakeholders Steering Group (S3G) identified seven areas where chemists, chemistry, and ACS could help to address the world's sustainability challenges (e.g., energy, water, and food).  This CALL to action is available at


Recently, the ACS Board Committee on Professional & Member Relations asked S3G to propose specific goals and targets within each of these areas.  S3G would like to invite you to consider the list of areas and draft "starting point" questions below and suggest what appropriate goals might be.  The group would like the goals to be ambitious, yet realistic, and each to be completed in a defined time frame.  The ultimate goals arrived at are intended to be SMART.


The purpose of these goals are to challenge and inspire ACS and its members and stakeholders to make a real difference, "Improving people's lives through the transforming power of chemistry."  Thank you in advance for your help in assembling a list of some possibilities.


A. Advancing the Science: Providing indispensable resources and information to address sustainability

What information should be made available to truly advance the practice of chemistry in support of sustainability?

What resources could chemists use to tackle the world's sustainability challenges?

How can the the Society's outstanding information products be leveraged to build a resource to support sustainability?


B. Informing Our Members: Sharing tools to enable efforts focused in sustainability?

What sustainability tools exist that could be shared more broadly among the chemistry community?

What new tools should be constructed or developed?

How should we plan reach the goal of enabling and catalyzing the implementation of green chemistry and green engineering into member's work?


C. Educating the Public: Promoting the importance of, and how chemistry addresses, sustainability

How can the Society better engage members in explaining chemistry's central role to the public?

How should ACS communicate the importance of addressing sustainability to the public?

What targets should be set in changing public understanding and awareness?


D. Preparing Future Chemists: Recruiting and educating the next generation of chemists to pursue sustainable solutions

What additional goals should be set regarding the professional development of a cadre of chemists who can participate in addressing sustainability?

How should we reach the goal of enabling and catalyzing the implementation of green chemistry by the next generation?


E. Policy Advocacy: Advocating for science-based policy that promotes sustainability

What new policy position statements should be developed?

How can ACS advocacy better advance a sustainable world through chemistry solutions?


F. Recognizing Best Practices: Acknowledging ACS members and groups leading sustainability-focused activities

What new approaches should be pursued to recognize chemistry that makes a difference?

How can existing recognition programs be adapted to better encourage sustainability-focused research and practice?


G. Green Operations: Establishing operating procedures that contribute to the sustainability effort

How can ACS build upon its industry-leading practices to better set an example for sustainability?

What dimensions of green operations need to be further addressed?


Please respond in the comments below.