Laura Hoch

Ask the Innovators: What will it take to Mainstream Green Chemistry?

Discussion created by Laura Hoch on Mar 9, 2016
Latest reply on Mar 28, 2016 by David Constable

On March 28th please join us on the Green Chemistry Innovation Portal for the third Ask the Innovators event: “What will it take to Mainstream Green Chemistry?” The mainstreaming of green chemistry is defined as when all chemistry — including chemistry and engineering research, education, and policy — becomes green chemistry. For an introduction to this topic, see this recent report from the GC3. During our online discussion, you can ask the author of the report, along with experts from industry and academia about what they think are the barriers to mainstream green chemistry, and what will have to happen to overcome them.


The experts joining us for this session:

  • Amy Perlmutter, Perlmutter Associates
    Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3) Mainstreaming Project Lead
    Amy Perlmutter is an independent consultant whose practice includes strategy, stakeholder engagement, communications, and facilitation to build the green economy.  She serves as the Project Lead of the Mainstreaming Group for the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3) and is the author of the GC3’s Agenda to Mainstream Green Chemistry. Prior to consulting, Amy was the founding director of the Chelsea Center for Recycling and Economic Development, working with businesses, researchers, and government to increase the use of recyclable materials in manufacturing processes in Massachusetts.  She has also served as the Director of Recycling for the City of San Francisco. Amy holds a BA in International Studies and Environmental Policy from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MPA from Harvard University. She is a Fellow at the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production.

  • Babette Pettersen, BioAmber
    Senior Advisor
    Babette Pettersen currently serves as a Senior Advisor to BioAmber Inc., a market leader in bio-based succinic acid and a pioneer in renewable chemicals, where she held the role of Chief Commercial Officer since 2013. Ms. Pettersen built BioAmber's commercial team to develop applications for bio-based succinct acid across multiple markets. Under her leadership, Ms. Pettersen's team created market demand for, and accelerated market adoption of, more sustainable solutions throughout the value chain that are based on green chemistry.  Before joining BioAmber, Ms. Pettersen led new business development for Performance Materials at Royal DSM. Prior to DSM, Babette held Marketing & New Business Development roles in different industry groups at Dow Corning. Ms. Pettersen has a BSc in Biology from Wellesley College, USA and an MBA from INSEAD, France.


  • Eric Beckman, University of Pittsburgh
    Professor of Engineering and Co-Director of the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation
    Eric Beckman received his Ph.D. in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 1988. As a Professor of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, he and his research group examine the use of molecular design to solve problems in green engineering and in the design of materials for use in tissue engineering. In 2003, Dr. Beckman helped to create the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, a school of engineering institute that examines the design of more sustainable infrastructure. In 2005, Dr. Beckman co-founded Cohera Medical Inc. (with Michael Buckley) to commercialize surgical adhesive technology developed at the University. Dr. Beckman’s research group has produced over 200 publications in the area of molecular design and more than 40 patents.


  • Martin Wolf, Seventh Generation, Inc.
    Director, Sustainability & Authenticity
    Martin Wolf is responsible for ensuring the design of sustainable products at Seventh Generation, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of ecological household and personal care products. Mr. Wolf brings over 40 years of experience in industrial and environmental chemistry to his work, starting with environmental fate and metabolism studies for agricultural chemicals, followed by studies of the occurrence of hazardous chemicals in the environment, conducting life cycle studies of product systems, and designing more sustainable household cleaning products. At Seventh Generation, Mr. Wolf has developed frameworks for environmental product design, helped educate his coworkers, customers, and consumers about the environmental impacts of consumer products, successfully lobbied for passage of phosphate bans in several states, helped develop standards for voluntary ingredient disclosure, and brought change to the cleaning products industry through more sustainable product designs. Mr. Wolf holds an M.A. in Chemistry from Yeshiva University (New York) and a B.S. in Chemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Massachusetts).


Ask the experts anything you like: Why isn’t green chemistry mainstream practice now? What are the new innovations that will transform the industry? What business strategies, government policies, and strategic partnerships are needed to make all chemistry, green chemistry?