2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 5, 2016 7:29 AM by Martin Wolf

    How is the green chemistry practiced today during product development lifecycle?

      With all the discussions about green chemistry happening, I would like to understand how companies are implementing green chemistry adoption? Are they building departments with focus on greener process improvements? Or are they hoping for green chemistry adoption throughout their research efforts?

        • Re: How is the green chemistry practiced today during product development lifecycle?

          That's a real interesting question.  Within Method and Ecover, green chemistry, manufacturing and packaging sustainability are part of everyone's job.  Clearly it is a lot easier for the chemistry folks (or "green chefs") to lead the new chemistry exploration, targeting and qualification efforts but they need to bring the broader team along and convinced of the right path or their ideas will never be successful in market.  Same is true for packaging or manufacturing issues where those functions take the lead but bring the team along.  Marketing, Sales and Creative are key in how we communicate to consumers and retailers so that great product or package solutions become successful in market.  Every function can bring in great ideas and that is part of the benefit of a small company where people are free to raise new ideas, question and make solutions successful.


          We also have a function group called Greens keeping.  They play a key role in helping encourage sustainability through out the company, bring measurement tools and help influence. 


          This is a pretty unique approach to sustainability and probably a lot different at other companies so it would be great to hear other input.

          • Re: How is the green chemistry practiced today during product development lifecycle?
            Martin Wolf

            Dear Neelam: A key is having corporate goals that demand implementation of green chemistry practices rather than incremental change in practices. For example, Seventh Generation has a 2020 Goal of All Ingredients and Materials from Renewed Resources (Biobased or Recycled). Knowing this, our chemists and engineers begin each project by asking, what resources are available to me, and how can i best use them to create the desired product? This leads to formulated products that are 90-100% biobased and packaging that is, on average, nearly 90% post-consumer recycled materials.  Contrast this to an objective of increasing our use of biobased materials by 20%. If i have a product that is 50% biobased, i might change a component to increase the biobased content to 60%, but the product remains fundamentally unchanged.


            Seventh Generation's 2020 Goals are set by the Corporate Consciousness Department and approved by the Board of Directors. They are published in our annual Corporate Consciousness reports,on our website, http://www.seventhgeneration.com/sites/default/files/2015_seventh_generation_cor porate-consciousness-report.pdf.