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What is Green Chemistry & Engineering?

Green chemistry intersects with today's biggest innovations and challenges, from climate to education and from equity to artificial intelligence. Learn the basics of green chemistry and engineering, and explore green chemistry's key intersections across fields.

What is green chemistry?

"Green chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. Green chemistry applies across the life cycle of a chemical product, including its design, manufacture, use, and ultimate disposal." - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

To advance sustainability, chemists must be equipped with an approach that prioritizes the reduction of hazardous substances, waste, and energy use and eliminates potential harm to humans and the environment—from the time a product or process is designed to the impacts it has when it's no longer in use. 

The adoption of green chemistry is critical for building a safe and healthy future where scientific advancements align with responsible practices, benefiting both people and the planet.

Why do green chemistry?



A short video introduction to the importance of green chemistry by Dr. Paul Anastas at the Yale Center for Green Chemistry.

What is green engineering?

"Green engineering is the design, commercialization, and use of processes and products in a way that reduces pollution, promotes sustainability, and minimizes risk to human health and the environment without sacrificing economic viability and efficiency."*

For a sustainable future, the environmental footprint of processes and products must be minimized. To achieve this with the greatest impact, engineers consider environmental and human health impacts early in their designs. This evolving field is also helping create sustainable solutions such as improved construction materials and renewable energy generation.

Green engineering is defined by 12 principles, or methodologies, that can be applied to develop sustainable technologies.

Explore Deeper

Green chemistry and engineering are tools that support sustainability advances across fields and sectors. Take a deep dive into trending topics to learn how green innovations are addressing key global challenges.

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Tools and educational resources for chemists seeking deeper involvement in mitigating climate change.

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Designing Safer Chemicals

Learn about the challenges and opportunities of safer chemical design and selection of alternatives.

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Green chemists and engineers are innovating to create more sustainable energy production.

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Environmental Justice

An overview of the environmental justice movement as well as resources for your community.

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Sustainable Chemistry

A definition of sustainable chemistry with resources on rational design, circular economy, and life cycle management.

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Sustainable Chemistry Policy

Overview of how policies are related to chemicals management and a searchable policy database.

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U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

Discover how green chemistry is a crucial component for achieving global sustainable development goals.