Beyond Benign, a green chemistry education nonprofit, today announced the launch of its Green Chemistry Commitment (GCC) 25x25 Initiative, working to ensure that 25% of graduating chemists in the US have a background in green chemistry by 2025 with the support of Beyond Benign partner Dow. The initiative comes at a time when today's societal challenges are
immense, as articulated through the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
Beyond Benign's Green Chemistry Commitment (GCC) is dedicated to integrating green chemistry and toxicology concepts into chemistry programs with the goal of providing students with the skills to design chemical products and processes to reduce human and environmental hazards. With 64 US signers to date, accounting for 8% of graduating chemists, the GCC program is working to create a systemic change in chemistry education, inspiring additional institutions to pursue and integrate green chemistry.
With this new initiative of ensuring 25 percent of chemistry students graduate with a background in green chemistry, Beyond Benign is taking new action to extend the GCC reach and resources to achieve this goal over the next four years.
"We believe that by supporting educators and students to teach and learn green chemistry, we are equipping the next generation of scientists and citizens to design and select products that support both human health and the environment," says Amy Cannon, Director and Co-Founder of Beyond Benign. "With chemistry at the foundation of any sustainable solution, we are excited about the potential this initiative brings to build a critical mass of green chemists in the workforce."
To achieve the ambitious goal of preparing the workforce for sustainableaction, per the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG 4.7), Beyond Benign will provide resources and support to interested institutions. This support includes an assessment of current chemistry and green chemistry programs, recommended lessons to incorporate into their curriculum and labs, an annual Green Chemistry Commitment Summit to bring all signers together, financial resources and on-going support for mentors, teachers, faculty and staff.
"It is imperative that our incoming workforce is prepared to design, create and produce sustainable solutions for the well-being of humanity," says Eunice Heath, Corporate Director of Sustainability for Dow. "Through Beyond Benign's aggressive GCC 25x25 initiative, we will be able to make a lasting impact on education, science and the global market."
Since 2007, Beyond Benign has integrated green chemistry into K-12 and higher education institutions through teacher training, lesson plans, community networks, webinars, and events. Institutions that are interested in incorporating green chemistry in their classrooms and labs can inquire about participating in the Green Chemistry Commitment by visiting the Beyond Benign website.