Connecting Chemistry with the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Organizers: Edward Brush, Department of Chemistry, Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA; Grace Lasker, School of Nursing and Health Studies, University of Washington Bothell, Bothell, WA
In 2015, the United Nations adopted a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of a global agenda to improve the lives of people by addressing world-wide challenges of poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all. There is excellent potential for the chemistry enterprise to make significant contributions to help achieve these goals. However, the chemistry enterprise must commit to a transition to systems and life cycle thinking approaches; consider the source of all chemicals and their transformations; their end of life fate; and impacts on people, the environment and the economy.
This symposium will take advantage of the joint meeting with the International Green and Sustainable Chemistry Conference to engage an international audience with multidisciplinary and multicultural perspectives, sharing their views on the U.N. SDGs, and exploring how innovative green and sustainable chemistry technologies can contribute globally to human rights, social equity and environmental justice. Discussing these issues will help advance the chemistry enterprise to achieve sustainability, assist those being trained to enter the workforce, and help better communicate the societal benefits of green and sustainable chemistry technologies.
Critical to the success of this symposium will be contributions from all sectors of the chemistry enterprise (academia, industry, funding agencies, policy, professional organizations, national and international partners), plus those not directly involved in chemistry. We will all need to collaborate around a central theme where the SDGs are a strategic priority. A goal of this symposium is to create a graphic systems map that will outline how chemists can partner with stakeholders both inside and outside the chemistry enterprise, and collaborate in advancing the UN SDGs.