Integrating Sustainable Production Practices Into Teaching and Research Laboratories
Organizers: Natalie J. O’Neil, Higher Education Program Manager, Beyond Benign; Ettigounder Ponnusamy, Fellow & Global Manager, Green Chemistry, MilliporeSigma; James Connelly, Chief Executive Officer, My Green Lab
For the health of our planet and our people, it is vital to train the next generation to think critically about their chemistry and explore ways to reduce the health and environmental impacts of the molecules they are designing. Designing innovative solutions to our global challenges in the safest way possible is pivotal to creating safe working conditions within the chemical industry and in the development and use of more environmentally friendly consumer products. In short, if we train scientists to use Green Chemistry Principles and practices, we can achieve U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production and work towards advancing the circular economy.
Laboratory safety is often considered the task of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) professionals through educational trainings and resources. However, integrating Green Chemistry and systems thinking into lab practices can shift the focus of laboratory safety culture from compliance to empowering better decisions at the lab bench. Putting Green Chemistry information in the hands of scientists gives them ownership and control of their safety. Additionally, through actively engaging and communicating effectively with EH&S and other safety stakeholders we can build partnerships to advance the Green Chemistry and the Green Labs movement, overall.
Through presentations and interactive discussions this symposium will highlight the design and development of curricula and initiatives that infuse Green and Sustainable Chemistry concepts into teaching and research. We cannot advance to a circular economy if the next generation of scientist are not equipped with the principles and practices of Green Chemistry to ensure sustainable production during their training and beyond. This symposium aims to spotlight sustainable production practices and how stakeholders can work together to ensure a culture of safety and sustainability in order to achieve a sustainable future.