If you are having difficulty viewing this message, click here to read it online.

Green Chemistry and Commerce Councilphoto
bgHomeAbout GC3ProjectsRetail PortalMembershipContactbg

August 2013

Director's Welcome to the 2013-14 Year
Project Group Updates
Upcoming Webinars
Related Articles

Director's Welcome to the 2013-14 Year

Dear GC3 Colleagues,

We hope you are having a productive yet relaxing summer!

The GC3 staff and advisors have spent significant time since May reflecting on the discussions and lessons learned from our very successful 8th Innovators Roundtable at Johnson and Johnson and the Second National Summit for Retailers on Safer Chemicals.  The 8th Innovators Roundtable was our largest and most successful yet with panels and discussions focused on the GC3’s strategic goal for the coming five years of “mainstreaming green chemistry.” As always, the discussions were rich and engaging, providing us with clear directions for the next year.  Background materials and presentations from the Roundtable and the Second National Summit for Retailers are posted on the GC3 website.

Based on discussions at the Roundtable and follow up discussions with the GC3 Advisory Committee, we have established two new project groups – Mainstreaming Green Chemistry and Promoting Green Chemistry Innovation - and will continue efforts with three others. Updates on these projects are below and more information is on the GC3 website.

For this year, we are instituting some changes to the way Project Groups are run.  Each project will focus on key deliverables and most will have smaller steering committees to carry out regular discussions and drafting of the deliverables.  Some – like the Promoting Green Chemistry Innovation group – will have regular educational webinars open to all GC3 members.  Each group will have an update webinar about once per quarter (when key project milestones are reached) to provide information and seek input on project progress from all GC3 members.

To keep GC3 members better informed, we are changing our quarterly Newsletter to a monthly publication called GC3 News.  The GC3 News will provide regular updates on project groups, upcoming calls and webinars (we will continue with regular educational webinars for members), news and information of interest to GC3 members.  We will also be updating the GC3 members’ website to provide enhanced information on project group activities, a calendar of upcoming calls and events, and GC3 materials that can be used for presentations and outreach.  We hope these enhancements will help members to become more engaged in the exciting projects being undertaken during the coming year.  Please let us know if there are other enhancements that you would find useful to remain informed and engaged.

Just a reminder that it is the end of the GC3 membership year and we are reaching out to existing and potential new members to renew or become new members of this growing, vibrant network of companies.  Remember, the GC3’s ability to produce useful, state-of-the-art and applied collaborations and deliverables depends on funding from our members. You can renew or join the GC3 today!

We are already busy planning next year’s 9th Annual GC3 Innovator’s Roundtable in the Twin Cities of Minnesota.  For the first time, we have established a local organizing committee to ensure that the GC3 can most effectively engage new midwest members and provide value added for the growing Minnesota Green Chemistry Initiative.

We look forward to working with you during the coming year.  We have an exciting and ambitious agenda for the year ahead.  With your support and engagement, we believe that GC3 can play a critical role in advancing the adoption of safer chemistry across supply chains.  Please reach out to me at joel_tickner@uml.edu if you have any questions or thoughts.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

JT sign.png

Joel Tickner, GC3 Director

uml-gc3 9th logo-web.jpg


Project Group Updates

Advancing Green Chemistry Education
The goal of the Advancing Green Chemistry Education Project group is to embed green chemistry in academic and professional education across supply chains in order to build a field of professionals with a strong understanding of the nexus between chemistry, product design, and sustainability.

During the upcoming year the group will collect, develop, and test training curriculum for business professionals across job categories on green chemistry and safer alternatives.  This will consist of 2-3 “tier I” training webinars on introductory green chemistry topics and one “tier II” in-depth one day training using case examples.

A small planning committee has been assembled to collect existing curriculum and develop a strategy for developing a series of Tier I and Tier II training modules.  GC3 members interested in participating in the planning committee should contact Saskia VanBergen to participate.

The training planning committee will meet at least monthly to review existing curriculum and develop new training modules.  Quarterly project group calls will be held to update GC3 members on project progress as well as seek input on training materials, curriculum and implementation.

Engaging Retailers in the Adoption of Safer Products
The mission of this group is to promote safer chemicals, materials and products across retail supply chains. The group is currently convening a Retailer Leadership Council (RLC) composed of a select group of retail leaders who are pro-actively working to: understand what chemicals are in their products, engage their suppliers in improving chemicals management, find safer alternatives to chemicals of concern, develop and implement chemicals policies, and educate their customers.  Members of the RLC will have significant decision-making responsibility related to supply chains or product formulation at their firms (are generally at the Vice President level). The RLC will work together to identify at least one project annually to support the Council mission and will reach out to engage and inform other retailers. At least initially, this group will be limited to the selected group of retail leaders. 

The GC3 will also continue to work with its Retail Project group to implement some of the other ideas that were generated at the Second National Summit for Retailers and in discussions afterwards, such as: creating a pilot project with retailers  to try out some of the available tools for improving chemicals management; conducting research on incentives for merchants to identify and purchase safer products; implementing training for retailers in collaboration with RILA or another organization; and updating the GC3 Retailer Portal to include new tools that have been developed.

Facilitating Chemical Data Flow Along Supply Chains
The Chemical Data-CBI project group is working to develop a roadmap for considering the contexts in which CBI chemical data might be required as part of supply-chain transactions, the types of information that could be sought, and the availability/adequacy of approaches for meeting the requirements and concerns of both parties to a transaction involving sharing of chemical information. 

So far this year the project group has participated in several webinars/discussions to illuminate strategies companies currently use, or are developing, for ensuring both flow of critical chemical hazard information during supply chain transactions and protection of essential CBI.  Going forward, the project group will be developing key lessons from these discussions, further clarifying issues raised by participants on issues such as trade secrets, timing for CBI protection, and the varying transparency contexts of different sectors.  During the project group’s next call (date forthcoming) the project group will also discuss the timing and scope of a report for the project group. GC3 members interested in participating in this group should contact Bob Kerr to participate.

Mainstreaming Green Chemistry
In the years since the EPA initiated its Green Chemistry program and the publication of Paul Anastas’ and John Warner’s seminal book Green Chemistry:  Theory and Practice that defined and presented twelve principles of green chemistry, much has happened to catalyze a field of chemistry that combines molecular development with sustainability. But while Green Chemistry is now a more common, supported, and understood practice, it still remains a marginal consideration in chemicals research, education, and product design.

The GC3 is convening a project group, under the leadership of Bob Israel of Valspar, to provide advice and input on the development of An Agenda for Mainstreaming Green Chemistry.  The project group will consist of a small number of representatives from business, government, academia, and non-profit organizations to explore ways to make Green Chemistry the norm for chemistry.  It will be engaging GC3 membership as well as other stakeholders in its process; the schedule and method for this will be developed over the summer. The resulting Agenda will be an overarching framework for mainstreaming green chemistry that includes key partnerships, policy needs, research, education, and investments. A draft of the Agenda will be completed by the end of 2013.

If any GC3 members have suggestions for resources that can help inform this process, or thoughts about what should be done to do move green chemistry more into the mainstream of chemistry, please contact Amy Perlmutter.


Promoting Green Chemistry Innovation
The GC3 is launching a new project group to learn about models of innovation and determine how they can be exploited both in our own organizations and collectively to bring new, safer chemicals and materials to market and encourage their adoption.

For the 2013/2014 project year, we will delve into models of “open-innovation,” where R&D extends beyond the boundaries of the enterprise, pulling in outside ideas and leveraging internal ideas outside the organizations.   Examples include crowdsourcing; competitions/prizes; co-development with customers, suppliers, and university-based researchers; venturing; in-licensing; and out-licensing. 

Through a series of webinars we will examine models that are not currently being employed to advance green chemistry and those that are, such as in-licensing at GreenCentre Canada and the American Chemical Society/Green Chemistry Institute/Pharmaceutical Roundtable’s university R&D grants program. We will look at programs at individual companies, universities, and in organizations that sponsor open innovation programs and host web platforms. 

We will discuss whether there are opportunities for the GC3 as an organization to start a new green chemistry-focused open innovation initiative and write a GC3 report summarizing the landscape of relevant open innovation models and their relevancy to, and potential for, advancing green chemistry innovation. For more information or to join the project group, contact Monica Becker.


Upcoming Webinars


Successful Industry Collaborations for Evaluating the Performance of Safer Chemical Alternatives

Presenter: Greg Morose, Research Manager, Toxics Use Reduction Institute
Date: Thursday, September 12, 2013
Time: 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific
Cost: Free to GC3 members; $50 for non-members.

This webinar is co-hosted by the Green Electronics Council GEC-Logo.jpg

Evaluating the technical performance of safer alternatives to chemicals of concern is a crucial and sometimes challenging step in conducting chemical alternatives assessment (AA). Companies in a number of sectors have found that collaborating to conduct performance evaluations can lead to more robust results at lower cost. Collaborations have been successful for certain classes of chemicals in certain product or manufacturing process applications that are considered pre-competitive.

In this webinar Greg Morose from the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) will present on successful collaborations to evaluate the performance of safer alternatives to lead-free solder for printed circuit boards and hexavalent chrome sealants for aerospace applications. Greg will discuss how TURI structures the collaborations and the hands-on testing of alternatives as well as the challenges and lessons learned.

li emailer.jpg

Professor Kaichang Li: Successes and Lessons from a Serial Green Chemistry Innovator

Presenter: Kaichang Li, Professor, Oregon State University
Date: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Time: 2pm Eastern/11am Pacific
Cost: Free to GC3 members; $50 for non-members.

You may be familiar with the story.  Kaichang Li, Professor of Wood Science & Engineering at Oregon State University, observed mussels tenaciously gripping rocks on the Oregon coast, which led to the

development and commercialization of a bio-based, formaldehyde-free adhesive for replacement of carcinogenic urea-formaldehyde resins in wood-based composite panels. This adhesive has revolutionized the forest products industry and is a green chemistry success story. Since then, Dr. Li has developed several other commercial products aimed at solving some of the most important and difficult green chemistry challenges, including a second generation, formaldehyde-free adhesive that is solely based on natural materials and can be used for foodstuff applications;  solvent-free, vegetable-oil-based pressure sensitive adhesives for tapes, labels and many other products; and styrene-free, renewable-material-based unsaturated polyester resins for products such as boat hulls and automotive parts.

While the technical details of Dr. Li’s research and product development are fascinating, this webinar will not focus on those.  Instead, we will learn about his experience as an academic researcher, developing commercially-relevant green products and seeking to commercialize them through co-funding and licensing agreements.  We will hear about his successes and challenges and learn about the opportunities and possible pitfalls of academic/industry innovation, co-development, and commercialization.

GC3 Webinar Participation Details:
Participation in the webinar is free to GC3 member companies. Participation information has been circulated to GC3 members over the green-innovation listserv. Other may join the webinar for a fee of $50. Those paying for the webinar will be given the participation information upon receipt of payment. If you are not a GC3 member and would like to register to attend please fill out the non-member registration form for the desired webinar.

Tools to help Retailers Source and Sell Safer Products: RILA webinar

Tomorrow, August 7th at 2pm EST the GC3 will be hosting a webinar for the Retail Industry Leadership Association (RILA) on Tools to help Retailers Source and Sell Safer Products.  

  The webinar is designed to provide participants with an understanding of:

  • How retailers can engage with their suppliers to improve chemicals management
  • Some of the tools available to help retailers evaluate the chemicals in their products and identify safer alternatives
  • The role that RILA and the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council can play in fostering collaboration on safer chemicals.

Roger McFadden, Sally Edwards, and Joel Tickner will be presenters. If you are interested in registering for the webinar, go to https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/424245527




For more information on the work of the GC3, contact Sarah_Shields@uml.edu or call 978-934-2997.

2018 Lowell Center for Sustainable Production University of Massachusetts Lowell


The Green Chemistry and Commerce Council is a project of The Lowell Center for Sustainable Production,
a research center at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.