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January is an important planning month for the GC3 as we begin to lay plans for the annual Innovators Roundtable. Two weeks ago, on a frigid New England day with a warm fire crackling in the background, GC3 staff spent a productive day developing the desired outcomes and core agenda for our 10th Roundtable. It is a joy to work with such a dedicated and inspired group of individuals who have helped build the GC3’s cutting edge projects and the organization it is today. Given that this is the GC3’s 10th Roundtable, we built an agenda that would celebrate our successes but also reflect on where we need to go in the future, including the GC3’s role. We revisited the results of the survey we conducted prior to our initial 2005 meeting at the Darden School of Business entitled “Sustainable Business and Safer Chemistry Through the Supply Chain: An Innovators Roundtable” as well the notes from that workshop. We found that while much has changed in the past decade, many of the challenges companies face in accelerating green chemistry remain. Hence, there is much still to be accomplished. We identified five desired outcomes for the Roundtable, including:
Panels, keynotes, and discussions, the hallmark of our GC3 Roundtables, will center around this general theme of where have we been, what have we achieved, and what still needs to be done. A draft agenda for the Roundtable will be posted on the GC3 website in the coming week with additional details being posted over the coming month.
Given space limitations and the importance of this Roundtable for the organization, registration will be open first to GC3 members with registration open for non-GC3 members starting in late February.
We have a lot of work ahead to surpass the success of last year’s Roundtable and we are confident that it will energize the GC3 for the coming years.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Joel Tickner, ScD, GC3 Director
PS - Look out for updates on Twitter from the LAUNCH Green Chemistry Forum where GC3 and GC3 Member BioAmber’s innovations will be featured. Follow LAUNCH at @launchorg.
10th ANNUAL GC3 INNOVATORS ROUNDTABLE
Interesting in sponsoring? Contact Jen Landry for opportunities.
The RLC continues to meets on a monthly basis via conference call to share ideas and discuss different approaches retailers are using for sourcing and selling safer products. The group is continuing the dialogue it began with chemical manufacturers in May and continued in October and December 2014. The RLC is currently identifying concrete projects that can serve to build stronger bridges between retailers, chemical manufacturers and ultimately brands.
We are developing the structure of GC3 Student Fellows pilot program that we aim to launch in the summer of 2015. The goal of the program is to bring together recent graduates and current graduate students from various disciplines to work with GC3 companies on projects involving green chemistry. We are working on identifying interested GC3 companies finalizing the available projects and hope to have the positions and application process posted next month. The fellows will receive a green chemistry orientation at the GC3 roundtable and gain valuable work experience.
Finally, we are building content for the GC3 Education Portal, which we hope to launch prior to the Innovators Roundtable.
Donald Reed, Managing Director for Sustainable Business Solutions at PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PwC), presented a webinar on CEO attitudes about sustainability and what this means for green chemistry. Mr. Reed said that successful companies are innovating and growing around sustainability. These companies are more resilient to risk and make better long term decisions. PwC conducts a series of international CEO surveys and Mr. Reed compared some of the attitudes of chemical company CEOs to CEOs as a whole. Among other findings: CEOs are concerned about resource scarcity and the high and volatile prices of raw materials; most new chemical company innovations hinge on issues of sustainability; technology change, demographic shifts, and shifts in global economic priorities are other trends that CEOs are watching. An emerging issue on the CEO agenda is how to respond to investor questions about sustainability. Mr. Reed concluded by saying that innovation, technology innovation, and people and skills are topics that can get the attention of CEOs. Proponents of green chemistry should talk to CEOs through these lenses.
We had a kick-off call on Jan. 14 for the GC3 collaborative innovation project on preservatives in personal care products. Ten brands attended the call and will be participating in the project going forward. We reviewed project goals, expectations, proposed tasks for group and decided to begin work on Task A -- develop and publicize a set(s) of criteria for new preservatives.
As this newsletter goes to press, Monica and Joel are heading to the LAUNCH Forum -- at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center -- to present the GC3 Innovation Portal (IP) initiative and engage a “council” of innovation experts in focused discussions on how we can structure and position the Portal for success. (The GC3 IP was selected as a finalist for the LAUNCH Green Chemistry Challenge competition.) In preparation, we have completely redesigned the on-line Portal interface with a new landing page and interactive on-line forum, which we will share shortly. Our plan is to formally “launch” the Portal program this spring.
If you would like more information on these projects, please email Monica Becker.
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Surveys show mismatch between green chemistry and corporate agenda
Wednesday, February 6, 2015
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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.