Industry Considers Green-Chemistry Standards

Patricia Van Arnum

Patricia Van Arnum was executive editor of Pharmaceutical Technology.

ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

An initiative to develop consensus-based industry standards to identify and define green chemicals and process technologies is underway.

An initiative to develop consensus-based industry standards to identify and define green chemicals and process technologies is underway. Robert Peoples, director of the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute, provided an update of the initiative Aug. 16 at the ACS National Meeting in Washington DC, according to an online article of Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN), an ACS publication. ACS is an organization representing chemists and professionals involved in the field of chemistry.

C&EN reported that nearly 50 stakeholders are helping to establish the green standard, which is expected to be completed in draft form for public comment by the end of this year. The aim is to have the standard certified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in June 2010, according to the C&EN article. ANSI is a nonprofit association that functions as an administrator and coordinator of the US private-sector voluntary standardization system.

The standard will set criteria for chemical producers and users to evaluate the environmental impact and sustainability attributes of chemicals and their derivatives, according to the article. The ACS, chemical and pharmaceutical companies, the American Chemistry Council (which is the US-based trade association representing chemical manufacturers), nonprofit environmental organizations, and academia are participating in the process to develop the standard, according to C&EN.

The ACS Green Chemistry Institute focuses on promoting the understanding of green chemistry and green engineering. In 2005, the ACS Green Chemistry Institute and several major pharmaceutical companies developed the ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable to encourage the innovation and integration of green chemistry and green engineering in the pharmaceutical industry.