It has been around 30 years—a generation or more—since the term “green chemistry” was first coined, reflecting a heightened awareness of the impact we as humans were having on our planet.
The 1992 World Summit on Sustainable Development (the Rio Earth Summit) brought global leaders together to address ecological issues that transcended boundaries. In Europe, green politics emerged as a new force, and around the world, policy and regulation was adjusted in the direction of sustainability.
Yet it was in the United States, with the landmark 1990 Pollution Prevention Act, that the term “green chemistry” came to prominence, with 12 principles and a simple, overarching idea—designing chemical products and processes in a way that reduces or eliminates the use or generation of hazardous substances.
This idea is now almost universally accepted. Wider scientific interest to use green chemistry as a tool for research and as a design tool for processes is growing—as is the growth in publications from a wide range of industry sectors and companies devoted to the development of greener materials and greener processes.
For the full article, please check out the Perfumer & Flavorist+ August 2022 issue.