gineering into the curricula helps graduates in their future careers and can also help in acquiring research funding.
A summary of key roadblocks for new or tenured faculty trying to adopt green chemistry and engineering include traditionalists, lack of guidance or mission statement from professional society, lack of funding, and lack of publication in top journals. Addressing these roadblocks, collaborating with green chemists and engineers at other institutions, and developing a Green Chemistry Institute workshop for new faculty may provide inspiration and therefore encourage new faculty to incorporate green chemistry and engineering concepts into their curricula.
Industry views green chemistry and engineering in different ways. Green thinking could potentially be a successful business investment. Creating a new product that can be sold at a higher price, because it has a more intricate development process that requires a higher level of expertise or can be marketed as being green, and decreases waste is favorable for the chemical industry’s reputation and profit margin. Green thinking could also be added to the industry’s current sustainable development efforts. On the other hand, green chemistry and engineering could lead to the development of new regulations or be seen as alternative forms of environmental chemistry or sanitary engineering, both of which some companies view as energy intensive efforts without many positive benefits.
Participants had varying answers to the question, “Are green chemistry and engineering practitioners readily finding employment?” Some participants believed that more green chemistry graduates would propel the industry to seek out this expertise. Some participants, however, believed that green chemistry and engineering practitioners are not finding employment because large companies can depend on smaller companies to provide green expertise on an ad hoc basis. The cost is probably much less than directly hiring green chemists or engineers as full-time staff because the company must provide a competitive salary and benefits. It is important to note that the definition of a green chemist or engineer is still a gray area; some scientists practice green chemistry or engineering but do not label themselves as green chemists or engineers.
Industry and academia are promoting green chemistry and engineering to make their respective organizations more competitive. Industry is greening R&D programs, while academia is developing green chemistry and engineering programs.
The participants identified the following actions that may aid in addressing issues related to green chemistry and engineering in industry and academia:
The federal government and nonprofit organizations could promote green principles to the general public in two ways: (1) through entertainment and educational events, and (2) by teaching green chemistry and engineering to young children, to potentially influence the next generation to carry green chemistry and engineering into the future.
Professional societies could provide more funding and create more interest through promotion, for example, at professional society meetings and conferences or through society-sponsored journals, to place more emphasis on green chemistry and engineering.