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4 Green chemistry and the UN SDGs

From the book Green Chemistry

  • Andrea Ashley-Oyewole


The twelve principles of Green chemistry provide the foundation for assessing and designing new chemical products and methods that reduce harmful impacts on the environment and human health. The desire for better regulation of environmental pollutants by regulators and businesses inspired greener chemicals to protect the environment [1,2]. Additionally, Green chemistry education is necessary as society demands green technologies and chemicals to meet various environmental challenges. The United States Congress recently passed new sustainable chemistry legislation that requires greener processes in federal grants [3]. The integration of green chemistry approaches, ideas, and practices throughout the STEM curriculum at Prairie View A & M. University is historic and groundbreaking. The university sealed its pledge by signing on to the Green Chemistry Commitment (GCC), a partnership between Beyond Benign and DOW in 2020. The university became the first Historical Black College or University (HBCU) to do so. The vital role of academia in meeting industry needs for access to a skilled workforce of the future is undeniable. We hope to contribute to the pool of future scientists and engineers who possess the proper knowledge and relevant skill sets needed to tackle the many issues of global importance. By incorporating Green Chemistry and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) principles in our STEM programs, PVAMU will remain a leader among HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Therefore, students can build upon the knowledge and experiences gained through applying green chemistry pedagogy to our STEM curricula to transition to the green jobs of the near future and revolutionize science as a whole. Green chemistry offers sustainable solutions for environmental and economic goals simultaneously [4]. However its application must be strategic and deliberate to produce the results needed. Changes to the STEM curriculum by adopting the green chemistry learning objectives in current course offerings are vital [5]. Issues of diversity, equity and inclusion are also priority issues that will need to be addressed in the new course design in order to remain true to the ideals of the UNSDGs and the fundamental theme of green chemistry effort.

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