ACS GCI Focuses On Sustainability | March 19, 2007 Issue - Vol. 85 Issue 12 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 85 Issue 12 | p. 70 | ACS Comments
Issue Date: March 19, 2007

ACS GCI Focuses On Sustainability

By Madeleine Jacobs, Executive Director and CEO
Department: ACS News | Collection: Green Chemistry, Sustainability
Credit: Peter Cutts Photography
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Credit: Peter Cutts Photography

AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY members can point with pride to a long list of accomplishments in 2006. Membership grew for the second year in a row after three years of decline. Our ranks now tally at nearly 160,500 members. The Legislative Action Network grew by 16% to 12,500. The ACS Web reinvention made major strides: We are on target for a September 2007 launch of the new ACS website!

CAS, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2007, indexed more than 1 million documents in a single year, for the first time ever. The Publications Division launched ACS Chemical Biology, which was promptly recognized by the Association of American Publishers as one of the most innovative new journals of the year. ACS also had one of its best years on record financially. And those are just a few highlights; for a more complete list, please see my report to the ACS Council in Chicago, pubs.acs.org/cen/acsnews/85/8512commentreport.html.

ACS also took particular pride in having one of its staff members recognized by the Heinz Foundation. In October, Paul T. Anastas, who has led the ACS Green Chemistry Institute (ACS GCI) since July 2004, received the 12th Annual Heinz Award in the Environment. This was a richly deserved recognition of Anastas' role as a green chemistry pioneer, as well as an acknowledgment of how much ACS GCI has achieved in fulfilling its mission of advancing the implementation of green chemistry and engineering principles into all aspects of the chemical enterprise.

The institute has an impressive track record in each of its major strategic thrusts: advancing research in green chemistry through the promotion of research funding, increasing research opportunities, and developing information on the benefits of green chemistry; creating strategic partnerships and activities; pursuing educational initiatives that increase the incorporation and integration of green chemistry into student curricula; launching outreach initiatives that raise an awareness of green chemistry throughout the chemical enterprise; and disseminating green chemistry information.

I would like to note several of last year's activities and some events planned for this year, especially those at the upcoming ACS national meeting in Chicago.

In 2006, ACS GCI hosted the 10th annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, with more than 400 attendees from 20 countries. This year's conference, on the theme of "From Small Steps to Giant Leaps—Breakthrough Innovations for Sustainability," will be held in Washington, D.C., June 26-29 (www.GCandE.org). Among the corporate sponsors of this conference are Dow Chemical and Rohm and Haas, two companies with a commitment to sustainability.

Internationally, ACS GCI either participated in, helped plan and organize, or sponsored numerous events and programs, including events in England, Germany, Hungary, and India.

Green and sustainable chemistry is again a major multidisciplinary theme running through the technical symposia at the upcoming 233rd ACS national meeting. In addition to ACS President Catherine T. Hunt's theme of Sustainabilility of Energy, Food, and Water Supply, 12 ACS technical divisions are primary sponsors of symposia with strong connections to green chemistry (www.acspresident.org, www.greenchemistryinstitute.org).

The ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable also had a successful year. Founded in early 2005, the roundtable is a partnership of the institute and pharmaceutical companies. Last year, the roundtable identified and prioritized the top green chemistry research challenges for the pharmaceutical industry member companies. In February, it awarded its first research grant (C&EN, Feb. 12, page 19).

The roundtable currently includes AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer, and Schering-Plough. Membership is open to all pharmaceutical research, development, and manufacturing companies. To learn more about the roundtable, please visit Booth 364 in McCormick Place during the ACS national meeting. The roundtable is also hosting exhibitor sessions on March 26 in room E263.

In 2007, ACS GCI continues to grow and thrive, thanks to the support and interest of thousands of chemists and engineers around the world who recognize the importance of the institute's mission and activities. And that interest is not only intellectual; in recognition of its broad-based appeal and accomplishments, the institute receives funding from ACS as well as companies, foundations, and the federal government. Organizations and individuals interested in financially supporting ACS GCI may contact development@acs.org.

At the end of 2006, Anastas, having brought the institute to a new level of excellence, left ACS to become director of the Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering in the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Anastas continues to serve as a scientific adviser to the institute. Currently, ACS is in the process of identifying a new director to continue the institute's trajectory of success.

ACS GCI plans to focus more on collaborating with other units of ACS, such as technical divisions, local sections, and staff divisions. Through its external and internal partnerships, ACS GCI will provide a path forward to making the chemistry enterprise sustainable while providing valuable programs, products, and services to ACS members and the chemistry community at large.

I firmly believe the institute is central to ACS's vision: "Improving people's lives through the transforming power of chemistry." I hope you will join in the institute's activities. To learn more, please visit www.greenchemistryinstitute.org.

 

Views expressed on this page are those of the author and not necessarily those of ACS.

 
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