“Sustainable chemistry is about doing more with less; reducing the environmental impact of processes and products, optimizing the use of finite resources and minimizing waste.”

The 9 Principles of Sustainable Chemistry

1. Prevention
It is better to prevent waste than to treat or clean waste up after it has been created.

2. Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses
Wherever practicable, synthetic methods should be designed to use and generate substances that possess little or no toxicity to human health and the environment.

3. Designing Safer Chemicals
Chemical products should be designed to affect their desired function while minimizing their toxicity.

4. Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries
The use of auxiliary substances (such as solvents and separation agents) should be made unnecessary whenever possible and innocuous when used.

5. Design for Energy Efficiency
Energy requirements of chemical processes should be recognized for their environmental and economic impacts and should be minimized. If possible, synthetic methods should be conducted at ambient temperature and pressure.

6. Use of Renewable Feedstocks
A raw material or feedstock should be renewable rather than depleting whenever technically and economically practicable.

7. Reduce Derivatives
Unnecessary derivatization should be minimized or avoided if possible, because such steps require additional reagents and can generate waste.

8. Design for Degradation
Chemical products should be designed so that at the end of their function they break down into innocuous degradation products and do not persist in the environment.

9. Inherently Safer Chemistry for Accident Prevention
Substances and the form of a substance used in a chemical process should be chosen to minimize the potential for chemical accidents, including releases, explosions, and fires.