12 Guiding Principles of Green Chemistry

What is green chemistry?

What are the 12 principles related to green chemistry?  

In this article you will learn what green chemistry is, how it relates to our everyday lives, and how it will dramatically benefit our environment for generations to come.

Discover the 12 Guiding Principles of Green Chemistry and how every one can benefit from them!

Green Chemistry is the design, development and implementation of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances. 

1 Green Chemistry is doing chemistry the way nature does chemistry- using renewable, biodegradable materials which do not remain in the environment. It is using catalysis and bio catalysis to improve efficiency and conduct reactions at low or ambient temperatures. Green Chemistry is a proven system’s approach that reduces negative human health and environmental impacts.

Green Chemistry offers a strategic path way to build a sustainable future.

The 12 Guiding Principles of Green Chemistry:

1. Prevent Waste and Pollution

It is logical that it is better to prevent waste than to treat or remove it! Hazardous chemicals are still frequently flushed and poured into drains, terminating at waste treatment plants while their containers end up in landfills. Green Chemistry looks at production, usage, and discard, resulting in effective products that will not create waste.

2. Atom Economy

Synthetic methods should be designed to maximize the incorporation of all materials used in the process into the final product.

3. Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses

Wherever practicable, synthetic methods should be designed to use and generate substances that posses little or no toxicity to human health and the environment.

4. Designing Safer Chemicals

Old world cleaning taught us to reduce chemicals exposures to lower levels, while Green Chemistry reduces the hazards by removing toxic ingredients that include air contaminants, irritants, corrosives, and carcinogens which can harm people and the environment. It stands to reason if the chemical does not contain hazardous ingredients, the hazard is eliminated.

5. Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries

The use of auxiliary substances (e.g., solvents, separation agents, etc.) should be made unnecessary wherever possible and innocuous when used.

6. 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.

7. Use of Renewable Feedstocks

A raw material or feedstock should be renewable rather than depleting whenever technically and economically practicable.

8. Reduce Derivatives

Unnecessary derivatization (use of blocking groups, protection/deprotection, temporary modification of physical/chemicals processes) should be minimized or avoided if possible, because such steps require additional reagents and can generate waste.

10. 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.

11. Real-time analysis for Pollution Prevention

Analytic methodologies need to be further developed to allow for real-time, in-process monitoring and control prior to the formation of hazardous substances.

12. 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.

green chemistry, pollution, hazard chemicals

In relation to Property Managers and Facility Managers, the real challenge is to determine how they want to incorporate Green Chemistry for the health and well being of their employees, tenants, visitors, vendors, buildings and community. Green Chemistry is a fast growing and necessary evolution into how humans treat and care for the environment we live in.

As Green Chemistry and the green movement turns into a standard of living rather than a luxury, it no longer carries a financial burden. Will you be a leader in the green effort and make the change that will benefit not only the bottom line, but the world we live in today?

SparkleTeam prides itself on implementing these 12 Guiding Principles of Green Chemistry in all commercial building and cleaning services we provide because we believe we can all make an effort to better our environment and community!


To learn more about the Green Chemistry initiatives and implementation, watch the video below made by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)


American Chemical Society; ACS Green Chemistry Institute ®http://portal.acs.org/portal/acs/corg/content?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=PP_ARTICLEMAIN&node_id=1415&content_id=WPCP_007504&use_sec=true&sec_url_var=region1&__uuid=ea63a0c7-dcc7-4627-bdf9-57fa1ae9c3e5 .