What would life and economics in the Pacific Northwest look like if the “benign by design” ideals of green chemistry were widely adopted? The Elements of a New Economy meeting sought to explore these and other questions last month, with the help of UO Center for Sustainable Business Practices director Tom Osdoba.
“Making products truly safe, from their manufacture through use and end-of-life, is essential to our efforts to make our world sustainable for future generations," said Osdoba.
"We already have many businesses leading in the efforts to change the way products are designed and manufactured, but the UO is looking to take things even further,” Osdoba noted. “UO’s leadership in green chemistry, nanotechnology, and product design is joining the center in an effort to ‘re-invent invention’ and lead to a next generation of product development. Given Oregon’s manufacturing sector, we can contribute to vibrant new opportunities as markets continue to seek safe products.”
UO chemistry faculty members Jim Hutchison and Julie Haack, as well as UO Product Design Program Director Kiersten Muenchinger, also participated in the conference. The UO’s long-standing national leadership in green chemistry was one of the driving forces behind the Bullitt Foundation’s efforts to organize the event, seeking to foster more investment in this critical area.