Global Green Chemistry Initiative: Awareness Raising Workshop in Colombia well attended by private and public sectors

Medellín, January 30th, 2018 - The Colombian National Center for Cleaner Production, Polikem, and the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana hosted a one-day Awareness Raising Workshop on Green Chemistry in Medellín, Colombia. The event is part of the Yale-UNIDO Global Green Chemistry Initiative to increase the general global awareness and capacities on deployable Green Chemistry. The initiative is funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF). The workshop was the third in a series of global workshops and was uniquely customized to introduce Green Chemistry to stakeholders who are interested in the design of products and processes that advance global sustainability.

The event was attended by 90 representatives from industry, academia, non-profits, and government, including representatives from the Peruvian National Center for Cleaner Production. The workshop was opened with a warm welcome by Dr. Dora Carmona from Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, followed by the workshop led by Professor Peter Licence from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. The Awareness Raising Workshop consisted of four modules:

  1. Introduction: Chemicals in the Society - In first module Professor Licence highlighted the importance of the chemical industry in everyday life and showed how its development is closely linked to the changes in the global society and economics.
  2. Fundamentals of Green Chemistry - In the second module Professor Licence discussed the 12 Principles that define Green Chemistry as a field. The 12 Principles consist of guidelines for chemists to design chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the generation and use of hazardous substances.
  3. Areas of Research in Green Chemistry - In the afternoon module, Professor Licence discussed the various areas of current research in the field of Green Chemistry and highlighted the advances in technologies related to chemical feedstock, catalysis, solvents, and waste.
  4. Partner Content - The last module showcased the efforts of entrepreneurs from Colombia who are applying green chemistry to their new products as they move towards commercialization.

The workshop was closed by Dr. Carlos Cadavid, Director of the Colombian National Center for Cleaner Production, who highlighted the importance and relevance of shifting traditional chemistry production into green chemistry, for which it is necessary to combine efforts among the academy, government, and non-government institutions, and by Dr. Philip Coish from the Yale Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering who highlighted the mission of the Yale-UNIDO Global Green Chemistry Initiative. This event will be followed by a 5-day workshop where the Yale team and a Green Chemistry expert will train Colombian facilitators to further disseminate green chemistry.