Global Green Chemistry Initiative: Awareness Raising Workshop in Pretoria, South Africa Highlights the Importance and Impact of Green Chemistry

Pretoria, South Africa, April 17, 2018 - National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa hosted a one-day Awareness Raising Workshop on Green Chemistry in Pretoria, South Africa. 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 fifth 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 representatives from government, industry, academia, and non-profits. There were also attendees – in-person and remotely – from Uganda, Ghana, Rwanda, and Ethiopia. The workshop was opened by NCPC-SA Director Ndivhuho Raphulu, followed with the workshop led by Professor Paul Anastas and Professor Julie Zimmerman.  The Awareness Raising Workshop consisted of four modules:

  1. Introduction: Chemicals in the Society - In first module Professors Anastas and Zimmerman 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 Professors Anastas and Zimmerman 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 Professors Anastas and Zimmerman 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 South Africa who are applying green chemistry to their new products as they move towards commercialization.

Following a closing panel, NCPC-SA Director Ndivhuho Raphulu closed the workshop and highlighted the importance and relevance of shifting traditional chemistry production into green chemistry. Director Raphulu stated “The workshop was a crucial step in laying the foundation for transformative chemical engineering practices. It served to highlight the need for chemists and engineers to bring their research and innovations in support of green industry, out of the laboratory and into the boardroom.” This event will be followed by a 5-day workshop where the Yale team and a Green Chemistry expert will train South African facilitators to further disseminate green chemistry.

You can read the NCPC-SA Press Release Here: