Higher Education

Natalie O’Neil

An interview with Natalie O’Neil, Higher Education Program Program Manager

What are the benefits to Green Chemistry in higher education?

There are many benefits to implementing Green Chemistry in higher education courses and labs – including, reducing waste, reducing costs, peaking student interest, and better preparing students with 21st century skills. However, due to every institution and chemistry department being unique, there is no single “correct” approach to getting started or building upon successes at an institution to integrate Green Chemistry to transform chemistry education. 

How does Beyond Benign support green chemistry education in higher ed?

Beyond Benign creates, supports and hosts open-access resources such as a semester long Green Chemistry University Curriculum, greener chemistry experiments for general and organic courses and a toxicology for chemists curriculum to lower the barrier to curriculum reform and practicing sustainability through chemistry. Additionally, the Beyond Benign Green Chemistry Education webinar series is designed for faculty and students looking to adopt Green Chemistry and toxicology in their courses and program.

What is the Green Chemistry Commitment Program?

Beyond Benign fosters the Green Chemistry education community through its Green Chemistry Commitment (GCC) program and is creating a community of practice in higher education. This community currently includes 63 colleges and universities in the U.S. (73 internationally) reaching over 1,300 faculty members. Through the Commitment, these universities are united around a shared vision to: expand the community of green chemists at their institutions, grow departmental resources, improve connections to industry and job opportunities in Green Chemistry and collaborate to affect systemic and lasting change in chemistry education. 

The Green Chemistry Commitment is currently accepting new signers and is flexible and progressive — in other words, departments do not have to be perfect in green chemistry implementation to sign up, they only need to commit to continual improvement. Learn more about who’s committed and read case studies on implementing the Green Chemistry Student Learning objectives here.  

Read some of the case studies from Green Chemistry Commitment signers: