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tinyURL : aj0r71a | ID : 2378 Home   >   Quick Links   >   Preventing waste and pollution   >   Pollution prevention   >   Reducing toxicity   >   Green chemistry and design

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Green chemistry and design

Green chemistry and design is formulating or designing a new product (or reformulating or redesigning an existing one) to reduce environmental, workplace, human health, and energy use impacts over the product's entire life-cycle. Product life cycle includes design, production of material and energy inputs, production, end use, end-of-life recovery, and all packaging and transportation between these steps.


  • HTML Content IC2 Guidance for Alternatives Assessment and Risk Reduction External Link
    An alternatives assessment is a set of tools that manufacturers, product designers, businesses, governments, and other interested parties can use to make better, more informed decisions about the use of toxic chemicals in their products or processes. Finalized in January 2014, this guidance is the product of a 20-month project funded by a grant from U.S. EPA to the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Hospitality business partners sought for BPA in Thermal Paper project

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is undertaking a statewide project to help reduce the use of thermal receipt papers, many of which contain BPA (Bisphenol A). About 20 Minnesota hospitality business partners are sought to participate in this project to get assistance to transition into paperless point-of-sale systems. Details can be found on the BPA in Thermal Paper Project webpage.

Safer Chemistry Challenge Program

The MPCA has signed on as an Alliance Member of the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable's (NPPR) Safer Chemistry Challenge Program.


Minnesota 2020 has these trainings available:

Plan for a MnTAP intern

Are you feeling the pressure of global demand for safer products? Industries like yours are increasingly being asked to disclose chemical components in products and being required to find alternatives for some chemicals or components. Many companies have begun developing goals and ideas for redesigning product chemistries, but are still wondering how to meet those goals.

The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) may be able to help your company work towards its goals regarding safer and greener product chemistries. MnTAP offers an intern program in which a highly qualified science or engineering student is placed in a facility to lead an in-depth project that results in green chemistry, waste reduction, and/or energy efficiency solutions. Students are paired with advisors who help guide the projects to completion.

All sensitive and proprietary company information is kept confidential by MnTAP as stated in MnTAP’s policy. Enforceable nondisclosure agreements are a key part of intern projects, so you can rest assured confidential business information is secure.

If you are interested in discussing the potential for a product design or chemical alternative project, please call MnTAP Director Laura Babcock at 612-624-4678.

See more information on the intern program.

Green Chemistry and Design College Curriculum Grant Projects

Leaders across Minnesota government, academia, and business are pursuing reformulation of existing products and design of new products using the principles of green chemistry and green engineering. Equally important are strategies to raise awareness among the product designers of the future—today’s college students— of the toxicological and life-cycle impacts of chemical use choices on humans and the environment. As part of the education focus within its green chemistry initiative, MPCA has offered grants to Minnesota post-secondary educators with the goal of shaping the future conduct of professional disciplines by integrating aspects of green chemistry into new or existing courses in chemistry, physical sciences, chemical engineering, business, social science, education, marketing and communication. See results of this grant work on our Green Chemistry curriculum web page. 

Green Chemistry and Design Demonstration Projects

The purpose of this activity is to demonstrate the extent to which state grant support can stimulate green chemistry and design projects in the private sector. There have been three demonstration projects conducted to date.

  • Cortec developed a new alky/PVDC primer and a new self-crosslinking aliphatic urethane primer. Both primers are for use in industrial applications.
  • Salo worked to determine whether they can manufacture bathtub and shower units with low styrene soy-based or non-styrene resins and gel coats at similar cost and price and with equal or better performance compared to units made with current raw materials.
  • Ecolab redesigned several products used in general hard surface cleaning; glass cleaner, all purpose cleaner, neutral cleaner, acid bath cleaner intended for EPA registration, and acid bathroom cleaner not intended for EPA registration. These cleaners are used in the markets of hospitality, building service contractors, long term care, and government/education. The goal was to reduce the overall life cycle impact of chemical components of these cleaners and their packaging.

Projects for both rounds were completed by September 2012. See the Demonstration Project page linked on the left for case studies on these grant projects.

Legislative report on toxics in children’s products and green chemistry

This joint legislative report from MPCA and the Minnesota Department of Health was requested by the Legislature as part of the 2009 Toxic Free Kids Act legislation (Minn. Stat. §§ 116.9401 to 116.9407). Stakeholder comments were appended to the report before it was sent to the Legislature on December 15, 2010.

PDF Document Options to Reduce and Phase-out Priority Chemicals in Children’s Products and Promote Green Chemistry (lrp-gen-9sy10)

As directed the report includes:

  • recommendations for consideration by the Legislature, 
  • a summary of other efforts to address these issues by states, the U.S. government, and other countries where Minnesota companies do business,
  • a discussion of potential funding mechanisms for the options, and
  • a summary of stakeholder processes that helped inform the report.

Past events

Minnesota Green Chemistry Conference 2014: Connecting Policy, Technology, and Economy

Minnesota Green Chemistry Conference 2014: Connecting Policy, Technology, and Economy
Friday, January 26, 2014
University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

Key note addresses were given by Marc Verbruggen, NatureWorks LLC, and Mark Ritchie, Minnesota Secretary of State.

Total attendance = 130.

Attendees included representatives of businesses, trade and business associations, academia, nonprofits, and government agencies, and students.

Businesses represented include:

  • 3M
  • AMEC
  • Aspen Research Corporation
  • Aveda
  • Barr Engineering Company
  • Bevara Advisors
  • BioAmber IncBioAmber
  • Burns & McDonnell
  • CenterPoint Energy
  • Coen+Partners
  • FDC Enterprises, Inc.
  • Fiberight LLC
  • GeneSys Consulting, LLC
  • LLJ Consulting & Business Development
  • Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day
  • NatureWorks
  • NSF International
  • Pace Analytical Services
  • Segetis
  • Stratford Companies
  • Target Corporation
  • The Actives Factory
  • Valspar

Minnesota Green Chemistry Conference 2013: Beakers to Business Plans

Minnesota Green Chemistry Conference 2013: Beakers to Business Plans
Friday, January 25, 2013
University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

View key note address by Paul Anastas.

Just under 200 for total attendance: 185 attendees for the full day session, including businesses, academia, nonprofits, and government agencies, plus about 15 students for the morning session.

Businesses represented include:

  • 3M
  • Adherent Laboratories
  • Aerotek
  • AMEC
  • Anderson Chemical Company
  • Ascenix Biotechnologies
  • Aspen Research Corporation
  • Aveda
  • Avon Products Inc.
  • Beraca
  • BioAmber Inc
  • Butrolix, LLC
  • Caldrea/Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day
  • Cargill (also LifeScience Alley Board)
  • ChemCeed LLC
  • Commercial Pool
  • Cortec Corporation
  • Ecolab
  • EHS Strategies, Inc.
  • Entropy Solutions
  • First Green Partners
  • Glenn Corporation
  • Herman Miller
  • Jodi Riviera Inc.
  • Law Office of Lawrence S. Fox, PLLC
  • Leap Day Productions
  • LifeScience Alley
  • Medtronic, Inc.
  • Merchant & Gould
  • MGK
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
  • NatureWorks, LLC
  • NSF International
  • Pace Analytical Services Inc.
  • Pace Product Regulatory Services
  • Pauly, DeVries, Smith and Deffner, LLC
  • Peele Group
  • Pew Clean Energy Program
  • Reluceo, Inc.
  • SaberPack, Inc.
  • Segetis
  • SEIU Local 26
  • Skyriver Institute
  • Stratford Companies
  • Tennant Company
  • The Actives Factory
  • The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
  • Tremco
  • U.S. Green Building Council
  • Valspar
  • Wedin Communications

Minnesota Green Chemistry Conference 2012: Strategies for Growth

Minnesota Green Chemistry Conference 2012: Strategies for Growth
Thursday, January 12, 2012      
University of Minnesota, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs

View the video and presentations.

200 attendees, including 36 product makers and sellers:

  • 3M
  • Active Concepts
  • Akzo Nobel Global personal care
  • Allylix
  • Anderson Chemical
  • Aspen Research
  • Aveda
  • Bepex International
  • Beraca
  • BioAmber
  • BioCee
  • Caldrea
  • Cargill
  • Dow Research
  • EarthClean
  • Ecolab
  • Estee Lauder
  • Gevo
  • Glenn Corp
  • Inbicon A/S
  • ISurTec
  • Medtronic
  • Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day
  • NatureWorks
  • Natur-Tec
  • NTIC
  • Onesta Hair Care
  • Orbio Technologies
  • Reluceo
  • SC Johnson
  • Segetis
  • Staples
  • Tennant
  • Thymes
  • Valspar
  • Zep

Minnesota Green Chemistry Conference 2011: Adding Value Through Green Chemistry

Minnesota Green Chemistry Conference: Adding Value Through Green Chemistry
Friday, January 7, 2011 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
University of Minnesota, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs

179 attendees, including government, NGOs, educators, students and 45 businesses/consultants, including:

  • 3M
  • AMEC
  • Anderson Chemical Company
  • Aveda
  • Bepex International
  • BioAmber, Inc.
  • Biocee
  • Donaldson Company
  • EarthClean Corporation
  • Ecolab
  • EXL Laboratories
  • Glenn Corp
  • Green Harvest Technologies
  • Grocery Manufacturers Association
  • ISurTec, Inc.
  • Jones Metal Products
  • Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day
  • NatureWorks
  • Reluceo, Inc.
  • Segetis
  • Target Corporation
  • Tennant Company
  • Valspar
  • Zep GreenLink Products

More information

For more information about Green Chemistry and Design, contact Al Innes,, 651-757-2457.

Last modified on June 23, 2015 13:11

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