A Partnership Between Dow and Beyond Benign
Dow and Beyond Benign joined forces to prepare the next generation workforce for sustainable action through green chemistry education. This partnership is a powerful step toward creating systemic change in chemistry education and the designing sustainable materials in the marketplace using Dow’s ‘Safe Materials for a Sustainable Planet’ goal. By promoting systemic change at the molecular level, Beyond Benign envisions a workforce prepared to design processes and products that are healthy and safe for humans and the environment. Dow’s support will propel Beyond Benign’s goal to ensure 25% of graduating U.S. chemists have a background in green chemistry by 2025, equipped to design a sustainable future.
Beyond Benign is a non-profit organization co-founded in 2007 by Dr. Amy Cannon and Dr. John Warner dedicated to fostering and empowering a green chemistry community toward transforming chemical education. In 2013, Beyond Benign created the Green Chemistry Commitment program to support higher education institutions across the globe throughout the transition to a more sustainable curriculum. To date, approximately 125 universities (our Green Chemistry Commitment Signers), who employ over 2,700 chemistry faculty, joined the Commitment and pledged to advance on their journey to transform chemistry education. Through this Commitment, these 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.
Through a multi-year partnership, Beyond Benign and Dow Chemical have made significant advances to drive the adoption of green chemistry within Dow’s academic partnerships in higher education. With Dow’s support, Beyond Benign increased the awareness of green chemistry on campuses, supported green chemistry educators to expand their leadership and curriculum in green chemistry, and strengthened the green chemistry community by fostering connections through shared lessons and teaching. Together, Dow and Beyond Benign engaged, recruited and supported Dow’s academic partners to join Beyond Benign’s Green Chemistry Commitment Program. To date, ten (10) of Dow’s Academic partners including 3 HBCUs, which equates to 5% of all chemistry degrees awarded in the U.S., have signed the Commitment. These institutions are committing to integrating green chemistry and toxicology concepts into their chemistry programs, training students with the skills to design chemical products/processes that have reduced human and environmental hazards. At these institutions, Beyond Benign has consulted on curriculum redesign and green chemistry integration as well as provided leadership opportunities for these institutions to promote their work with the broader community. Beyond Benign estimates that these Dow academic partners, who collectively employ 391 chemistry faculty, can bring green chemistry to up to 95,000 students a year.To help accelerate and catalyze the adoption of green chemistry at Dow’s partner institutions, Dow and Beyond Benign created the first annual Green Chemistry Education Challenge Awards. The Green Chemistry Education Challenge Award is a grant available to Green Chemistry Commitment Signers designed to accelerate the adoption and awareness of green chemistry on higher education campuses around the world. In 2021, Michigan State University, University of California, Berkeley, and Southern University and A&M College were the first winners and further received funding to help their programs achieve their goals. Dow’s ongoing support has allowed Beyond Benign to expand this pilot and offer an additional 20 awards from Dow and other participating partners.
At the links below, you’ll find a portfolio of stories to showcase a selection of the Dow Academic partners leading the way in advancing green chemistry education and, as a result, training a future workforce with the sustainability skills needed for a healthier, safer environment.
- Dow Green Chemistry Education Challenge Award Winners Catalyze Green Chemistry at Higher Education Institutions
- Green Chemistry Research Interest Grows at the University of Minnesota
- Growing Community, Connections and Inspiration at Prairie View A&M University
- ‘Go Green!’: Green Chemistry Flourishes at Michigan State University
- A Growing Community of Green Chemists at Southern University
- Incorporating Green Chemistry Principles into Chemistry Fundamentals Education at UC Santa Barbara
- An Expanding Portfolio of Green Chemistry Programs at Texas A&M