Marketchemica and ACS on Sustainability
September 12th, 2012 by petra
Joining ACS Green Chemistry Institute® Industry Roundtables!
By Bogdan Comanita, President , MarketChemica™ , Inc. and Julie Manley, Senior Industrial Coordinator, ACS Green Chemistry Institute®
The Business Case
Participation in the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® Industry Roundtables provides an excellent opportunity for member companies to keep abreast with the latest developments in the complex stakeholders landscape of green chemistry and green engineering while informing and influencing the policy, regulatory and legislative outcomes at the national level. The structure of the Roundtables, mimicking the vertical structure of the chemical supply chains, provides member companies with unique non-competitive collaboration opportunities such as minimizing R&D costs, learning about the needs of downstream customers or adopting best industry practices in green chemistry.
The Green Chemistry Institute was established in 1997 through a joint effort from industry, government, and academia as an expression of the rapidly growing concern for a more sustainable society. In 2001, the American Chemical Society incorporated the organization in its own operations and the newly formed ACS Green Chemistry Institute® received a mandate “to catalyze and enable the implementation of green chemistry and engineering throughout the global chemical enterprise”.
In order to achieve its mission, ACS GCI has at its core the values espoused by the American Chemical Society and leverages the impeccable reputability of the largest professional organization in the world serving the chemical professionals from US and abroad. ACS GCI focuses its activities on three main directions that are intrinsically related and synergistically reinforcing (Figure 1):
1. The science needs to provide the knowledge base to develop greener technologies and address global challenges.
2. The education needs to instill the knowledge and values of green chemistry and engineering in current and future generations.
3. The industry needs to adopt the green chemistry and engineering practices
While the science and education activities take place at the interface with academic and research institutions respectively, the industry outreach activities can lead to positive results only by getting companies involved in seeking greener, more sustainable solutions. This article provides highlights of the strategic activities of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® at the interface with industry and illustrates the palpable business case for joining the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® Industry Roundtables.
Figure 1: The ACS Green Chemistry Institute® Interface Activities; Chem Mfr=Chemical Manufacturer’s Roundtable; FR=Formulators’ Roundtable; PR=Pharmaceutical Roundtable
THE ACS GEEN CHEMISTRY INSTITUTE® INDUSTRY ROUNDTABLES
The ACS Green Chemistry Institute® has created three industry outreach organizations covering the entire chemical supply chain from commodity chemicals to specialty and pharmaceutical products (Figure 1). The existence of Chemical Manufacturer’s Roundtable, Formulators’ Roundtable, and Pharmaceutical Roundtable under the unifying umbrella of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® facilitates the exchange of non-competitive information between the chemical manufacturing industry and the downstream pharmaceutical and formulated chemical products industries.
In this context, member companies work collaboratively to improve resources allocation along the value chain by prioritizing research efforts based on market needs or by sharing breakthrough discoveries in their greener products, technologies and best practices.
Because the Roundtables are designed to be non-competitive, member companies can share information such as metrics and best practices in a safe environment (oftentimes assured by ACS GCI blinding the data) for the benefit of the respective corporations and the chemical industry and society as a whole. The improved collaboration and consensus building enables the Roundtables to inform collectively and influence government, standard setting bodies, NGOs, academia, etc. (Figure 1). The voice of an industry is much stronger and credible than that of any one individual company, regardless of its size.
In conclusion, participation in the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® Industry Roundtables provides small and large chemical companies alike with a unique opportunity to accelerate dissemination of greener discoveries, inform public opinion and participate in policy making from the unbiased, scientifically sanctioned perspective of the American Chemical Society.
THE ACS GREEN CHEMISTRY INSTITUTE® PHARMACEUTICAL ROUNDTABLE
The ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable is a partnership between the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® and the pharmaceutical and fine chemical corporations united by a shared commitment to integrate the principles of green chemistry and engineering into the business of drug discovery and production. The Roundtable was established in 2005 and includes the majority of the largest pharmaceutical corporations including AstraZeneca, Novartis, Pfizer and GSK to name but a few.
The Roundtable felt it was imperative to prioritize research areas of interest to the pharmaceutical industry in order to focus the efforts of their suppliers and the academic and research community. Subsequently, the Roundtable funded over $1.2M to date in academic research worldwide to address the key green chemistry and engineering areas *1*2.The organization also leveraged another $1M of government funding to address these areas as well.
Other notable accomplishments of this roundtable were the elaboration of a solvent selection guide based on green chemistry principles as well as defining and providing tools for the calculation of Process Mass Intensity, a metric now widely accepted throughout the pharma industry*3.
THE ACS GREEN CHEMISTRY INSTITUTE® FORMULATORS’ ROUNDTABLE
The ACS Green Chemistry Institute® Formulators’ Roundtable is a partnership between the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® and the formulated products industry. The mission of this Roundtable is “to be the driving force to use green chemistry in creating innovative formulated products that are environmentally sustainable throughout the entire product life cycle”. This roundtable was established in 2009 and includes companies that collectively total more than 1 billion dollar in purchasing power including Amway, J&J Consumer Products, SC Johnson, Novozymes, and others.
Similar to the Pharmaceutical Roundtable, the Formulators’ Roundtable identified components in formulated products in need of greener alternatives and specified design criteria for improved functionality and greenness. Their collective findings were published in a seminal whitepaper which also identifies the need for greener solvents with desirable characteristics such as: renewable feedstock based on non-food supply, reduced carbon footprint and VOC emissions, low toxicity and biodegradability. The work was further recognized in “happi” published by the Household and Personal Products Industryan industry association.
THE ACS GREEN CHEMISTRY INSTITUTE® CHEMICAL MANUFACTURER’S ROUNDTABLE
The ACS Green Chemistry Institute® Chemical Manufacturer’s Roundtable began with companies that are B2B suppliers to the specialty and pharmaceutical industry and has expended since. Most member companies in the Pharmaceutical Roundtable and Formulators’ Roundtable are active on the consumer markets and drive therefore the entire supply chain function of the needs and wants of their customers. This is why the Chemical Manufacturer’s Roundtable started its activities only in 2010 in response to the “greening” desiderate of the Pharmaceutical and Formulators’ roundtables.
The mission of the ACS GCI Chemical Manufacturer’s Roundtable is to provide leadership and education in the interpretation and implementation of green chemistry and green engineering principles as applied to the chemical manufacturing industry. Work largely focuses on the alignment of best industry practices (including metrics) to the needs of the supply chain.
Member companies of the Roundtable include those that manufacturer petroleum-based as well as renewable chemicals. Chemicals from renewable feedstock can have an important role in greener products, and the metrics provided should ensure that they are indeed the greener option.
Working collaboratively to develop greener technologies will beneficially affect the entire chemicals industry and supply chain. The membership scope of the Roundtable specifically includes “establishments broadly producing chemicals from ,petroleum, natural gas, or other sources as well as establishments manufacturing products by chemical or biochemical processes”. Current members include companies such as DuPont, Rhodia, Pennakem, and Arizona Chemical.
THE ACS GREEN CHEMISTRY INSTITUTE® COORDINATING ROLE
In an effort to facilitate flow of information between the links of the chemical supply chain and outside stakeholders (Figure 1), the Executive involved on behalf of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® is constantly updating member companies across the three roundtables with relevant information.
For example, all three Roundtables had a chance to provide their feedback on the content and implementation of the new “NSF/GCI/ANSI 355 Greener Chemicals and Processes Information Standard” and actually met face to face with the team working on the standard at NSF International.
The GCI Executive coordinated in collaboration with member companies the organization of an annual poster session where all member companies and their guests can exchange information vertically along the value chain to meet market needs and wants or laterally to guide non-competitive activities. The annual roundtable poster session is organized in the context of the Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Meeting in Washington DC. Now at its 16th edition, this is the largest green chemistry meeting in North America and reunites green chemists from all over the world. This context facilitates cross-pollination of ideas and initiative between industry, academia, government and many other stakeholders in green chemistry and sustainability.
JOINING THE ACS GREEN CHEMISTRY INSTITUTE® ROUNDTABLES: A BUSINESS CASE
Pennakem’s biobased ecosolvent™ line of products, was marketed as a substitute for fossil based solvents, in particular, ecoMeTHF™ was gaining considerable traction in the pharmaceutical industry. As a direct result of the GCI roundtable activities, Pennakem was aware that there was a need for new green solvents and decided to become a founding member of the Chemical Manufacturer’s Roundtable in order to support the development of the new biobased global solvent markets.
Figure 2: Biobased MeTHF is quickly displacing fossil based THF in clinical trials according to a Pharmaceutical Industry benchmarking study
An internal benchmarking study conducted across the member companies of the Pharmaceutical Roundtable revealed the accelerated replacement of the fossil -based THF and DEE with biobased 2-methyltetrahydrofuran (MeTHF). As shown in Figure 2, the use of MeTHF in clinical trials conducted around the world increased from an academic curiosity in 2004 (when Pennakem started marketing the solvent) to the 13th place in 2008. This information was a strong leading indicator on the future use of biobased MeTHF for industrial production of the 21st century medicines and determined Pennakem to commit to the development of the MeTHF market.
Pennakem had numerous opportunities to highlight the benefits of using MeTHF including several presentations at the annual joint poster session organized by the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® Roundtables. Pennakem also learned early on from the interactions with other Roundtable members as well as from examining the draft of the “NSF/GCI/ANSI 355 Greener Chemicals and Processes Information Standard” that life cycle analysis data was becoming a critical instrument for the greening of the supply chain. As a result, the company contracted unbiased, third party LCA research for its ecosolvent™ line of products. The LCA of Pennakem’s biobased solvents showed as expected a much lower carbon footprint than fossil based solvents. Since LCA calculations were conducted on products manufactured according to Pennakem’s technology, these results also provided the opportunity to brand these solvents under the ” ecosolvent” trade mark.
At the same time, in an effort to replace the traditional aprotic solvents for organometallic reactions, such as ICH class II THF and explosion prone DEE, the Pharmaceutical Roundtable has sponsored research on the use of several new aprotic solvents including ecoMeTHF™ and cyclopentyl methyl ether (CPME) *6
As a result of the synergies with the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® Roundtables activities, Pennakem’s biobased solvents offer today a fact-based, differentiated value proposition by providing a low carbon footprint solution to the downstream buyers (Figure 3).
Pennakem LLC is today the market leader in low carbon footprint aprotic solvents for the pharmaceutical industry.
Participation in the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® Industry Roundtables provides an excellent opportunity for member companies to keep abreast with the latest developments in the complex stakeholders landscape of green chemistry while informing and influencing the policy, regulatory and legislative outcomes at national levels. The structure of the Roundtables, mimicking the vertical structure of the chemical supply chains, provides member companies with unique non-competitive collaboration opportunities such as minimizing R&D costs, learning about the needs of downstream customers or adopting best industry practices in green chemistry.
MarketChemica is a market intelligence, research and communications agency specializing in the small and medium size fine chemicals industry. For more information visit www.marketchemica.com
ACS Green Chemistry Institute® is a division of the American Chemical Society with a mandate “to catalyze and enable the implementation of green chemistry and engineering throughout the global chemical enterprise”. www.acs.org/greemchemistry
*1 Green Chem., 2007,9, 411-420
*2 Org. Process Res. Dev., 2011, 15 (4), pp 900–911)
*3 These tools including the solvent guide are available at www.acs.org/gcipharmaroundtable
*4 “Opportunities for Greener Alternatives from a Formulators’ Perspective”, www.acs.org/gciformualtors
Other notable accomplishments of this roundtable were the elaboration of a solvent selection guide based on green chemistry principles as well as defining and providing tools for the calculation of Process Mass Intensity, a metric now widely accepted throughout the pharma industry3.
Wei Zhang et al, U. Mass Boston, “Solvent Screening & Performance Evaluation of Grignard Reactions”, The 16th Green Chemistry & Engineering Meeting, Washington DC, 2012