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Scholarly Resources

It is important that the current and next generations of managers are equipped to ensure that the products and industrial processes of their organizations are ‘benign by design’. So we’ve assembled some research materials which can be used to introduce green chemistry and highlight its relevance to business.




Business Cases


Teaching cases play an important role in management education and research. This is certainly the case when introducing green chemistry to students.

 Our business cases are:

  • easily integrated into existing lesson plans at the undergraduate and graduate levels
  • linked to the most relevant readings in green chemistry
  • organized for simple browsing 

Click the headings below to browse through our case lists. 

Browse by Green Chemistry Principle

Browse by Business Logic

Browse by Management Discipline

Browse by Teaching Topic

Browse by Environmental Issue

Browse by Industry

Browse by Company Name

Teaching Modules

Our Research Modules are organized by teaching point and allow professors to introduce their students to principles of green chemistry à la carte, without undertaking an entire course on sustainable production or pollution prevention.

Modules are linked to reading suggestions, cases, classroom exercises, and multimedia content where relevant.

From Green Chemistry: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Sustainability 

A course developed at the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry

An Introduction to the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry

A. What is green chemistry? Some practical definitions
B. Drivers of green chemistry
C. Summary of the 12 principles of green chemistry
D. Principles to Focus On (1-9)
E. Case study: Ibuprofen synthesis

1. Paul T. Anastas and John C. Warner, “Chapter 4: Principles of Green Chemistry,” in Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice (Oxford University Publishers 2000).
2. Anastas and Eghbali, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2010, 39, pp. 301–312.
3. Mike Lancaster, “Chapter 2: Principles of Sustainable and Green Chemistry” in Handbook of Green Chemistry and Technology, Clark, J. and Macquarrie, D. (eds.) (Blackwell Publishers) pp. 10-25.

Video of the lecture by John Arnold (1:17:27 on YouTube)
Audio only of the lecture available for free download from iTunes (lecture 5)
Powerpoint part_1  Powerpoint part_2

Green Chemistry from the Perspective of the Corporate Bottom Line

A. Industry has critically important roles to play in GC innovation
1. Market problems
2. Regulatory problems

B. Regulatory and non-regulatory drivers of innovation in GC
1. Internal organizational drivers
2. Social drivers
3. Market drivers
4. Developing drivers
5. Regulatory drivers

1. Plambeck, Erica and Denend, Lyn, “Walmart’s Sustainability Strategy,” (Rev Sept. 2008)
2. Walmart's Sustainability Strategy Harvard Business Case Product # OIT71-PDF-ENG

Video of the lecture by Christine Rosen (1:19:32 on YouTube)
Audio only of the lecture available for free download from iTunes (lecture 7) 
Powerpoint part_1  Powerpoint part_2

Should Chemicals be Assumed to be Safe or Dangerous?

A. The law’s default position on whether chemicals are hazardous
B. Factors that are considered by legislators and courts in allocating the burden of proof
C. What proportion of chemicals are likely to be hazardous?
D. Minimum Data Sets
E. Planetary Boundaries and Chemical Pollution

A. Readings on what proportion of industrial chemicals are likely to be hazardous
1. John Warner interviewed in “Green Chemistry — ‘Green’ As In Money.” Compliance Side Total Chemical Management Today 2007, 3 (1).
2. European Commission. Extended Impact Assessment (SEC(2003)1171/3) (2003). Section 6: Potential Health and Environmental Benefits, pp. 24-28.
3. Richard A. Denison, Not That Innocent: A Comparative Analysis Of Canadian, European Union And United States Policies On Industrial Chemicals, Environmental Defense Fund (April 2007), pp. IV-17 to IV-25 (the “categorization” of 23,000 chemicals on Canada’s Domestic Substances List).

B. Readings on chemicals and pollution as a component of the global human footprint
1. James Gustave Speth, The Bridge at the Edge of the World, Yale University Press (2009). Read pp. xx-xxi (The Great Collision charts), pp. 17-45 (Chapter I: Looking into the Abyss).
2. Johan Rockström et al. 2009. A safe operating space for humanity. Nature 461(7263):472-475; DOI:10.1038/461472a.
3. Johan Rockström et al. 2009. Planetary boundaries: Exploring the safe operating space for humanity. Ecology and Society 14(2):32. Read sections “Chemical Pollution,” “Interactions Among the Boundaries,” and “Discussion.” 

Video of the lecture by Akos Kokai and Joseph H. Guth (1:07:47 on YouTube)
Audio only of the lecture available for free download from iTunes (lecture 9)

Environmental Decision-Making Structures

A. Review of two different economic visions
B. Environmental legal decision-making structures
C. Cost – benefit analysis
D. The Precautionary Principle
E. Case Study

1. Percival et al., Environmental Regulation: Law, Science, and Policy, Wolters Kluwer, Aspen Publishers, 6th Ed. (2009). Read: pp. 31-35 (Section 2: Cost-Benefit Analysis); pp. 35-38 (Section 3: Valuing Ecosystem Services).
2. Wingspread Statement of the Precautionary Principle.
3. Nancy Myers, “Frequently Asked Questions about the Precautionary Principle,” Science & Environmental Health Network.
4. Joseph H. Guth, “Two Rules For Decisions: Trust In Economic Growth Vs. Precaution,” Rachel's Democracy & Health News #919 (August 19, 2007).
5. Richard L. Revesz and Michael A. Livermore, Retaking Rationality: How Cost‐ Benefit Analysis Can Better Protect The Environment And Our Health, Oxford University Press (2008). Read pp. 9-19 (“The Case for Cost Benefit Analysis”).
6. Cass R. Sunstein, “Throwing precaution to the wind: Why the 'safe' choice can be dangerous,” Boston Globe, July 13, 2008.
7. Thomas O. McGarity, Sidney Shapiro, and David Bollier, Sophisticated Sabotage: The Intellectual Games used to Subvert Responsible Regulation, Environmental Law Institute (2005). Read pp. 1-16.

Supplemental Readings/Materials
1. Douglas A. Kysar, Regulating From Nowhere: Environmental Law and the Search for Objectivity, Yale University Press (2010). Read pp. 1-22 (Introduction).
2. Stephen Breyer, Breaking the Vicious Circle: Toward Effective Risk Regulation, Harvard University Press (1993). Read: pp. 3-29 (Introduction); pp. 33-51 (Chapter 2: Causes: The Vicious Circle).
3. Nancy J. Myers and Carolyn Raffensperger, eds., Precautionary Tools for Reshaping Environmental Policy, MIT Press (2006), excerpt from Introduction (pp. 1-16)
4. Frank Ackerman and Lisa Heinzerling, Priceless: On Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing (The New Press, New York 2004). Read: pp. 1-12 (Chapter 1: Prices Without Values); pp. 13-40 (Chapter 2: Myths and Markets); pp. 205-34 (Chapter 9: Values Without Prices).

Audio only of the lecture available for free download from iTunes (lecture 15)

When it Pays to be Green and Competitive Business Strategy

A. Why do Corporations choose to invest in GC?
1. Regulatory drivers
2. Non-regulatory drivers
3. Results of weak regulation
4. Competitive advantage
5. Barriers to corporate action
6. Renate Orsato’s strategy matrix

B. CG Strategy process: implementing a GC initiative (Nature Works case discussion)
1. Opportunity recognition
2. Develop project mission/goals
3. Context, rationales, and needs of project (SWOT analysis, business case)
4. Set time your frame
5. Develop an action plan
6. Identify resource requirements for each step in your plan
7. Figure out how to execute your plan in operational and organizational sense
8. Further case discussion: What would you advise? 

1. R.J. Orsato, “When Does it Pay to Be Green?” California Management Review 48:2 (Winter 2006), pp. 127-141. 
2. P. Gruber, “Natureworks: Green Chemistry’s Contribution to Biotechnology Innovation, Commercialization, and Strategic Positioning,” Harvard Business Case UV2021-PDF-ENG (Darden Case UV2021, 2006.) 
3. A. Larson, “Illustrating the Financial Benefits of Green Chemistry,” Harvard Business Cases product number, UV 1358-PDF-ENG (Darden, 2006). 

Video of lecture by Christine Rosen (1:17:56 on YouTube) 
Audio only of the lecture available for free download from iTunes (lecture 18)















Here are some general readings in green chemistry that we found relevant. Use them to flesh out on going discussions or to stimulate new ideas!

  1. Anastas, P.T., (2012). Fundamental Changes to EPA’s Research Enterprise: The Path Forward. Environmental Science and Technology, (46) 580−586.
  2. Anastas, P. et al., (2010). Toward molecular design for hazard reduction—fundamental relationships between chemical properties and toxicity. Chemical Reviews, (110) 5845.
  3. Anastas, P. T., & Breen, J. J., (1997). Design for the environment and Green Chemistry: The heart and soul of industrial ecology. Journal of Cleaner Production, 5(1-2) 97-102.
  4. Anastas, P. & Eghbali, N.,(2010). Green Chemistry: Principles and Practice. Chemical Society Reviews, (39) 301–312.
  5. Anastas, P., Teichman, K., & Hubal, E. C.,(2010). Ensuring the Safety of Chemicals.  Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, (20) 395–396.
  6. Beach, E.S., Zheng, C., & Anastas, P., (2009). Green Chemistry: A Design Framework for Sustainability Energy & Environmental Science, (2) 1038-1049.
  7. Boethling, R.S., Sommer, E., DiFiore, D.,(2007). Chemical Reviews, (107)2207-2227.
  8. The Centers for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH). (2008). Green Chemistry: Cornerstone to a Sustainable California. Los Angeles, California: University of California Berkeley.
  9. Clark, J.H., (2006). Green chemistry: today (and tomorrow). Green Chemistry, (8), 17-21.
  10. Criddle, C. S., and Bergman, R. G., (2010). Commentary, Green Chemistry is Good for Business. Retreived Auguest 17, 2010 from http://www.Forbes.com 
  11. DeSimone, J.M., (2002). Practical Approaches to Green Solvents, Science, 297(5582), 799-803. 
  12. Environmental Working Group,  3M and Scotchgard: "Heroes of Chemistry" or a 20-year Coverup? Chemical Industry Archives: A Project of the Environmental Working Group. Retrieved March 29, 2009. 
  13. Environmental Working Group, Credibility Gap: Toxic Chemicals in Food Packaging and DuPont's Greenwashing: Voluntary Phaseout Not Working,
  14. Hjeresen, D.L., Kirchoff, M.M., Lankley, R.L., (2002) Green Chemistry: Environment, economics and competitiveness. Corporate Environmental Strategy, 9(3), 259-266.
  15. Iles, A., (2008). Shifting To Green Chemistry: The Need for Innovations in Sustainability Marketing. Business Strategy and the Environment. DOI: 10.1002/bse.547
  16. Iles, A., Martin, A.N., (2012) Expanding bioplastics production: sustainable business innovation in the chemical industry. Journal of Cleaner Production. DOI:10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.05.008
  17. Iles, A., Mulvihill, M.J., (2012). Collaboration Across Disciplines for Sustainability: Green Chemistry as an Emerging Multistakeholder Community. Environmental Science & Technology. 46 (11), 5643-5649.
  18. Kay, J., and Environmental Health News, (2012). Green Chemist: A Q&A with Departing EPA Science Advisor Paul Anastas. Scientific American
  19. Kirchhoff, M.,M., (2005). Promoting sustainability through green chemistry. Resources, Conservation and Recycling 44 (2005) 237–243.
  20. Lawson, D., Why green chemistry is a major driver of product innovation. Retrieved August 1, 2012, from http://www.greenbiz.com
  21. Lavoie, M. et al.(2010). Chemical Alternatives Assessment: Enabling Substitution to Safer ChemicalsEnvironmental Science and Technology (44) 9244–9249. DOI: 10.1021/es1015789.
  22. Liroff, R., A., A Formula for Building a Green Chemistry Future, A Game Plan for Accelerating Green Chemistry, How Policy Change Can Spur Green Chemistry, Models for Scaling Up Green Chemistry. Retrieved August 1, 2012, from http://www.greenbiz.com
  23. Manley, J. B., Anastas, P.T., & Cue, B.W., (2008). Frontiers in Green Chemistry: meeting the grand challenges for sustainability in R&D and manufacturing. Journal of cleaner production. (16), 743-750
  24. Matus, K.J.M., (2009). The ACS Green Chemistry Institute: A Case Study of Partnerships to Promote Sustainability in the Chemical Enterprise. In Enhancing the Effectiveness of Sustainability Partnerships: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
  25. Matus, K.J.M., Xiao, X., & Zimmerman, J.B., (2012). Green chemistry and green engineering in China: drivers, policies and barriers to innovation. Journal of Cleaner Production. (32) 193-203.
  26. Michael P.W., (2012). Commentary, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 9(5), D87-D94 
  27. Moore, S.B., Ausley, L.W., (2004). Systems thinking and green chemistry in the textile industry: concepts, technologies and benefits. Journal of Cleaner Production (12) 585–601.
  28. Mulvihill, M.J., Beach, E.S., Zimmerman, J.B., & Anastas, P.T., (2011). Green Chemistry and Green Engineering: A Framework for Sustainable Technology Development. Annual Review of Environment and Resources. (36) 271–93. DOI:10.1146/annurev-environ-032009-095500
  29. Nameroff, T. J., Garant, R. J., & Albert, M. B., (2004). Adoption of green chemistry: an analysis based on US patents. Research Policy, 33(6-7), 959-974.
  30. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), (2001). Environmental Outlook for the Chemicals Industry. Paris, France: OECD.
  31. Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), (2011). The Economic Benefits of a Green Chemical Industry in the United States: Renewing Manufacturing Jobs While Protecting Health and the Environment. Amhert, Massachusetts: PERI.
  32. Pike Research, Cleantech Market Intelligence, (2011). (Executive Summary) Green Chemistry: Bio-based Chemicals, Renewable Feedstocks, Green Polymers, Less-toxic Alternative Chemical Formulations, and the Foundations of a Sustainable Chemical Industry. Boulder, Colorado: Pike Research LLC.
  33. Poliakoff, M., & Anastas, P., (2001). A principled stance. Nature, 413(6853), 257.
  34. Poliakoff, M., Licence, P. 2007. Green Chemistry: Science and Politics of Change. Science, 297(5582),807-810
  35. Poliakoff, M., Fitzpatrick, J.M., Farren, T.R., & Anastas, P.T., (2002). Green Chemistry: Science and Politics of Change. Science. (297) 807-810.
  36. Schwarzman, M.R., Wilson, M.P., (2009). New Science for Chemicals Policy. Science. (326) 1065-1066.
  37. Service, R.F., (2009). A New Wave of Chemical Regulations Just Ahead? Science. (325) 692-693.
  38. Sjostrom, J., (2006). Green Chemistry in perspective-models for GC activities and GC policy and knowledge areas. Green Chemistry. (8), 130-137.
  39. Tabone, M.D., Cregg, J.J., Beckman, E.J., & Landis, A.E.,(2010). Sustainability Metrics: Life Cycle Assessment and Green Design in PolymersEnvironmental Science and Technology 44 (21) 264–8269, 
  40. U.S. EPA. Partnership to Evaluate Flame Retardants in Printed Circuit Boards
  41. Visser, R., Jongen, M., & Zwetsloot, G., (2008). Business-driven innovations towards more sustainable chemical products. Journal of Cleaner Production (16S1) S85-S94.
  42. Westervelt, A., (2011). Better profits through green chemistry. Retrieved December 28, 2011 from from http://www.Forbes.com 
  43. Woodhouse, E.J., Breyman, S., (2005).Green Chemistry as Social Movement? Science Technology Human Values. (30) 199. DOI: 10.1177/0162243904271726.


      Classroom experiences can be enhanced by using a variety of modes and methods of engaging students. Here's our collection of multimedia tools that can be used to introduce green chemistry.


      Martyn Poliakoff  on green chemistry (2:31 on YouTube)

      Martyn Poliakoff on water bottles and green chemistry (3:59 on YouTube)

      Ray Anderson of Interface The business logic of sustainability (15:52 on TED) 

      Dr. John Warner at the Sustainable Chemistry Summit, 2011 
      Green chemistry for a competitive advantage in the global market place
      Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4 (1 hour on YouTube)

      BBC Radio Program Listen! Can chemistry save the world? (26:30 on BBC iPlayer)

      The Story of Stuff watch online 

      Janine Benyus on Biomimicry in action (17:39 on TED)

      Powerpoint Presentations

      Introduction to Green Chemistry by Isla Milne for IN4GC 

      What is Green Chemistry by the American Chemical Society

      An Introduction to Green Chemistry by Mary Kirchoff, Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area

      Green Chemistry by Hector R. Rodriguez, School of Business Mount Ida College

      The Case for Green Chemistry: Integrating Sustainability into Curricula and Campus by Owen Priest, David Hronek, and Daniel Niewoehner, Northwestern University

      The Business Case for Green Chemistry by Bill Stough, CEO Sustainable Research Group

      Do Business and Chemistry Skills have to be like Oil & Water? ACS Webinar by Lynn Leger, GreenCentre Canada and Bob Peoples, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

      Materials from the Academy of Management Professional Development Workshop, 2012

      50 Years after Silent Spring: The Past, Present and Future of the Global Chemical Enterprise by Berkeley W. Cue, Jr. BWC Pharma Consulting LLC

      50 Years after Silent Spring: Why Green Chemistry Matters to Business and Business Scholars by Bob Peoples, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

      50 Years after Silent Spring: The Past, Present and Future of the Global Chemical Enterprise by Steve Maguire, McGill University