Sustainable chemistry: an analysis of the concept and its integration in education
It is now generally accepted that most of today's (chemical) industry is unsustainable by design. Sustainable development is gaining interest as a concept, on the basis of which efforts are made to redesign production and consumption systems, in order to solve global environmental, economic and social problems. The aim of this paper is to investigate how the role of chemistry and chemistry education is changing through sustainable development. Sustainable chemistry is emerging as a new concept, but what is it? Different ideas on how to give content to sustainable chemistry have resulted in various new concepts, focussing on different levels of organisation, ranging from the level of molecules up to the societal level. After studying and comparing some of the related concepts concerned, a general definition of sustainable chemistry is presented. It is concluded that more research is needed, especially aimed at the higher levels of organisation, in order to be able to formulate a more detailed definition.