Green Chemistry in Minnesota: Opportunities and Challenges for Leadership
Wednesday May 28, 2008
Humphrey School of Public Affairs
University of Minnesota
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As fuel prices skyrocket and the costs of carbon emissions and other pollution increase, the win-win of moving Minnesota's economy to a more sustainable foundation gets ever more clear. Greener technologies promise new jobs, as well as new markets for everyone from farmers to high tech businesses. At the same time, the concept of "green chemistry" is gaining strength, nationally and internationally. Simply put, green chemistry means coming up with consumer and commercial products and ways of making them that will intentionally reduce or eliminate toxic substances altogether. And, because Green Chemistry's core principles also include energy efficiency and waste reduction, these approaches often result in significant savings going straight to a manufacturer's bottom line.
Minnesota is beautifully positioned to help lead the nation into this sustainable, Green Chemistry future. Its intellectual resources include leading companies and learning centers in medicine, medical products, research and development, renewable fuels, engineering and manufacturing. And, of course, Minnesota's rural economy remains vital, with enormous potential for growing renewable feedstocks based on Minnesota crops that could help replace our intensive use of imported fossil fuels, not only as fuels but as building blocks for plastics, building materials and other products.
This conference will bring together researchers, teachers, business leaders, farmers, advocates and policy makers from around the state to discuss the opportunities and challenges for Minnesota to become a leader in green chemistry, in green engineering and in this more sustainable future. We will ask members of business, academia and public policy what specifically their organizations could contribute to advancing this future, and what help they need from other sectors to reach their goals.
Principal financial support from: