The Twelve Green Chemistry Principles

These principles have been outlined by  Dr. Paul Anastas et al.  Dr. Anastas is credited with coining the term 'green chemistry' and is internationally recognised as a leader in the field of green chemistry.  He is currently a senior policy analyst at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he coordinates environmental and international issues.

  1. It is better to prevent waste than to treat or clean up waste after it is formed.

  2. Synthetic methods should be designed to maximise the incorporation of all materials used in the process into the final product.

  3. Wherever practicable, synthetic methodologies should be designed to use and generate substances that possess little or no toxicity to human health and the environment.

  4. Chemical products should be designed to preserve efficiency of function while reducing toxicity.

  5. The use of auxiliary substances (e.g. solvents, separation agents, etc) should be made unnecessary wherever possible and, innocuous when used.

  6. Energy requirements should be recognised for their environmental and economic impacts and should be minimised. Synthetic methods should be conducted at ambient temperature and pressure.

  7. A raw material of feedstock should be renewable rather depleting wherever technically and economically practicable.

  8. Unnecessary derivatisation (blocking group, protection/deprotection, temporary modification of physical/chemical processes) should be avoided whenever possible.

  9. Catalytic reagents (as selective as possible) are superior to stoichiometric reagents.

  10. Chemical products should be designed so that at the end of their function they do not persist in the environment and break down into innocuous degradation products.

  11. Analytical methodologies need to be further developed to allow for real-time, in-process monitoring and control prior to the formation of hazardous substances.

  12. Substances and the form of a substance used in a chemical process should be chosen so as to minimise the potential for chemical accidents, including releases, explosions and fires.    


Any developments in green chemistry will occur with these principles in mind and the intention of complying with them all.