By BlueGreen Alliance
Whether at work or at home, America’s outdated and toothless toxic substances laws means many of the chemicals Americans come into contact every day may be harmful to them. The growing field of green chemistry offers an alternative to those substances and the potential to make our homes and workplaces considerably safer for us all.
Now, a new report shows there’s a growing market for these safer and healthier alternatives. The American Sustainable Business Council— representing organization members that span more than 200,000 businesses nationwide, and more than 325,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors—released a report entitled, Making the Business & Economic Case for Safer Chemistry, and its conclusions are eye-opening.
The report found significant market growth potential for safer, less toxic chemicals. This in depth examination of economic research, market trends, and interviews with business across the value chain comes to some important conclusions, including:
- The market for safer chemicals is estimated to have 24 times the growth of conventional chemicals market worldwide, from 2011 to 2020.
- A growing market demand for safer ingredients across various products, including personal care, cleaning products, baby products, apparel and footwear, healthcare, electronics, building materials and furnishings.
- Potential financial costs of conventional chemistry, including regulatory fines, loss of access to markets, and social costs of accidents and incidents are driving the market for safer alternatives.
- Job growth in safer goods and services is well ahead of conventional chemical industry.
Green chemistry is an opportunity to grow our economy and make our families and communities safer and healthier. And this isn’t the first report to show that green chemistry can have tremendous economic benefits. In 2011, the BlueGreen Alliance and the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) released a report that showed shifting 20 percent of U.S. plastics production to bioplastics—a green alternative—could create 100,000 jobs and enable the industry to remain globally competitive in an economy that requires cleaner, safer chemicals.
Green chemicals can and should be a significant driver of jobs in the U.S. And, these cleaner chemicals will also make our homes, workplaces and communities safer and healthier.