What are the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry teaching us?

They say mathematics is the queen of science, but chemistry is undoubtedly her first lady. Without chemistry, there would not be many very important events in the history of the development of civilizations and cultures. Thanks to chemistry, we learned, for example, the art of obtaining paper, and then the art of printing. The power of chemical sciences also includes fabric production, the development of medicine and pharmacy, construction, transport, manufacturing, and many other fields. Thanks to chemistry, great works of painting and sculpture were created. Without it, the thoughts and ideas of scientists, researchers and inventors would not survive. Chemistry is an area without which the world would be gray and cold.

Every matter consists of molecules and atoms. Chemistry is therefore ubiquitous and accompanies us in every area of life, although it has its advantages and disadvantages. Certain compounds or chemical processes undoubtedly have harmful effects on the environment and human health. For this reason, chemists are constantly exploring, modifying, and creating new technologies based on the ideas of sustainable development. One of them is GREEN CHEMISTRY. Let us therefore find out what this concept is and what its impact is on the chemical industry today.

Published: 13-08-2020

In 1991, Green Chemistry was introduced by Paul Anastas. An American scientist who is currently director of Yale University’s Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering. Previously, he held the role of Scientific Advisor to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as well as Assistant Administrator for Research and Development Agency, for which he was appointed by President Barack Obama.

His concept is based on twelve principles, which involve designing and conducting chemical processes in order to reduce the use and formation of harmful substances.

12 Principles of Green Chemistry

Let us now present the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry developed by Paul Anastas and John Warner.

Fig. 1 Original wording of the “12 principles of Green Chemistry” published in the article by P. Anastas and J. Warner.


  1. Waste prevention – It is better to prevent waste than to treat or clean up waste after it has been created.
  2. Atom Economy – Synthetic methods should be designed to maximize incorporation of all materials used in the process into the final product.
  3. Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses – Wherever practicable, synthetic methods should be designed to use and generate substances that possess little or no toxicity to human health and the environment.
  4. Designing Safer Chemicals – Chemical products should be designed to preserve efficacy of function while reducing toxicity.
  5. Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries – The use of auxiliary substances (e.g., solvents, separation agents, etc.) should be made unnecessary wherever possible and, innocuous when used.
  6. Design for Energy Efficiency – Energy requirements should be recognized for their environmental and economic impacts and should be minimized. Synthetic methods should be conducted at ambient temperature and pressure.
  7. Use of Renewable Feedstocks – A raw material or feedstock should be renewable rather than depleting whenever technically and economically practicable.
  8. Reduce Derivatives – Unnecessary derivatization (use of blocking groups, protection/deprotection, temporary modification of physical/chemical processes) should be minimized or avoided if possible, because such steps require additional reagents and can generate waste.
  9. Catalysis – Catalytic reagents (as selective as possible) are superior to stoichiometric reagents.
  10. Design for Degradation – Chemical products should be designed so that at the end of their function they break down into innocuous degradation products and do not persist in the environment.
  11. Real-time analysis for Pollution Prevention – 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. Inherently Safer Chemistry for Accident Prevention – Substances and the form of a substance used in a chemical process should be chosen to minimize the potential for chemical accidents, including releases, explosions, and fires.

The set of principles presented precisely defines the foundations of Green Chemistry. Over the years, however, this concept has taken on more and more new meanings. Chemistry is evolving, new technologies are emerging, we focus on renewable sources and energy savings. The world is moving forward, and green chemistry is becoming an increasing priority.

Human activity has a huge impact on the environment. Climate change, new species, changes in air quality are just some of the noticeable effects. That is why it is so important that the industry also remembers the environmental aspects, pursues sustainable goals, and integrates them into its business strategies.

GREENLINE™ – Green Chemistry from the PCC Group

The PCC Group has always applied global and European standards of sustainable production in its activities. We follow modern trends and implement ecological solutions. Key aspects of our green chemistry philosophy include: the use of green energy in technological processes, the use of raw materials obtained from renewable sources, or the design of products taking into account their biodegradability and emissions, and the reduction of waste production.

This is evidenced by another eco-label in our product portfolio. Introducing our customers to THE NEW GREENLINE™ product line. The range was created in accordance with the principles of green chemistry. GREENLINE™ offers include sodium hypochlorite, caustic soda or sodium lye developed in modern technology.

However, green chemistry of the PCC Group is a whole range of products divided into classifications that meet different aspects of green chemistry. Here you will find products made for eco-building, products based on natural ingredients, natural detergents, biodegradable products, or vegan products and many others.

Our offer includes the highest quality measures, which are certified by ECOCERT, EU Ecolabel, GMP or RSPO. Implemented production processes are based on international quality management systems and environmental management systems. It is very important for us to create products that successfully undergo certification processes and thus we can build credibility among our customers.

We encourage you to familiarize yourself with our philosophy of sustainable production and check the offer of green chemistry products in the tab Greenline Green Chemistry.

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