Green Chemistry Drives Innovation
(3BL Media) June 4, 2012 - With thousands of new drugs and medicines entering the market every year and chemistry touching nearly every part of our lives, there is an urgent need to develop chemical compounds in a responsible and sustainable manner. It is with an understanding of this need that Johnson & Johnson and its operating companies have been moving towards “green chemistry” as part of their commitment to being responsible stewards of the environment. Next week, employees from Johnson & Johnson will be present at the 2012 Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego to talk about the future of green chemistry, and how the Company is helping to lead the way.
The green chemistry movement began in the early 1990s with the desire to design chemical products and processes that would reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances. It was the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 that helped to create the movement, with a shift in focus from the treatment of pollutants to the elimination of pollutants at their source. Since that time industry has been moving towards the creation of safer chemicals, and the development of manufacturing processes that reduce requisite raw materials and energy while minimizing waste products.
Johnson & Johnson is committed to green chemistry as member of the Pharmaceutical Green Chemistry Round Table since 2006 and as an entrant in the Environmental Protection Agency's Presidential Green Challenge Awards in 2008 and 2012. A new process for synthesizing galantamine represents the Company's latest step into the world of green chemistry. The compound, first discovered in the 1950s was originally extracted from Daffodils. Since commercialization it has been synthesized by the Company in increasingly innovative ways ever since. The latest process developed by the Company represents a major step forward in its ability to significantly reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing process. Through the addition of a process known as a continuous reaction step, galantamine is now produced using nearly 20% fewer raw materials, generates almost 20% less waste, and the process now consumes over 25% less energy.
Johnson & Johnson Senior Director for World Wide Health and Safety Al Iannuzzi will be present at the 2012 Sustainable Brands Conference to discuss these advances as well as the future of green chemistry. Since the green chemistry movement began 20 years ago, stakeholders from a diverse set of organizations and disciplines have hotly contested the bounds of the movement. During the Making Green Chemistry Marketable Session at SB '12, Al along with representatives from industry, NGOs, and regulatory bodies will discuss these issues and highlight various solutions to addressing them. "I think this is going to be a great opportunity to discuss how we can work together to create a more sustainable model for developing and producing new compounds" said Al. "This is a critical issue and one that is going to require cooperation between industry, NGOs and regulators to manage. Earthwards®, our process for developing greener products is a great example of just such a collaboration."
To learn more about the 2012 Sustainable Brands Conference visit www.sustainablebrands.com/events/sb12. To learn more about Earthwards®, the Johnson & Johnson process for developing and marketing greener products, visit www.earthwards.com.