VIU Joins the Green Chemistry Commitment

January 8, 2018 - 8:30am

A green transformation is taking place in VIU’s Chemistry Department. The University recently joined the Green Chemistry Commitment, a consortium launched by the non-profit Beyond Benign that aims to create systemic and lasting change in university-level chemistry education and, ultimately, increase the number of green chemists and scientists. 

What this means for the Chemistry Department is that faculty and staff have committed to making continuous improvements in waste and hazard reduction, as well as introducing green chemistry concepts to students so they will look for more benign and less wasteful alternatives once they are out in the workforce. 

 “This is a big step forward for VIU’s commitment to sustainability,” says Chemistry Professor Dr. Alexandra Weissfloch, who spearheaded the University’s application to join the GCC. “It also means our chemistry program is going to be distinctive, not only in BC, but also in Canada. It is a perfect fit for a department that is already strong in environmental chemistry.”

VIU is the second institution in Canada – the first being the University of Toronto – to sign on to the GCC. About three dozen universities and colleges in the United States have also signed up. 

Next up is working green chemistry and toxicology into the new Major in Chemistry program VIU hopes to offer once the Health and Science Centre, currently under construction in the heart of campus, is complete. 

*This article originally appeared in the Winter 2017/18 edition of VIU Magazine. Check out more stories on the VIU Magazine webpage.

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