Integrating Sustainability and Innovation

Paul T. Anastas

Paul T. Anastas

This installment of the Joseph Priestley Society (JPS) lecture series featured the keynote presentation “Integrating Sustainability and Innovation,” by Paul T. Anastas, assistant administrator for the Office of Research and Development (ORD) and science adviser, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


The promise of green chemistry and green engineering is that innovation produces new products and processes that are minimally toxic and environmentally friendly. While the EPA is widely viewed as only a regulatory body, the Office of Research and Development (ORD) provides the agency with far more than scientific advice on proposed regulations. Under the leadership of Paul Anastas, ORD encourages the design of safer chemicals, biobased polymers, and new methodologies of chemical synthesis that are more efficient and less hazardous to the environment.

About the speaker

At the time he was nominated by President Barack Obama to lead ORD, Paul Anastas was the director of the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Before joining the Yale faculty, Anastas was the founding director of the Green Chemistry Institute at the American Chemical Society. Before that, he worked at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as the assistant director for the environment. Anastas has published ten books, including Benign by Design, Designing Safer Polymers, Green Engineering, and his seminal work with coauthor John Warner, Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice. After earning his B.S. from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and his M.A. and Ph.D. in chemistry from Brandeis University, Anastas began his career as a staff chemist at the EPA, where he rose to the positions of chief of the Industrial Chemistry Branch and director of the U.S. Green Chemistry Program.

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