“A triple win” for the environment, economy and consumers

Contact: Andrew Ranallo, (612) 870-3456 andrew@iatp.org

MINNEAPOLIS – Over 200 business owners, entrepreneurs and green chemistry advocates will come together for the second annual Minnesota Green Chemistry Conference tomorrow, co-hosted by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) and the University of Minnesota’s Center for Science, Technology and Public Policy (CSTPP).

Held at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, the conference will feature keynote speaker Dr. Patrick Gruber, the Chief Executive Officer of Gevo and prominent leader in green chemistry. Gruber will speak about the new opportunities that are emerging for businesses to shift away from petroleum to greener, bio-based alternative materials and products.

“This message is especially relevant for Minnesota,” said Jim Kleinschmit of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. “We are blessed as a state with tremendous agricultural and forest resources. Developed sustainably, these renewable feedstocks can serve as a foundation for a green chemistry and bio-industrial processing sector that can produce the high-value alternatives to conventional chemicals, energy and materials demanded in the market today.”

The daylong conference will also include panels on product improvement through green chemistry, the green product value chain, bio-industrial feedstock production and processing, and growing green chemistry in Minnesota. All of the panels will feature representatives of key businesses that are spurring real growth in the sector, including several Minnesota-based companies, like Segetis, a green chemistry start-up.

The final panel of the day will bring together leaders in several fields, including academia, Minnesota state agencies, business and nonprofits to discuss the support needed to effectively grow this sector in the state.

"Minnesota could be a leader in adopting strong policies to support the growth of green chemistry and creating a triple win: a healthier environment, great jobs throughout the state and better, more innovative products," said Steve Kelley, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Science, Technology and Public Policy.

Green Chemistry is the development and implementation of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of substances hazardous to human health and the environment. An important aspect of green chemistry is the design of chemical products to be fully effective, yet have little or no toxicity.

“Minnesota Green Chemistry 2012 will bring the business community together to talk about positioning Minnesota to increase our global competitiveness through green chemistry, while protecting public health and the environment,” said Kathleen Schuler, senior policy analyst with IATP and co-chair of the Minnesota Green Chemistry Forum.

More information on the conference and the Minnesota Green Chemistry Forum, a networking group founded by IATP, is available at http://www.greenchemistrymn.org.

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ATTN Reporters: Press passes available upon request.

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems. www.iatp.org.