Green Chemistry Business Case Studies

The business case for green chemistry and engineering has been made by many companies from a variety of sectors within the global chemical enterprise. Innovative approaches to product design, formulation, and manufacturing processes save companies money while helping them align with their sustainability and safety goals.

The ACS GCI, with financial support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, worked with business schools to produce a series of case studies that can be used in the classroom to discuss important questions facing businesses as they work to implement sustainable solutions. These cases can be used for different sections of a strategic management and/or marketing class, while playing a rather central role in a business sustainability class.

The majority of these cases are drawn from winners of the US EPA’s prestigious Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards which acknowledge outstanding innovations in green chemistry technologies offering human and/or environmental health benefits as well as a positive and substantial impact on the chemical industry.

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM)
Prepared by Michael Valente at the Schulich School of Business at York University in 2009.
Teaching Note

DuPont Cleaning Products Division
Prepared by Michael Valente at the Schulich School of Business at York University in 2009.
Teaching note

Natureworks: Green Chemistry’s Contribution to Biotechnology Innovation, Commercialization, and Strategic Planning
Prepared by Research Associates Alia Anderson and Karen O’Brien under the supervision of Associate Professor Andrea Larson at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia in 2009.

Pfizer Pharmaceuticals: Green Chemistry Innovation and Business Strategy
Prepared by Research Associates Alia Anderson and Karen O’Brien under the supervision of Associate Professor Andrea Larson at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia in 2009.

SC Johnson and the GreenlistTM Challenge
Prepared by May Matthews, under supervision of Professor Stuart Hart at the Johnson School at Cornell University in 2009.
Teaching Note

Shaw Industries: Sustainable Business, Entrepreneurial Innovation, and Green Chemistry
Prepared by Research Associates Alia Anderson and Karen O’Brien under the supervision of Associate Professor Andrea Larson at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia in 2009.

TerraCycle, Inc.
Prepared by Steve Kurz under the supervision of Professor Stuart Hart at the Johnson School at Cornell University in 2009.
Teaching Note

Other Green Chemistry Business Case Studies

The following case studies were developed to better understand the business development process behind green chemistry technologies. These three companies won the 2012 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award and their technologies are currently in the marketplace:


Prepared in July 2012 by ACS Green Chemistry Institute® interns, Nicole Casasnovas and Hannah Needleman.