Principles of Green Chemistry and Green Engineering

design principles
View the ACS GCI Design Principles brochure.

Introduction to “Design Principles for Sustainable and Green Chemistry and Engineering”

Since the word “Green” first started being placed in front of chemistry, many people have argued about what the “right” definition of green chemistry is or isn’t. And, more importantly, what should one actually do to make chemistry “green” or “greener?”

What follows is a collection of design principles that various individuals and groups have proposed over time to answer that question. Most people stop at 12 principles, and most separate chemistry from engineering as if it were possible to do green chemistry in the absence of engineering. I’ve never found a way to do that and I firmly believe that there are no two disciplines, and no two communities more intimately tied to making the world more sustainable than chemistry and engineering. What you will find on the following pages is an attempt to organize various principles of green chemistry and engineering and present them in a way that helps people to make their chemistry and engineering “greener” and more sustainable. I hope you find this particular way of combining and presenting these principles to be helpful and useful.


Dr. David Constable, Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute®

A Continued Evolution of Principles:
The Sandestin Principles of Green Engineering

In May 2003, over 65 scientists and engineers convened at The Sandestin Conference on "Green Engineering: Defining the Principles." This was the first conference of its kind and it inspired an in-depth discussion of key components of green engineering principles amongst the attendees. As a result, nine principles were collectively developed and presented. 

Explore these nine principles: Sandestin Principles of Green Engineering