About Green Engineering
On this page:
- What is green engineering?
- Principles of Green Engineering
- What EPA is doing to promote green engineering?
Green engineering is the design, commercialization, and use of processes and products in a way that reduces pollution, promotes sustainability, and minimizes risk to human health and the environment without sacrificing economic viability and efficiency.
Green engineering embraces the concept that decisions to protect human health and the environment can have the greatest impact and cost-effectiveness when applied early, in the design and development phase of a process or product.
Green engineering processes and products:
- Holistically use systems analysis and integrate environmental impact assessment tools.
- Conserve and improve natural ecosystems while protecting human health and well-being.
- Use life-cycle thinking in all engineering activities.
- Ensure that all material and energy inputs and outputs are as inherently safe and benign as possible.
- Minimize depletion of natural resources.
- Strive to prevent waste.
Additionally, green engineering:
- Develops and applies engineering solutions while being cognizant of local geography, aspirations, and cultures.
- Creates engineering solutions beyond current or dominant technologies; improves, innovates, and invents (technologies) to achieve sustainability.
- Actively engages communities and stakeholders in the development of engineering solutions.
EPA’s Green Engineering Program encourages public and private sectors to incorporate risk-based approaches and methods into the design of chemical processes and products by:
Educational materials for academia: EPA developed a textbook used by educators to teach "green" thinking in engineering processes and applications. Read "Green Engineering: Environmentally Conscious Design of Chemical Processes."
- Integrated computer-based tools: EPA has created tools to help chemical engineers assess risk.
- Green engineering training modules for academic curricula or industry training: Taken from academic materials, methodologies, and case studies, EPA has created training materials to illustrate green engineering alternatives for chemical process designs.
- EPA uses various methods, such as printed materials, conferences, and webinars, to promote green engineering approaches among academia and industry engineers. The goal is to facilitate a flow of information and ideas for new and existing green engineering courses, case studies, and process design methodologies.
- EPA has sponsored academic workshops for professors and students to disseminate green engineering materials and software.