The green technology industry is growing by leaps and bounds as more consumers and investors realize the potential of products produced using cleaner innovations. Credit for this success can in large part be attributed to the new technologies that companies like Elevance bring to the table. But as CBS News points out in its list of, “40 Who Paved the Way for a Green Revolution,” our industry has received a great deal of support from early environmental pioneers who sought renewable solutions.
CBS ‘s list includes scientists, politicians and theorists from ancient Rome to modern day who have had a significant impact the “green” movement. The list is also divided it into areas of interest: solar, transportation & oil, grid, electronics, alternative energy, scientists & politicians, and food & water. The result was a broad range of contributors to clean technology.
For example, Archimedes in the third century B.C., made the list for proposing setting ships on fire by transferring solar heat with bronze shields. Arnold Schwarzenegger was selected for being pivotal in making the green tech debate an economic issue instead of an environmental one.
This list will continue to grow as the industry grows, but it does highlight the many different types of people that have contributed to the green industry. I encourage you to take a look and learn more about green technology innovators of the past and present.
Today Elevance joins the rest of the world in celebrating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970, Earth Day gained momentum and is now recognized in more than 175 countries every year.
Originally, Earth Day was an environmental teach-in to raise awareness of environmental issues and engage the U.S. Congress. Today, it’s a forum to engage and educate the world on issues core to protecting our environment including:
- Climate Change
- Conservation & Biodiversity
- Food & Agriculture
- Green Economy
- Green Schools
- Recycling & Waste Reduction
- Sustainable Development
We are proud to be contributing to an environmentally friendly movement through our Nobel Prize winning technology, and encourage you to find a way to contribute also. To find Earth Day opportunities in your area and other ways to protect our planet, please visit the Earth Day Network.
A recent study conducted by the CleanTech Group out of San Francisco recently indicated a trend of growing interest in investing and developing biochemicals.
Why chemicals? Chemicals make up only about 8 percent of the output from a barrel of oil, but represent more than 40 percent of the profits from that barrel. At Elevance, we have chosen to invest in biochemicals research and production for this very reason.
Biochemicals not only produce a monetary return, but an environmental benefit as well. Elevance biochemicals are made from renewable feedstocks and our green chemistry processes use less energy and create less pollution than conventional crude oil-based manufacturing for products ranging from adhesives to waxes. At Elevance, with our innovative technologies we bring our customer green products that provide both performance and cost benefits while delivering a return to our investors and environmental benefits to all of us.
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) recently issued a report titled, “Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics,” a study exploring women’s role in science and engineering. The study concluded that although significant progress has been made, women are still underrepresented in the fields of science and math and stereotypes and cultural biases continue to impede women’s success.
The study found beliefs about women’s intelligence, stereotypes, self-assessment, spatial skills, the college student experience, university and college faculty, implicit bias and workplace bias explain the social and environmental barriers preventing participation in science and technology field.
To encourage women to consider scientific and engineering fields, families, schools, and communities can create an environment of that dispels negative stereotypes around these industries. One example would be to institute programs supporting the development of girls’ confidence in their ability to learn math and science.
As a woman CEO of a technology company with a strong basis in the science and chemicals industry, I am very pleased to see studies like this one taking place. Not only does this study take into account the “unspoken” thoughts of many people in the industry, it provides solutions for future women scientists, executives and engineers. Throughout my 18-year career in the oil and petrochemicals industry, I have seen a significant change in the number of women active in the field and believe more positive change can happen.
At Elevance, we have multiple women who are leading the charge to create positive change. Mary Bjorklund is one of our key process engineers and has been instrumental in advancing our biorefinery engineering. Donde Anderson is one of our key catalyst chemists. Her expertise has deepened our knowledge of effectively converting different natural oils enabling a significant reduction in our manufacturing costs. Both Donde and Mary’s interest and belief in Elevance’s successful technology make them strong contributors on our team. They have strong backgrounds in the chemicals and energy industry and have seen firsthand the value of science and technology.
The bio-chemical industry is growing and needs the contributions of bright, passionate men AND women. With all of the possibilities, Elevance encourages women and girls to explore educational and employment opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Last month I attended the World Biofuels Markets Congress in Amsterdam, along with many of my other colleagues from around the world, to discuss renewable themes like biofuels, algae, biorefineries, solar and biomaterials. I was honored to represent Elevance and share our passion for developing and delivering renewable chemical solutions fully competitive within the existing market.
In Amsterdam, I had the opportunity to highlight the building blocks Elevance brings in high value olefins; unique triglycerides and fatty acids; and novel mono and dibasic acids with my presentation, “Novel Renewable Chemicals: Transforming markets with new building blocks.” Other presentations included overview of Arizona Chemicals extraction of chemicals from tall oil (derived from pine woods) and the significant market drivers for renewable materials in the lubricants & additives market.
Forums like the World Biofuels Markets Congress provide an excellent opportunity for innovators to come together, discuss new and ground breaking technologies and build partnerships. It was clear the industry increasingly recognizes the necessity for these new technologies to truly compete on both a performance and cost basis. While government policies mandate, incentivize or subsidize can help accelerate development; the industry must ensure the resulting technologies are able to be fully competitive. This is the only way a sustainable and robust renewable industry will be achieved.
As children, we were instructed to wash our hands with soap and water. It is an important life lesson to be sure, and with the help of organic acids there may be a better way to kill germs and viruses.
According to a study published by the American Society of Microbiology, hand sanitizers killed 80 percent of detectable rhinovirus (a cause for the common cold) from the human hand compared to only 31 percent if using soap and water. Adding organic acids to the hand sanitizers made the germ-killer even more powerful, extending its effectiveness up to four hours.
Organic acids are known to provide antimicrobial activity, but often they are less active than other synthetic antimicrobials. Elevance is working to use our novel technology to develop products based on organic acids that will have enhanced antimicrobial activity. Elevance looks forward to bringing renewable based antimicrobial products with superior performance and safety benefits to the consumer.