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Pure Appl. Chem., 2001, Vol. 73, No. 8, pp. 1243-1246

Green chemistry as systems science

Thomas E. Graedel

Center for Industrial Ecology, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA

Abstract: Green chemistry does not operate as an isolated subsystem, but within higher levels of corporation and society. From an environmental standpoint, the ideal focus is to achieve optimum performance across the system, not at a single systems level. This paper proposes a four-level system for green chemistry and provides examples of performance at each level that can legitimately be termed sustainable.