I've been looking all around, including in IUPAC's color books, but could not find a definition of "green chemistry". Additionally, Wikipedia's article on green chemistry features a sidebar with a "IUPAC definition", although the reference (points to an Annual Review article) doesn't mention anywhere in it that the definition is from IUPAC.

Do note that I'm looking for a free online resource. I don't believe I'm the only one to think that such a definition should be open, accessible and clear.


1 Answer 1


In Ref.1, the term green chemistry is defined as:

The invention, design, and application of chemical products and processes to reduce or to eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances.

This definition of Green Chemistry was adopted by IUPAC in 2000 according to this article. It also defines closely related sustainable chemistry:

Sustainable chemistry is the design, manufacture, and use of environmentally benign chemical products and processes that prevent pollution, reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous waste, and reduce risk to human health and the environment.


  1. Pietro Tundo, Paul Anastas, David StC. Black, Joseph Breen, Terrence J. Collins, Sofia Memoli, Junshi Miyamoto, Martyn Polyakoff, and William Tumas, "Synthetic pathways and processes in green chemistry. Introductory overview," Pure Appl. Chem. 2000, 72(7), 1207–1228 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1351/pac200072071207).

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