Integrating Sustainability into Learning in Chemistry

Research output: Journal contributionsOther (editorial matter etc.)Research


  • Jane E. Wissinger
  • Aurelia Visa
  • Bipul B. Saha
  • Stephen A. Matlin
  • Peter G. Mahaffy
  • Klaus Kümmerer
  • Sarah Cornell

Earth Day 2021, with the theme of "Restore Our Earth", along with Chemists Celebrate Earth Week 2021 from ACS with the theme "Reducing Our Footprint with Chemistry", provides a rich opportunity to reflect on the extent to which we integrate sustainability into chemistry education. Chemistry plays a central interdisciplinary role among all the sciences. It provides the essential key to understanding chemical processes and products operating within and among physical, biological, ecological, and engineered systems with far-reaching impacts on the health and well-being of people and our planet. Capitalizing on this pivotal role requires interchanges of knowledge among all these disciplines as well as the social sciences, humanities, and the arts, so that we can tease out the specific knowledge relevant to sustainability in the chemistry curriculum. This editorial highlights how the interdisciplinary work of integrating sustainability into chemistry education can be guided by systems thinking, and by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Planetary Boundaries frameworks. Such systematic approaches can energize educators and learners to situate chemistry within a broader landscape of knowledge and thus tap chemistry's potential to enhance sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1061-1063
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 13.04.2021

    Research areas

  • Applications of Chemistry, General Public, Green Chemistry, History/Philosophy, Sustainability, Systems Thinking
  • Chemistry