The Center for Clean Products (CCP) was established in 1992 through a grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. It is currently housed within the Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment (ISSE) at the University of Tennessee (UT), Knoxville.
CCP's mission is to develop, evaluate, and promote cleaner products and cleaner technologies that minimize pollution at the source and contribute to long-term sustainable development. The CCP focuses on the earliest stages of pollution prevention: the design of products and the processes by which they are made.
CCP's goals are to:
Evaluating a product's overall environmental impact calls for in-depth, multidisciplinary life-cycle evaluation. CCP utilizes the quantitative tool of life-cycle assessment (LCA) to compare the environmental profiles of products and has developed a life-cycle design software tool to assist product designers. Another tool for this kind of evaluation is the cleaner technologies substitutes assessment (CTSA), which CCP developed in conjunction with the U.S. EPA's Design for the Environment Program. CTSAs provide details on alternative production processes and chemicals, including performance and cost analysis.
In keeping with its commitment to reduce pollution and waste, CCP has also pioneered the principle of extended product responsibility in the United States, and it assisted the President's Council on Sustainable Development in shaping recommendations for the principle's implementation. The principle maintains that, throughout the product chain, companies and individuals must accept and share responsibility for minimizing the adverse environmental impacts of the whole life cycle of the products they produce and use.
The CCP is staffed by an interdisciplinary team of engineers, policy analysts, and environmental scientists who conduct focused research and help shape local, state, and federal policy initiatives. CCP's core staff members collaborate with ISSE and University of Tennessee faculty and graduate students from many disciplines, including chemical engineering, industrial engineering, environmental engineering, toxicology, law, economics, and chemistry.
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