Emily Brooks ’97 uses chemistry to reduce environmental footprint

“Creating chemistry for a sustainable future” is the goal of Emily Brooks ’97, Mendham, New Jersey, in her new role as head of applied sustainability North America for BASF in North America.

BASF is the world’s largest chemical company, and “sustainability means aligning economic success with environmental and social responsibility – in both our internal operations and with and for our external customers,” Brooks says. “There isn’t a single moment in anyone’s day where they don’t come into contact with an ingredient that BASF produces – from paints to catalysts to vitamins to clothing dyes to medicine. This places a greater urgent focus on BASF’s global commitment to creating chemistry for a sustainable future.”

The Earth’s population is set to increase to 9.6 billion by 2050, and if people continue to conduct business as they do today, the demand for resources will be three times greater than the planet can supply, Brooks says.

She works with the world’s largest food, beverage, dietary supplement, animal nutrition, pharmacology and aroma
ingredients companies to help them produce more goods with less environmental input.

“Sustainability is one of the most exciting career opportunities emerging in business today,” Brooks says. “I have to avidly read scientific and nonscientific literature and research daily. There are fewer and fewer jobs available for those who approach the marketplace and say ‘Hire me! I only know about X.’ Today, your value is directly dependent on your knowing X, Y, P, C, M, Q and R.”


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