K'Lynne Johnson.K’Lynne Johnson
CEO, Elevance Renewable Sciences

K’Lynne Johnson, 43, has given herself the task of “renewing and transforming the chemicals industry.” Formerly employed at BP and Amoco, Johnson launched Elevance Renewable Sciences to produce “green” chemicals from renewable sources such as soybeans, canola, palm trees, and algae. Traditional petrochemicals are made from petroleum, accounting for about 10 percent of crude oil demand. Elevance is pioneering production methods that use relatively low amounts of water and relatively low pressures and temperatures, cutting down on cost and toxic waste. The company’s products are used in everything from personal care products and detergents to lubricants, waxes, and plastics. “This is not a wait-five-years-to-get-there technology,” says Johnson. “It’s here now. There are no cost barriers. And our products perform equal or better than conventional petrochemicals.”

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