An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

Green Chemistry Challenge Selection Process

On this page:

How to Enter

1. Basic Information

  • The deadline for nominations for the 2020 Green Chemistry Challenge is December 4, 2020. View the 2021 nomination package.
  • Self-nominations are typical.
  • There is no entry fee.
  • There is no standard entry form, but nominations must meet certain requirements or EPA may reject them.
  • You may nominate more than one technology, but you must submit a separate, stand-alone nomination for each one. Multiple applications of the same general technology are most likely to win an award if you combine them in a single nomination.

2. Format

Nominations must have:

  • No more than eight pages, including the cover page
  • Single-spaced, 12-point type, but references, captions, and footnotes may be as small as 10-point type
  • Margins of at least 1 inch when printed on 8½-by-11-inch paper

Nominations may include:

  • Chemical reactions, tables, graphs, charts, photographs, diagrams, and other illustrations within their eight pages
  • Text or illustrations in color, but the judges may read the nominations printed in black and white; therefore, nominations should not require color for interpretation.
  • Links to published articles, patents, etc. Nominations should not rely on information in links to present their technology because judges may not follow any links.

Structure of submission materials: 

The first page must be a cover page with the:

  • Technology title and date of the nomination
  • Primary sponsor(s): the individual or organizational owner(s) of the technology. For academic nominations, the primary sponsor is usually the principal investigator. For nominations with more than one sponsor, each co-sponsor should have had a significant role in the research, development, or implementation of the technology
  • Contact person with full mailing address, email address, and telephone number: the one individual with whom EPA will communicate regarding the nomination. For academic nominations, the contact person is usually the principal investigator. For other nominations, the contact should be a project manager or other technical representative. We add the person listed as the contact to the list of subscribers for our electronic newsletter. Periodically, we email reminders and updates about the program to those on our list. You may opt out at any time.
  • Contributors (optional): those individuals or organizations that provided financial or technical support to develop or implement the technology

The second page should contain the following information:

  • Technology title
  • A sentence indicating whether the nominated technology is eligible for the small business award, academic award, both, or neither.
  • The name (or number) of the EPA award focus area that fits your technology. One-or two-line description of the most recent milestone for the nominated technology and the year it occurred. Only one milestone and year are required; the milestone must be within the last five years.
  • One or two sentences describing the U.S. component of the technology: the research, development, implementation, or other activities of the technology that occurred within the United States.
  • An abstract (not to exceed 300 words) that describes the nominated technology, the problem it addresses, and its benefits. Include the degree of implementation (or commercialization) of the technology and any quantitative benefits such as the amount (or potential amount) of hazardous substances eliminated, energy saved, carbon dioxide emissions eliminated, water saved, etc. EPA plans to publish these abstracts in its annual Summary of Award Entries and Recipients. If you are nominating a technology you submitted in a previous year, you may use the abstract previously published by EPA in whole or in part. Links to previous annual summaries of award entries and recipients are available on the Green Chemistry award winners page.

The information in this section should fit on page 2, but you may continue on page 3 if necessary.

The remaining pages should show how your technology meets both the:

The judges will look for detailed explanations of:

  • The problem (environmental or human health risk) that your technology addresses, its importance, and how your technology solves it.
  • The chemistry of your new technology, emphasizing its novelty and scientific merit. To be eligible for an award, your technology must include a significant chemistry component. Include as much nonproprietary detail as possible, such as the specifics of your chemistry and detailed reaction pathways. Consider using chemical structure diagrams to describe your chemistry. You may include patent numbers or references to peer-reviewed publications, but add only the most important, recent ones because references take space away from other details of your technology.
  • Realized or potential benefits and drawbacks. These may occur across all stages of your technology’s lifecycle: from feedstocks to manufacture, use, and the ultimate disposal of the product. Include the human health, environmental, and economic benefits of your technology such as toxicity data and quantities of hazardous substances reduced or eliminated. If you have not done a full lifecycle analysis, discuss the impacts of your technology across the lifecycle to the extent you know them.
  • How your technology compares with any other technologies that address the same problem. Comparing the cost, performance, and environmental profile of your technology with any competing technologies may demonstrate the broad applicability of your technology.
  • Current and planned commercialization. For example, is your technology currently on the market? Are you building a pilot or manufacturing plant? If your technology is or is about to be commercially available, also discuss the regulatory status of any novel chemical substance or organism under any applicable laws such as TSCA, FIFRA, CAA, or FFDCA. EPA must assure that winning technologies comply with these laws.

3. Submitting Your Nomination to EPA

Submit an electronic copy of your nomination in a format so that EPA can select and copy text. Include the primary sponsor’s name in the file name. You may want to submit your nomination as a .pdf file to minimize possible reading errors, but EPA accepts and can read all common file types. Send the electronic copy by email to If you encounter problems submitting your nomination electronically, please contact us at or (202) 564-8849.

Top of Page

Receipt of Nominations

  • EPA will consider all entries as public information.
  • EPA will not return any material.
  • EPA is not responsible for lost or damaged entries.
  • EPA acknowledges receipt of nominations by email to the Contact Person identified in the nomination. If EPA does not acknowledge your nomination within two weeks after you submit it, please contact us at or (202) 564-8849.

Judging Entries

A panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute® will judge nominations. These anonymous experts might include members of the scientific, industrial, governmental, educational, and environmental communities. EPA may ask the designated contact person to verify any chemistry described or claims made in nominations on behalf of the judges. The judges will select as award recipients those green chemistry technologies that best meet the selection criteria. The judges may use their discretion, however, to make more than one award (or no award) in any one category.

Notification of Winners

EPA will notify winners prior to the official public announcement. EPA will present a commemorative crystal sculpture to the primary sponsor(s) of the winning green chemistry technology in each of the five award categories and certificates to individuals identified by the primary sponsor(s) who contributed to the research, development, or implementation of the technology.

Contact Us

If you have questions about the scope of the program, nomination procedures, or the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Program, please email EPA’s Prevention Strategies and Implementation Branch at or call (202) 564-8849.

View the 2021 nomination package.

Top of Page