Promoting Green Chemistry with the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards
By: Alexandra Dunn, Assistant Administrator
Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Over the past year, I have enjoyed working with our stakeholders to advance one of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention’s missions: to prevent pollution before it begins. This is especially true of the office’s work to promote green chemistry.
Green chemistry, also known as sustainable chemistry, is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. This concept emphasizes the importance of source reduction throughout the life cycle of a chemical product, including design, manufacture, use, and disposal. But green chemistry is not limited to chemical substances: this program also improves the efficiency and competitiveness of chemical processes in nearly every product.
Beyond the health and environmental advantages, green chemistry also benefits American businesses through cost savings and industry innovation, as well as opening new markets for products and services.
To celebrate these innovations, we partnered with the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute to create the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards (GCCAs). Every year EPA and our partners recognize chemical technologies that incorporate the principles of green chemistry into chemical design, manufacture, and use. Since 1996, this program has recognized 118 awardees for innovative chemical technologies that achieve pollution prevention and provide benefits to industry.
GCCA-winning technologies come from a broad range of industries, including agriculture and agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, paints and coatings, textiles and fibers, fuels—to name just a few. Past awardees have been recognized for a variety of innovations, such as substituting less-hazardous chemicals, incorporating more efficient chemical pathways, or finding beneficial reuses of materials.
Each year, the awardees represent huge savings:
- hundreds of millions of pounds of hazardous chemicals,
- billions of pounds of carbon dioxide, and
- tens of billions of gallons of water.
These technologies are truly game changers for both the environment and the economy.
EPA is pleased to announce that the 2020 Green Chemistry Challenge Award nominations are open! We encourage all eligible companies or institutions to consider applying for these prestigious awards. Nominations are due by December 31, 2019.
For more information about the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards, webinars and nomination package, visit: https://19january2021snapshot.epa.gov/greenchemistry/information-about-green-chemistry-challenge.