EPA Opens Nominations for 2022 Green Chemistry Awards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking nominations for the 2022 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. The nominations are open to companies or institutions that have developed a new green chemistry process or product that helps protect human health and the environment.
“The Green Chemistry Challenge Awards is an opportunity for EPA to recognize green chemistry solutions that advance protection of human health and the environment by preventing pollution at its source,” said EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Assistant Administrator Michal Freedhoff in an emailed press release.
“This year, I am pleased to announce a new category to recognize innovative green chemistry technologies that can advance the fight against climate change while also helping U.S. businesses reduce costs, use resources more efficiently and be more competitive.”
The EPA states that the new category was added in support of the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to tackle the climate crisis. This category will help further the EPA’s efforts to address climate change by “encouraging development and adoption of innovative solutions to address this important issue.”
Technical experts from the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute will judge the 2022 nominations and make recommendations for the award winners. The EPA plans to present the awards in six categories for June 2022:
According to the EPA, technologies that have previously won the Green Chemistry Challenge have eliminated 830 pounds of hazardous chemicals and solvents, saved over 21 billion gallons of water and eliminated 7.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into air.
Nominations are due by Dec. 10.
Biden-Harris Climate Change Plan
The Biden-Harris Administration announced their climate change plans in 2020 as they transitioned into office. The $1.7 trillion plan outlined overhauls to infrastructure, the auto industry, transit, the power sector, buildings, housing, innovation, agriculture and conservation and environmental justice.
“I know that climate change is the challenge that’s going to define our American future—and I know meeting this challenge will be a once-in-a-century opportunity to jolt new life into our economy, strengthen our global leadership, and protect our planet for future generations,” said Biden in a statement at the time.
In March, Biden revealed their next steps aimed at catalyzing offshore wind energy to position America to lead a clean energy revolution.
Outlined in the jumpstart plan, the U.S. Department of Interior, Department of Energy and Department of Commerce have all announced a shared goal to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind in America by 2030, while protecting biodiversity and promoting ocean co-use. The plan involves new federal ocean tract leasing later this year or by early 2022.
Move Towards Green
Last month, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) announced the publication of new standards for green finance, including green bonds and loans. The collection of standards was created to streamline net-zero carbon goals and mitigate climate change.
According to reports, the organization is also working on developing a global standard that will allow architects and designers to certify their buildings and products as carbon neutral.
Much like the green finance standard series, the ISO standard is aiming to clear any confusion regarding what carbon neutrality means and how it differs from existing net-zero standards.
In August, the Associated General Contractors of America also took a step toward a new environmentally friendly mission, outlining a series of steps that public officials and the construction industry should take to address the impacts of the built environment on climate change.
The initiative reportedly aims to both reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment while also making the building process more efficient. According to AGC, the built environment accounts for approximately one-third of greenhouse gas emissions.