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Executive Message

Sustainability through innovation

Assistant Administrator Paul Anastas

By 2050, it is estimated that there will be an additional 3 billion people living on Earth, with 70 percent of the world’s population living in cities. In order to support our growing planet and meet the needs of the current generation while preserving the ability of future generations to meet their needs, we must continue on the path toward sustainability through innovation.

History has shown that innovations for sustainability not only improve the health of our environment and communities, but also fuel job creation and economic prosperity. Whether it is through the creation of green jobs, introducing green products to market, or stimulating healthy competition within the private sector, sustainable innovations can help us achieve synergy between environmental protection and economic growth.

The 7th Annual EPA National Sustainable Design Expo and People Prosperity and the Planet (P3) competition, taking place on April 16 - 17, are proof of this concept. P3 is about solving our current and future environmental challenges using innovative designs that work in real-world situations. This year’s P3 competition includes 55 teams of more than 400 college and university students who will showcase some of the best new designs and approaches for developing sustainable products and technologies. The projects offer creative solutions to a range of pressing environmental problems; from addressing the quantity and quality of drinking water throughout the world to using sun, wind, and waste to fuel alternative and renewable energy sources. Past P3 award winners have gone on to start new companies, launch non-profit organizations, and develop products for commercial use. 

Over the years, the P3 competition has created jobs and helped contribute to a healthier environment. In combination with various innovation efforts within EPA, other Federal Agencies, and the private and academic sectors, the possibilities for sustainable innovation are proving to be limitless.

Assistant Administrator Paul Anastas

Assistant Administrator Paul Anastas, Ph.D. checks out a design at the annual EPA P3 Student Design Competition for Sustainability.

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said it best when she delivered remarks at the National Press Club last year.

“It’s time to put to rest the notion that economic growth and environmental protection are incompatible,” she said. “It’s time to finally dismiss this false choice.”

Indeed, every year, by demonstrating that thoughtful design can lead to practical, innovative, and economically viable environmental solutions, P3 participants have continued to help set the record straight."


Paul T. Anastas
Assistant Administrator
Office of Research and Development

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