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Information About the Green Chemistry Challenge

The Green Chemistry Challenge Awards promote the environmental and economic benefits of developing and using novel green chemistry. These prestigious annual awards recognize chemical technologies that incorporate the principles of green chemistry into chemical design, manufacture, and use.

EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention sponsors the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards in partnership with the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute® and other members of the chemical community including industry, trade associations, academic institutions, and other government agencies.

Throughout the 25 years of the awards program, EPA has presented awards to 123 winners. Since its inception, in 1996, EPA has received over 1,800 nominations. By recognizing groundbreaking scientific solutions to real-world environmental problems, the Green Chemistry Challenge has significantly reduced the hazards associated with designing, manufacturing, and using chemicals.

Through 2020, our 123 winning technologies have made billions of pounds of progress, including:

  • 830 million pounds of hazardous chemicals and solvents eliminated each year—enough to fill almost 3,800 railroad tank cars1 or a train nearly 47 miles long.2
  • 21 billion gallons of water saved each year—the amount used by 980,000 people annually.3
  • 7.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents released to air eliminated each year—equal to taking 770,000 automobiles off the road.4

These data are from award-winning nominations for the Green Chemistry Challenge. Adding the benefits from the nominated technologies would greatly increase the program’s total benefits.

Learn more about participating in the Challenge:

View the 2021 nomination package.

1 Assumed a tank car with a 110-ton capacity, which is equivalent to a rail car with a 286,000 gross rail load. Source: University of Kentucky College of Engineering.
2 Assumed a length of 60 feet per rail car. Sources: The Greenbrier Companies.
3 Assumed 58.6 gallons of water per person per day for indoor use. Source: Water Research Foundation.
4 Assumed 4.6 metric tons of CO2e per year, or 10,141 pounds per year, per car. Source: U.S. EPA.