EPA Announces Winners in New York and New Jersey for the 2021 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards
Five winners recognized nationwide for innovative technologies that decrease hazardous chemicals, improve community health, reduce costs, and spur economic growth
NEW YORK – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the winners of the 2021 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards, including New York organization Bristol Myers Squibb and New Jersey organization Merck & Co. Green chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the generation and use of hazardous substances.
“Green chemistry is one way to provide solutions to some of the significant environmental challenges we’re facing today, like exposure to toxic chemicals, dependence on non-renewable sources, and climate change,” said EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator Michal Freedhoff. “The innovative technologies we celebrate today are great examples of how green chemistry is protecting our environment, preventing pollution at its source, and keeping U.S. business globally competitive by creating more sustainable products.”
The 2021 Region 2 winners are:
- Bristol Myers Squibb, New York, for a new class of sustainable reagents – substances used to cause a chemical reaction. These new reagents use less solvents and are derived from limonene, a waste product from discarded citrus peels, which increases sustainability and decreases environmental impact. They also can tolerate air and moisture better than traditional reagents, eliminating the need for expensive technology and specialized shipping and storage.
- Merck & Co., New Jersey, for developing a green and sustainable manufacturing process for a drug used to treat chronic coughs. By incorporating green chemistry techniques into the manufacturing process, the team not only replaced two highly toxic and hazardous chemicals, it also reduced carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide emissions. Life-cycle assessment data shows that these changes are expected to decrease the carbon footprint of manufacturing this drug by more than 80 percent.
EPA recognized the winners today during the virtual American Chemical Society Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference. This year’s awards have special meaning because it’s also the 25th anniversary of the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. During the quarter century of the Green Chemistry program, EPA and the American Chemical Society, which co-sponsor the awards, have received more than 1,800 nominations and presented awards for 128 technologies that decrease hazardous chemicals and resources, reduce costs, protect public health and spur economic growth. Winning technologies are responsible for annually reducing the use or generation of hundreds of millions of pounds of hazardous chemicals and saving billions of gallons of water and trillions of BTUs in energy.
An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute formally judged the 2021 submissions and made recommendations to EPA for the 2021 winners.
More information: https://www.epa.gov/greenchemistry