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Designing Safer Chemicals through Green Chemistry

Erik Edgar and Laura Romano, who work in Environment and Resources at Abt Associates, at an American Chemical Society Meeting. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge (PGCC) Awards promote the environmental and economic benefits of developing and using novel green chemistry. These prestigious annual awards recognize green chemical technologies that reduce or eliminate the generation of hazardous substances.

Abt Associates has supported EPA’s outreach for the program through webpage design, staffing at technical conferences, and logistical support at the annual awards ceremony.

With more than 100,000 unique page views last year, the Green Chemistry website is one of the program’s most effective communication tools. The website gives users access to high-quality technical content and information about applying for the PGCC awards. Abt maintains and updates the site, including redesigning the existing website and migrating the new content into the Drupal content management system.

Abt also supports EPA’s Green Chemistry Program outreach at technical conferences by having booths staffed by chemists and chemical engineers familiar with green chemistry principles and technologies. Abt has staffed more than 100 technical conferences for the program. We combine careful logistical planning to ensure that the booth and materials are present at the site with creative displays and human interactions to draw conference participant traffic to the booth. At each conference we have generated up to 100 contacts for the Green Chemistry Program.

We provide start-to-finish planning and logistical support for the annual PGCC awards ceremony, beginning with compilation and maintenance of information on the nominated technologies in the nomination tracking database. Judges use the information we collect to select the winning technologies. We provide on-site support staff to greet attendees and present at the exhibit booth. Post-ceremony, we post pictures of the event and follow up with winners.

Through 2016, the 109 winning technologies have greatly reduced pollution and water use. For example:

  • 826 million pounds of hazardous chemicals and solvents eliminated each year, enough to fill almost 3,800 railroad tank cars or a train nearly 47 miles long;
  • 21 billion gallons of water saved each year, enough for 820,000 people; and
  • 7.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents released to air eliminated each year, equal to taking 810,000 automobiles off the road.
North America