Sherwin-Williams wins U.S. EPA award

Reduces 800,000 pounds of VOCs by using soybean oil and recycled plastic


Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon



The Sherwin-Williams Company (Cleveland, OH) has won a 2011 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for its development of water-based acrylic alkyd technology.

The award recognizes Sherwin-Williams innovative new paint formulation, utilizing soybean oil and recycled plastic bottles (PET) in the substantial reduction of volatile organic compounds. In 2010, Sherwin-Williams manufactured enough of these new paints to eliminate over 800,000 pounds of VOCs.
Chris Connor, Chairman and CEO of The Sherwin-Williams Company said, "We are pleased that the White House and EPA have recognized our very talented R&D team that's committed to innovation and sustainability. Incorporating simple ingredients like soybean oil and recycled plastic bottles into a first of its kind powerful paint formula, provides a winning transformational combination for our customers and the environment."
But ironically, the $7 billion company is not a member of the United Nations “Global Compact on Sustainability,” and is a part of the “Global Reporting Initiative,” the largest sustainability reporting system.
But the company has stated that it’s environmental goal is “zero waste” and a large reduction in energy use.
To listen to the EPA podcast of the award, hosted by Dr. Richard Engler of EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, please click below.
Here’s the info from the EPA:
For the 16th year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized pioneering chemical technologies developed by leading researchers and industrial innovators who are making significant contributions to pollution prevention in the United States. These prestigious awards recognize the design of safer and more sustainable chemicals, processes, and products that will protect Americans, particularly children, from exposure to harmful chemicals.
The awards will be made this evening, June 20, at the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. This year’s awards are significant because 2011 has been named the International Year of Chemistry and marks the 20th anniversary of EPA’s efforts in what would become the creation of green chemistry. 
“EPA congratulates this year’s winners for designing and developing innovative green chemistry technologies that will result in safer chemicals for use in products, homes, schools, and workplaces that also have significant environmental and economic benefits,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards are bestowed in five categories. The 2011 award winners are:
  • Academic: Bruce H. Lipshutz, PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Small business: BioAmber, Inc., Plymouth, Minn.
  • Greener synthetic pathways: Genomatica, San Diego, Calif.
  • Greener reaction conditions: Kraton Performance Polymers, LLC, Houston, Texas
  • Designing greener chemicals: The Sherwin-Williams Company, Cleveland, Ohio
By recognizing groundbreaking scientific solutions to real-world environmental problems, EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Program has significantly reduced the hazards associated with designing, manufacturing and using chemicals. The program promotes research and development of less-hazardous alternatives to existing technologies that reduce or eliminate waste, particularly hazardous waste, in industrial production.
An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute selected the 2011 winners from among scores of nominated technologies. During the program’s life, EPA has received more than 1,400 nominations and presented awards to 82 winners. Winning technologies alone are responsible for reducing the use or generation of more than 199 million pounds of hazardous chemicals, saving 21 billion gallons of water, and eliminating 57 million pounds of carbon dioxide releases to the air. These benefits are in addition to significant energy and cost savings by the winners and their customers.