Sherwin-Williams wins EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award

Sherwin-Williams is the recipient of the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award.

The award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes Sherwin-Williams' innovative new paint formulation, utilizing soybean oil and recycled plastic bottles (PET) in the substantial reduction of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC).

"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," said Chris Connor, chairman and CEO of Sherwin-Williams, in a press release.

Sherwin-Williams is being recognized in the Designing Greener Chemicals category for Water-Based Acrylic Alkyd Technology.

Oil-based "alkyd" paints have high VOC levels that can become air pollutants as the paint dries. But now Sherwin-Williams has developed water-based acrylic alkyd paint, made from soybean oil and recycled plastic bottles that cut VOC content by 60 percent.

In 2010, the new environmentally friendly Sherwin-Williams paint formula, found in ProClassic Waterbased Acrylic Alkyd, ProMar 200 Waterbased Acrylic Alkyd and ProIndustrial Waterborne Enamel, eliminated 800,000 pounds of VOCs.

In manufacturing the new paint formula, Sherwin-Williams has used 320,000 pounds of soybean oil; 250,000 pounds of PET; and eliminated 1,000 barrels of oil. The continued evolution and expansion of the Sherwin-Williams technology has the potential to eliminate millions of pounds of VOC emissions while supporting the recycling of multi-million pounds of PET each year.

This is the 16th year the EPA is recognizing pioneering chemical technologies developed by leading industrial innovators who are making significant contributions to pollution prevention in the United States.

These awards recognize the design of safer and more sustainable chemicals, processes and products that will protect the public, including sensitive populations, particularly children, from exposure to harmful chemicals.

"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," said Steve Owens, the EPA's assistant administrator for chemical safety and pollution prevention, in a press release.

The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards are given in five categories: Academic, Small Business, Greener Synthetic Pathways, Greener Reaction Conditions and Designing Greener Chemicals.

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.

An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute selected the 2011 winners from scores of nominated technologies.

During the 16 years of the program, EPA has received more than 1,400 nominations and presented awards to 82 winners.

Winning technologies 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.

For more information, see our Low and No-VOC Paint Research Center.

Topics: Paint | Low VOC and No VOC

Companies: U.S. EPA, Sherwin-Williams

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